|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
"Monsieur Gatien," said Madame Chandier, "get Monsieur Lousteau to
talk a little louder. I have not heard him yet."
"What pretty boots he wears," said Mademoiselle Chandier to her
brother, "and how they shine!"
"Why haven't you the same?"
Lousteau began to feel that he was too much on show, and saw in the
manners of the good townsfolk indications of the desires that had
brought them there.
"What trick can I play them?" thought he.
At this moment the footman, so called--a farm-servant put into livery
The Muse of the Department
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Street of Seven Stars by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
Harmony, would understand. But McLean was young, intolerant. He
was more than that, though Peter, concealing from himself just
what Harmony meant to him, would not have admitted a rival for
what he had never claimed. But a rival the boy was. Peter, calmly
reading a magazine and drinking his Munich beer, was in the grip
of the fiercest jealousy. He turned pages automatically, to
recall nothing of what he had read.
McLean, sitting across from him, watched him surreptitiously. Big
Peter, aggressively masculine, heavy of shoulder, direct of
speech and eye, was to him the embodiment of all that a woman
should desire in a man. He, too, was jealous, but humbly so.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Apology by Plato:
there would have been some sense in my doing so; but now, as you will
perceive, not even the impudence of my accusers dares to say that I have
ever exacted or sought pay of any one; of that they have no witness. And I
have a sufficient witness to the truth of what I say--my poverty.
Some one may wonder why I go about in private giving advice and busying
myself with the concerns of others, but do not venture to come forward in
public and advise the state. I will tell you why. You have heard me speak
at sundry times and in divers places of an oracle or sign which comes to
me, and is the divinity which Meletus ridicules in the indictment. This
sign, which is a kind of voice, first began to come to me when I was a
child; it always forbids but never commands me to do anything which I am
|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 Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:
explaining Plate I.
(2) If any inland reader wishes to see the action of this foot, in
the bivalve Molluscs, let him look at the Common Pond-Mussel
(Anodon Cygneus), which he will find in most stagnant waters, and
see how he burrows with it in the mud, and how, when the water is
drawn off, he walks solemnly into deeper water, leaving a furrow
(3) These shells are so common that I have not cared to figure
(4) Plate IX. Fig. 3, represents both parasites on the dead