|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:
Ernest was now fascinated by the great gulf of the unseen. The unseen
is the obscurity of infinitude, and nothing is more alluring. In that
sombre vastness fires flash, and furrow and color the abyss with
fancies like those of Martin. For a busy man like Canalis, an
adventure of this kind is swept away like a harebell by a mountain
torrent, but in the more unoccupied life of the young secretary, this
charming girl, whom his imagination persistently connected with the
blonde beauty at the window, fastened upon his heart, and did as much
mischief in his regulated life as a fox in a poultry-yard. La Briere
allowed himself to be preoccupied by this mysterious correspondent;
and he answered her last letter with another, a pretentious and
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The School For Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan:
SIR OLIVER. That was unlucky truly--for you have had no opportunity
of showing your Talents.
MOSES. None at all--I hadn't the Pleasure of knowing his Distresses
till he was some thousands worse than nothing, till it was impossible
to add to them.
SIR OLIVER. Unfortunate indeed! but I suppose you have done all
in your Power for him honest Moses?
MOSES. Yes he knows that--This very evening I was to have brought
him a gentleman from the city who does not know him and will
I believe advance some money.
SIR PETER. What[!] one Charles has never had money from before?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:
cruelly murdered, and, contrary to the Roman laws and customs,
not requiring or staying for the people's suffrages, had
possessed himself of the kingdom, went, accompanied with his sons
and other noblemen of Rome, to besiege Ardea. During which siege
the principal men of the army meeting one evening at the tent of
Sextus Tarquinius, the king's son, in their discourses after
supper, every one commended the virtues of his own wife; among
whom Collatinus extolled the incomparable chastity of his wife
Lucretia. In that pleasant humour they all posted to Rome; and
intending, by their secret and sudden arrival, to make trial of
that which every one had before avouched, only Collatinus finds
|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 Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll:
When the third repetition occurred.
It felt that, in spite of all possible pains,
It had somehow contrived to lose count,
And the only thing now was to rack its poor brains
By reckoning up the amount.
"Two added to one--if that could but be done,"
It said, "with one's fingers and thumbs!"
Recollecting with tears how, in earlier years,
It had taken no pains with its sums.
"The thing can be done," said the Butcher, "I think.
The thing must be done, I am sure.
The Hunting of the Snark