|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from When the World Shook by H. Rider Haggard:
"Only wine, to signify the spirit of life, and flowers to
symbolise its fragrance," and she laid her finger on a cup-like
depression, still apparent in the marble, into which the wine was
Indeed, I gathered that there was nothing coarse or
bacchanalian about this worship of a prototype of Aphrodite; on
the contrary, that it was more or less spiritual and ethereal. We
sat down on the altar stone. I wondered a little that she should
have done so, but she read my thought, and answered:
"Sometimes we change our faiths, Humphrey, or perhaps they
When the World Shook
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Wheels of Chance by H. G. Wells:
greaser must needs go shouting insults--"
"_I_ didn't know the young lady would hear what I said," said
Charlie. " Surely one can speak friendly to one's friends. How
was I to know the door was open--"
Hoopdriver began to suspect that his antagonist was, if possible,
more seriously alarmed at the prospect of violence than himself,
and his spirits rose again. These chaps ought to have a thorough
lesson. "Of COURSE you knew the door was open," he retorted
indignantly. "Of COURSE you thought we should hear what you said.
Don't go telling lies about it. It's no good your saying things
like that. You've had your fun, and you meant to have your fun.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Seraphita by Honore de Balzac:
that water, air, and fire are NOT ELEMENTS. In another, he goes in a
few words to the heart of magnetic mysteries and deprives Mesmer of
the honors of a first knowledge of them.
"There," said Monsieur Becker, pointing to a long shelf against the
wall between the stove and the window on which were ranged books of
all sizes, "behold him! here are seventeen works from his pen, of
which one, his 'Philosophical and Mineralogical Works,' published in
1734, is in three folio volumes. These productions, which prove the
incontestable knowledge of Swedenborg, were given to me by Monsieur
Seraphitus, his cousin and the father of Seraphita.
"In 1740," continued Monsieur Becker, after a slight pause,
|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 Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
out upon the river. It had a glass door opening upon a sort of iron
balcony, from which the cook drew up water in a bucket, and where the
household washing was done. The back-shop was made the dining-room,
office, and salon of the merchant. In this important room (in all such
houses richly panelled and adorned with some special work of art, and
also a carved chest) the life of the merchant was passed; there the
joyous suppers after the work of the day was over, there the secret
conferences on the political interests of the burghers and of royalty
took place. The formidable corporations of Paris were at that time
able to arm a hundred thousand men. Therefore the opinions of the
merchants were backed by their servants, their clerks, their