|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Long Odds by H. Rider Haggard:
to call him in South Africa. He told it to me one evening when I was
stopping with him at the place he bought in Yorkshire. Shortly after
that, the death of his only son so unsettled him that he immediately
left England, accompanied by two companions, his old fellow-voyagers,
Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, and has now utterly vanished into the
dark heart of Africa. He is persuaded that a white people, of which he
has heard rumours all his life, exists somewhere on the highlands in the
vast, still unexplored interior, and his great ambition is to find them
before he dies. This is the wild quest upon which he and his companions
have departed, and from which I shrewdly suspect they never will return.
One letter only have I received from the old gentleman, dated from a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen:
so fashionable; because they were all cousins and must put
up with one another. As it was impossible, however, now to
prevent their coming, Lady Middleton resigned herself to the
idea of it, with all the philosophy of a well-bred woman,
contenting herself with merely giving her husband a gentle
reprimand on the subject five or six times every day.
The young ladies arrived: their appearance was by
no means ungenteel or unfashionable. Their dress was
very smart, their manners very civil, they were delighted
with the house, and in raptures with the furniture,
and they happened to be so doatingly fond of children
Sense and Sensibility
|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:
this prodigious reaction of my opera on itself? How completely it all
rests on the bass.
"It is thus that Beethoven composed his E minor symphony. But his
heroic work is purely instrumental, whereas here, my heroic phrase is
worked out on a sextette of the finest human voices, and a chorus of
the faithful on guard at the door of the sacred dwelling. I have every
resource of melody and harmony at my command, an orchestra and voices.
Listen to the utterance of all these phases of human life, rich and
poor;--battle, triumph, and exhaustion!
"Ali arrives, the Koran prevails in every province (duet in D minor).
Mahomet places himself in the hands of his two fathers-in-law; he will
|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 Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
had hurt her and hoped to profit himself by reposing in
her the trust and confidence that her father denied her.
And so it was that her direct question left him
floundering in a sea of embarrassment, for to tell her
the truth now would gain him no favor in her eyes,
while it certainly would lay him open to the suspicion
and distrust of her father should he learn of it.
"I cannot answer your question, Miss Maxon," he said,
finally, "for your father's strictest injunction has
been that I divulge to no one the slightest happening
within the court of mystery. Remember that I am in
The Monster Men