|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Koran:
discern.- Now has God made it light for you; He knows that there is
a weakness amongst you: but if there be amongst you but a patient
hundred, they will conquer two hundred; and if there be of you a
thousand, they will conquer two thousand, by the permission of God,-
for God is with the patient!
It has not been for any prophet to take captives until he hath
slaughtered in the land! Ye wish to have the goods of this world,
but God wishes for the next, for God is mighty, wise! Were it not
for a book from God that had gone before, there would have touched
you, for that which ye took, a mighty punishment.
Eat of what spoils ye have taken, what is lawful and good; and
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lucile by Owen Meredith:
Follow'd ever one mask through the mad masquerade,
Till, pursued to some chamber deserted ('tis said),
He unmasked, with a kiss, the strange lady, and stood
Face to face with a Thing not of flesh nor of blood.
In this Mask of the Passions, call'd Life, there's no human
Emotion, though mask'd, or in man or in woman,
But, when faced and unmask'd, it will leave us at last
Struck by some supernatural aspect aghast.
For truth is appalling and eldrich, as seen
By this world's artificial lamplights and we screen
From our sight the strange vision that troubles our life.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Deserted Woman by Honore de Balzac:
humiliating of all positions; a wife may stoop for weighty social
reasons to a kind of compromise which a mistress is bound to hold in
abhorrence, for in the purity of her passion lies all its
ANGOULEME, September 1832.
The following personages appear in other stories of the Human Comedy.
Beauseant, Marquis and Comte de
An Episode under the Terror
Beauseant, Marquise de
|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 Concerning Christian Liberty by Martin Luther:
Something widely different will be necessary for the
justification and liberty of the soul, since the things I have
spoken of can be done by any impious person, and only hypocrites
are produced by devotion to these things. On the other hand, it
will not at all injure the soul that the body should be clothed
in profane raiment, should dwell in profane places, should eat
and drink in the ordinary fashion, should not pray aloud, and
should leave undone all the things above mentioned, which may be
done by hypocrites.
And, to cast everything aside, even speculation, meditations, and
whatever things can be performed by the exertions of the soul