|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Prince of Bohemia by Honore de Balzac:
writers was du Bruel. His real name is unknown to the public, on the
play-bills he is de Cursy. Under the Restoration he had a place in the
Civil Service; and being really attached to the elder branch, he sent
in his resignation bravely in 1830, and ever since has written twice
as many plays to fill the deficit in his budget made by his noble
conduct. At that time du Bruel was forty years old; you know the story
of his life. Like many of his brethren, he bore a stage dancer an
affection hard to explain, but well known in the whole world of
letters. The woman, as you know, was Tullia, one of the /premiers
sujets/ of the Academie Royale de Musique. Tullia is merely a
pseudonym like du Bruel's name of de Cursy.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Russia in 1919 by Arthur Ransome:
the population. But the younger members of the party,
together with Litvinov, found their spirits irrepressibly rising
in spite of having no dinner. They walked about the village,
played with the children, and sang, not revolutionary songs,
but just jolly songs, any songs that came into their heads.
When at last the train came to take us into Petrograd, and we
found that the carriages were unheated, somebody got out a
mandoline and we kept ourselves warm by dancing. At the
same time I was sorry for the five children who were with
us, knowing that a country simultaneously suffering war,
blockade and revolution is not a good place for childhood.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu:
My joys ungarnered, all my songs unsung,
And all my tears unshed.
Tarry a while, till I am satisfied
Of love and grief, of earth and altering sky;
Till all my human hungers are fulfilled,
O Death, I cannot die!
THE INDIAN GIPSY
In tattered robes that hoard a glittering trace
Of bygone colours, broidered to the knee,
Behold her, daughter of a wandering race,
Tameless, with the bold falcon's agile grace,
|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 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy:
of his time, he cosidered it his duty to keep up with everything
of note that appeared in the inellectual world. She knew, too,
that he was really interested in books dealing with politics,
philosophy, and theology, that art wqas utterly foreign to his
nature; but, in spite of this, or rather, in consequence of it,
Alexey Alexandrovitch never passed over anything in the world of
art, but made it his duty to read everything. She knew that in
politics, in philosophy, in theology, Alexey Alexandrovitch often
had doubts, and made investigations; but on questions of art and
poetry, and, above all, of music, of which he was totally devoid
of understanding, he had the most distinct and decided opinions.