|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Modeste Mignon by Honore de Balzac:
Bettina, had resolved, just before the failure, to marry Modeste. They
chose the son of a rich banker, formerly of Hamburg, but established
in Havre since 1815,--a man, moreover, who was under obligations to
them. The young man, whose name was Francois Althor, the dandy of
Havre, blessed with a certain vulgar beauty in which the middle
classes delight, well-made, well-fleshed, and with a fine complexion,
abandoned his betrothed so hastily on the day of her father's failure
that neither Modeste nor her mother nor either of the Dumays had seen
him since. Latournelle ventured a question on the subject to Jacob
Althor, the father; but he only shrugged his shoulders and replied, "I
really don't know what you mean."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honore de Balzac:
"If you wish to come, she told me, you must consent to have your eyes
And Cristemio produced a white silk handkerchief.
"No!" said Henri, whose omnipotence revolted suddenly.
He tried to leap in. The mulatto made a sign, and the carriage drove
"Yes!" cried De Marsay, furious at the thought of losing a piece of
good fortune which had been promised him.
He saw, moreover, the impossibility of making terms with a slave whose
obedience was as blind as the hangman's. Nor was it this passive
instrument upon whom his anger could fall.
The Girl with the Golden Eyes
|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:
voice. A slight foam came to the composer's lips and made Andrea
"His wife appears (A minor). Such a magnificent duet! In this number I
have shown that Mahomet has the will and his wife the brains. Kadijah
announces that she is about to devote herself to an enterprise that
will rob her of her young husband's love. Mahomet means to conquer the
world; this his wife has guessed, and she supports him by persuading
the people of Mecca that her husband's attacks of epilepsy are the
effect of his intercourse with the angels (chorus of the first
followers of Mahomet, who come to promise him their aid, C sharp
minor, /sotto voce/). Mahomet goes off to seek the Angel Gabriel
|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 The Secret Places of the Heart by H. G. Wells:
"You know," she added, "I don't believe it yet. I don't
realize it. I go about these formalities--"
"I think I can understand that."
"He was always, you know, not quite here . . . . It is as if
he were a little more not quite here . . . . I can't believe
it is over. . . . "
She asked a number of questions and took the doctor's advice
upon various details of the arrangements. "My daughter Helen
comes home to-morrow afternoon," she explained. "She is in
Paris. But our son is far, far away in the Punjab. I have
sent him a telegram. . . . It is so kind of you to come in to