|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Life of the Spider by J. Henri Fabre:
Accident, however fruitful in surprises we may presume it to be,
can never have taught it the higher geometry wherein our own
intelligence at once goes astray, without a strict preliminary
Are we to recognize a mere effect of organic structure in the
Epeira's art? We readily think of the legs, which, endowed with a
very varying power of extension, might serve as compasses. More or
less bent, more or less outstretched, they would mechanically
determine the angle whereat the spiral shall intersect the radius;
they would maintain the parallel of the chords in each sector.
Certain objections arise to affirm that, in this instance, the tool
The Life of the Spider
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from King James Bible:
do no servile work therein.
LEV 23:8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD
seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no
servile work therein.
LEV 23:9 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
LEV 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye
be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest
thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest
unto the priest:
LEV 23:11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted
for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
King James Bible
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake:
Till the morning appears in the skies.'
'No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all covered with sheep.'
'Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.'
The little ones leaped, and shouted, and laughed,
And all the hills echoed.
'I have no name;
Songs of Innocence and Experience
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
her character, seems to promise some amusement. Some rush into jam-
making and washing, household management, the rural joys of the
vintage or the harvest, bottling fruit, embroidering handkerchiefs,
the cares of motherhood, the intrigues of a country town. Others
torment a much-enduring piano, which, at the end of seven years,
sounds like an old kettle, and ends its asthmatic life at the Chateau
d'Anzy. Some pious dames talk over the different brands of the Word of
God--the Abbe Fritaud as compared with the Abbe Guinard. They play
cards in the evening, dance with the same partners for twelve years
running, in the same rooms, at the same dates. This delightful life is
varied by solemn walks on the Mall, visits of politeness among the
The Muse of the Department