|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sons of the Soil by Honore de Balzac:
"Good heavens, I'd rather burn Les Aigues myself!"
"No need to burn it; let us adopt a line of conduct which will baffle
the schemes of these Lilliputians. Judging by threats, general, they
are resolved on war to the knife against you; and therefore since you
mention incendiarism, let me beg of you to insure all your buildings,
and all your farmhouses."
"Michaud, do you know whom they mean by 'Shopman'? Yesterday, as I was
riding along by the Thune, I heard some little rascals cry out, 'The
Shopman! here's the Shopman!' and then they ran away."
"Ask Sibilet; the answer is in his line, he likes to make you angry,"
said Michaud, with a pained look. "But--if you will have an answer--
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gobseck by Honore de Balzac:
he had millions of francs at his command, he possessed the world no
less in idea--that world which he had explored, ransacked, weighed,
appraised, and exploited.
" 'Good day, Daddy Gobseck,' I began.
"He turned his face towards me with a slight contraction of his bushy,
black eyebrows; this characteristic shade of expression in him meant
as much as the most jubilant smile on a Southern face.
" 'You look just as gloomy as you did that day when the news came of
the failure of that bookseller whose sharpness you admired so much,
though you were one of his victims.'
" 'One of his victims?' he repeated, with a look of astonishment.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Lily of the Valley by Honore de Balzac:
be my happy sister. I will forgive her the harm she has done me if she
gives you what you could not have here. You are right; I have never
told you that I loved you, and I never have loved you as the world
loves. But if she is a mother how can she love you so?"
"Dear saint," I answered, "I must be less moved than I am now, before
I can explain to you how it is that you soar victoriously above her.
She is a woman of earth, the daughter of decaying races; you are the
child of heaven, an angel worthy of worship; you have my heart, she my
flesh only. She knows this and it fills her with despair; she would
change parts with you even though the cruellest martyrdom were the
price of the change. But all is irremediable. To you the soul, to you
The Lily of the Valley
|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 King Lear by William Shakespeare:
Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters.
I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness.
I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children,
You owe me no subscription. Then let fall
Your horrible pleasure. Here I stand your slave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and despis'd old man.
But yet I call you servile ministers,
That will with two pernicious daughters join
Your high-engender'd battles 'gainst a head
So old and white as this! O! O! 'tis foul!
Fool. He that has a house to put 's head in has a good