|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:
your epaulettes, but why accuse her? What
fault is it of hers that she does not like you any
longer?" . . .
"But why give me hopes?"
"Why did you hope? To desire and to strive
after something -- that I can understand! But
who ever hopes?"
"You have won the wager, but not quite," he
said, with a malignant smile.
The mazurka began. Grushnitski chose no one
but the Princess, other cavaliers chose her every
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Records of a Family of Engineers by Robert Louis Stevenson:
impatient for their turn to pass, and tormented with rising
anxiety as to the fate of their companions. At length they
sought the shelter of a shepherd's house. `We had miserable
up-putting,' the diary continues, `and on both sides of the
ferry much anxiety of mind. Our beds were clean straw, and
but for the circumstance of the boat, I should have slept as
soundly as ever I did after a walk through moss and mire of
To go round the lights, even to-day, is to visit past
centuries. The tide of tourists that flows yearly in
Scotland, vulgarising all where it approaches, is still
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Ion by Plato:
SOCRATES: And did you ever know any one who was skilful in pointing out
the excellences and defects of Polygnotus the son of Aglaophon, but
incapable of criticizing other painters; and when the work of any other
painter was produced, went to sleep and was at a loss, and had no ideas;
but when he had to give his opinion about Polygnotus, or whoever the
painter might be, and about him only, woke up and was attentive and had
plenty to say?
ION: No indeed, I have never known such a person.
SOCRATES: Or did you ever know of any one in sculpture, who was skilful in
expounding the merits of Daedalus the son of Metion, or of Epeius the son
|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 Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche:
stretcheth itself out:--
--How long and weary it becometh, my strange soul! Hath a seventh-day
evening come to it precisely at noontide? Hath it already wandered too
long, blissfully, among good and ripe things?
It stretcheth itself out, long--longer! it lieth still, my strange soul.
Too many good things hath it already tasted; this golden sadness oppresseth
it, it distorteth its mouth.
--As a ship that putteth into the calmest cove:--it now draweth up to the
land, weary of long voyages and uncertain seas. Is not the land more
As such a ship huggeth the shore, tuggeth the shore:--then it sufficeth for
Thus Spake Zarathustra