|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:
native town, proposed, it is said, to Van Claes to let him escape if
he would give him Van Huysum's great work; but the weaver had already
despatched it to Douai.
The parlor, whose walls were entirely panelled with this carving,
which Van Huysum, out of regard for the martyr's memory, came to Douai
to frame in wood painted in lapis-lazuli with threads of gold, is
therefore the most complete work of this master, whose least carvings
now sell for nearly their weight in gold. Hanging over the fire-place,
Van Claes the martyr, painted by Titian in his robes as president of
the Court of Parchons, still seemed the head of the family, who
venerated him as their greatest man. The chimney-piece, originally in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:
over hill and dale, to the great sharpening of his own appetite
and that of his squire, living gallantly from inn to inn when
his purse was full, and quartering himself in the king's name
on the nearest ghostly brotherhood when it happened to be empty.
An autumn and a winter had passed away, when the course of his
perlustations brought him one evening into a beautiful sylvan valley,
where he found a number of young women weaving garlands of flowers,
and singing over their pleasant occupation. He approached them,
and courteously inquired the way to the nearest town.
"There is no town within several miles," was the answer.
"A village, then, if it be but large enough to furnish an inn?"
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy:
to do what I ought to leave undone. I can't, however,
marry them both. And I have two reasons for- choosing
Fanny. First, I like her best upon the whole, and
second, you make it worth my while."
At the same instant Boldwood sprang upon him, and
held him by the neck. Troy felt Boldwood's grasp slowly
tightening. The move was absolutely unexpected.
"A moment." he gasped. "You are injuring her you
"Well, what do you mean?" said the farmer.
Give me breath." said Troy.
Far From the Madding Crowd
|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 Blix by Frank Norris:
inspect the craft for himself. The former was the short and easy
method. The latter was more troublesome, but would result in a
far more interesting article.
Condy debated the subject a few minutes, then decided to go down
to the wharf. San Francisco's water-front was always interesting,
and he might get hold of a photograph of the whaleback. All at
once the "idea" of the article struck him, the certain underlying
notion that would give importance and weight to the mere details
and descriptions. Condy's enthusiasm flared up in an instant.