|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain:
and couldn't see no chance anywheres. But by and by I had
a glimpse of something that set me thinking--just a little
wee glimpse--only that, and not enough to make sure;
but it set me thinking hard--and WATCHING, when I was
only letting on to think; and by and by, sure enough,
when Uncle Silas was piling out that stuff about HIM
killing Jubiter Dunlap, I catched that glimpse again,
and this time I jumped up and shut down the proceedings,
because I KNOWED Jubiter Dunlap was a-setting here before me.
I knowed him by a thing which I seen him do--and I
remembered it. I'd seen him do it when I was here a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
of the crowd for whom they work. Without selection by the Academy
there will be no Salon, and without the Salon art may perish.
Ever since the catalogue has grown into a book, many names have
appeared in it which still remain in their native obscurity, in spite
of the ten or a dozen pictures attached to them. Among these names
perhaps the most unknown to fame is that of an artist named Pierre
Grassou, coming from Fougeres, and called simply "Fougeres" among his
brother-artists, who, at the present moment holds a place, as the
saying is, "in the sun," and who suggested the rather bitter
reflections by which this sketch of his life is introduced,--
reflections that are applicable to many other individuals of the tribe
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Massimilla Doni by Honore de Balzac:
through the myriad canals of the machine to fall in dazzling cascades,
while I am content with the pure tranquil pool. My eye gazes across a
lake without a ripple. I can embrace the infinite."
"Speak no more, Cataneo," said Capraja, haughtily. "What! Do you fail
to see the fairy, who, in her swift rush through the sparkling
atmosphere, collects and binds with the golden thread of harmony, the
gems of melody she smilingly sheds on us? Have you ever felt the touch
of her wand, as she says to Curiosity, 'Awake!' The divinity rises up
radiant from the depths of the brain; she flies to her store of
wonders and fingers them lightly as an organist touches the keys.
Suddenly, up starts Memory, bringing us the roses of the past,
|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 Ballads by Robert Louis Stevenson:
A horror of many insects hung in the air and roared.
Rua looked and wondered; he said to himself in his heart:
"Poor are the pleasures of life, and death is the better part."
But lo! on the higher benches a cluster of tranquil folk
Sat by themselves, nor raised their serious eyes, nor spoke:
Women with robes unruffled and garlands duly arranged,
Gazing far from the feast with faces of people estranged;
And quiet amongst the quiet, and fairer than all the fair,
Taheia, the well-descended, Taheia, heavy of hair.
And the soul of Rua awoke, courage enlightened his eyes,
And he uttered a summoning shout and called on the clan to rise.