|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Louis Lambert by Honore de Balzac:
Then he went on:
"From that, a sum-total of action takes its rise which constitutes
social life. The man of sinew contributes action or strength; the man
of brain, genius; the man of heart, faith. But," he added sadly,
"faith sees only the clouds of the sanctuary; the Angel alone has
So, according to his own definitions, Lambert was all brain and all
heart. It seems to me that his intellectual life was divided into
three marked phases.
Under the impulsion, from his earliest years, of a precocious
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:
stand upon the property of Monsieur le Comte de Grandville; but here,"
he added, showing the other, "I stand upon my own. I am the owner of
Molineux was so ready to lend himself to any one who would listen to
him, and so delighted by du Tillet's attentive manner, that he gave a
sketch of his life, related his habits and customs, told the improper
conduct of the Sieur Gendrin, and, finally, explained all his
arrangements with the perfumer, without which, he said, the ball could
not have been given.
"Ah! Monsieur Cesar let you settle the lease?" said du Tillet. "It is
contrary to his habits."
Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay:
suggested the delicate tints of early morning. It was so nebulous
that the sphere could be clearly distinguished through it; in
extension, however, it was thick. The sweet smell emanating from it
was strong, loathsome, and terrible; it seemed to spring from a sort
of loose, mocking slime inexpressibly vulgar and ignorant.
The spirit stream from Muspel flashed with complexity and variety.
It was not below individuality, but above it. It was not the One, or
the Many, but something else far beyond either. It approached
Crystalman, and entered his body - if that bright mist could be
called a body. It passed right through him, and the passage caused
him the most exquisite pleasure. The Muspel-stream was Crystalman's
|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 Walking by Henry David Thoreau:
As the names of the Poles and Russians are to us, so are ours to
them. It is as if they had been named by the child's
rigmarole,--IERY FIERY ICHERY VAN, TITTLE-TOL-TAN. I see in my
mind a herd of wild creatures swarming over the earth, and to
each the herdsman has affixed some barbarous sound in his own
dialect. The names of men are, of course, as cheap and
meaningless as BOSE and TRAY, the names of dogs.
Methinks it would be some advantage to philosophy if men were
named merely in the gross, as they are known. It would be
necessary only to know the genus and perhaps the race or variety,
to know the individual. We are not prepared to believe that every