|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Gambara by Honore de Balzac:
be exhausted; you have never heard anything like it before; and yet it
is homogeneous. You have had life set before you, and its one and only
/crux/: 'Shall I be happy or unhappy?' is the philosopher's query.
'Shall I be saved or damned?' asks the Christian."
With these words Gambara struck the last chord of the chorus, dwelt on
it with a melancholy modulation, and then rose to drink another large
glass of Giro. This half-African vintage gave his face a deeper flush,
for his passionate and wonderful sketch of Meyerbeer's opera had made
him turn a little pale.
"That nothing may be lacking to this composition," he went on, "the
great artist has generously added the only /buffo/ duet permissible
|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 Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
at once name a dozen in the town who own their farms free and clear.
If you would know the history of these homesteads, inquire at the
bank where they are mortgaged. The man who has actually paid for
his farm with labor on it is so rare that every neighbor can point
to him. I doubt if there are three such men in Concord. What has
been said of the merchants, that a very large majority, even
ninety-seven in a hundred, are sure to fail, is equally true of the
farmers. With regard to the merchants, however, one of them says
pertinently that a great part of their failures are not genuine
pecuniary failures, but merely failures to fulfil their engagements,
because it is inconvenient; that is, it is the moral character that