|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary) by Dante Alighieri:
Affection bends the judgment to her ply.
"Much more than vainly doth he loose from shore,
Since he returns not such as he set forth,
Who fishes for the truth and wanteth skill.
And open proofs of this unto the world
Have been afforded in Parmenides,
Melissus, Bryso, and the crowd beside,
Who journey'd on, and knew not whither: so did
Sabellius, Arius, and the other fools,
Who, like to scymitars, reflected back
The scripture-image, by distortion marr'd.
The Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary)
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:
pulled out a greasy old leather purse. 'Keep your linen.'
"Bourgeat paid up my arrears and his own, and settled with the
porter. Then he put our furniture and my box of linen in his
cart, and pulled it along the street, stopping in front of every
house where there was a notice board. I went up to see whether
the rooms to let would suit us. At midday we were still wandering
about the neighborhood without having found anything. The price
was the great difficulty. Bourgeat proposed that we should eat at
a wine shop, leaving the cart at the door. Towards evening I
discovered, in the Cour de Rohan, Passage du Commerce, at the
very top of a house next the roof, two rooms with a staircase
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Death of the Lion by Henry James:
before his illness, but that he had lately taken out again to
reconsider. He had been turning it round when I came down on him,
and it had grown magnificently under this second hand. Loose
liberal confident, it might have passed for a great gossiping
eloquent letter - the overflow into talk of an artist's amorous
plan. The theme I thought singularly rich, quite the strongest he
had yet treated; and this familiar statement of it, full too of
fine maturities, was really, in summarised splendour, a mine of
gold, a precious independent work. I remember rather profanely
wondering whether the ultimate production could possibly keep at
the pitch. His reading of the fond epistle, at any rate, made me
|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 Massimilla Doni by Honore de Balzac:
that tenor without me, nor have me to sing without him. The Duke
brought me up on purpose to gratify that whim; to him I owe my talent,
my beauty,--my fortune, no doubt. He will die of an attack of perfect
unison. The sense of hearing alone has survived the wreck of his
faculties; that is the only thread by which he holds on to life. A
vigorous shoot springs from that rotten stump. There are, I am told,
many men in the same predicament. May Madonna preserve them!
"You have not come to that! You can do all you want--all I want of
you, I know."
Towards morning the Prince stole away and found Carmagnola lying
asleep across the door.