|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
at a Fountain," "Joseph," and "The Torture," would have redounded far
more to his credit if the four pictures had been exhibited in the
great Salon with the hundred good pictures of that year, than his
twenty pictures could, among three thousand others, jumbled together
in six galleries.
By some strange contradiction, ever since the doors are open to every
one there has been much talk of unknown and unrecognized genius. When,
twelve years earlier, Ingres' "Courtesan," and that of Sigalon, the
"Medusa" of Gericault, the "Massacre of Scio" by Delacroix, the
"Baptism of Henri IV." by Eugene Deveria, admitted by celebrated
artists accused of jealousy, showed the world, in spite of the denials
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Snow Image by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
with him. A simple soul,--simple as when his mother first taught
him the old prophecy,--he beheld the marvellous features beaming
adown the valley, and still wondered that their human counterpart
was so long in making his appearance.
By this time poor Mr. Gathergold was dead and buried; and the
oddest part of the matter was, that his wealth, which was the
body and spirit of his existence, had disappeared before his
death, leaving nothing of him but a living skeleton, covered over
with a wrinkled yellow skin. Since the melting away of his gold,
it had been very generally conceded that there was no such
striking resemblance, after all, betwixt the ignoble features of
The Snow Image
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Large Catechism by Dr. Martin Luther:
that it may be inculcated on our youth, not in a high and subtle
manner, but briefly and with the greatest simplicity, so as to enter
the mind readily and be fixed in the memory. Therefore we shall now
take up the above mentioned articles one by one and in the plainest
manner possible say about them as much as is necessary.
Part First. The Ten Commandments.
The First Commandment.
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
|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 Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
behind the house. It was a very hot and quiet afternoon; scarce a
ripple anywhere upon the sea, nor any voice but the familiar voice
of sheep and gulls; and perhaps in consequence of this repose in
nature, my kinsman showed himself more rational and tranquil than
before. He spoke evenly and almost cheerfully of my career, with
every now and then a reference to the lost ship or the treasures it
had brought to Aros. For my part, I listened to him in a sort of
trance, gazing with all my heart on that remembered scene, and
drinking gladly the sea-air and the smoke of peats that had been
lit by Mary.
Perhaps an hour had passed when my uncle, who had all the while