|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
that gild the days of youth, and judging Madame Firmiani by her
beauty, the old gentleman became convinced that a woman so innately
conscious of her dignity as she appeared to be was incapable of a bad
action. Her dark eyes told of inward peace; the lines of her face were
so noble, the profile so pure, and the passion he had come to
investigate seemed so little to oppress her heart, that the old man
said to himself, while noting all the promises of love and virtue
given by that adorable countenance, "My nephew is committing some
Madame Firmiani acknowledged to twenty-five. But the Practicals proved
that having married the invisible Firmiani (then a highly respectable
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:
rather certain, as in the case of sight, to be deceived by distance and
relation? In this case the pleasures and pains are not false because based
upon false opinion, but are themselves false. And there is another
illusion: pain has often been said by us to arise out of the derangement--
pleasure out of the restoration--of our nature. But in passing from one to
the other, do we not experience neutral states, which although they appear
pleasureable or painful are really neither? For even if we admit, with the
wise man whom Protarchus loves (and only a wise man could have ever
entertained such a notion), that all things are in a perpetual flux, still
these changes are often unconscious, and devoid either of pleasure or pain.
We assume, then, that there are three states--pleasureable, painful,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne:
"Real game! no, bread, indeed."
"I do not say that fish is not good; we must not abuse it;
but a piece of fresh venison, grilled on live coals,
will agreeably vary our ordinary course."
"Glutton!" said Conseil, "he makes my mouth water."
"It remains to be seen," I said, "if these forests are full of game,
and if the game is not such as will hunt the hunter himself."
"Well said, M. Aronnax," replied the Canadian, whose teeth seemed
sharpened like the edge of a hatchet; "but I will eat tiger--
loin of tiger--if there is no other quadruped on this island."
"Friend Ned is uneasy about it," said Conseil.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
|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 Bab:A Sub-Deb, Mary Roberts Rinehart by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
rouze us to our Peril? Are we to sit here, talking about housecleaning
and sowing women and how wide are skirts, when the minions of the German
Army may at any time turn us into slaves? Never!
LATER: Carter Brooks has sent me a book on First Aid. Ye gods, what
chance have I at a wounded Soldier when every person of the
Femanine Sex in this Country is learning First Aid, and even hoping
for small accidents so they can practice on them. No, there are
some who can use their hands (i. e. at bandageing and cutting small
boils, etcetera. Leila has just cut one for Henry, the chauffeur,
although not yellow on top and therfore not ready) and there are
others who do not care for Nursing, as they turn sick at the sight