|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Deserted Woman by Honore de Balzac:
and related to the Cadignans, and the Blamont-Chauvrys. The head of
the illustrious house is invariably a determined sportsman. He has no
manners, crushes everybody else with his nominal superiority,
tolerates the sub-prefect much as he submits to the taxes, and
declines to acknowledge any of the novel powers created by the
nineteenth century, pointing out to you as a political monstrosity the
fact that the prime minister is a man of no birth. His wife takes a
decided tone, and talks in a loud voice. She has had adorers in her
time, but takes the sacrament regularly at Easter. She brings up her
daughters badly, and is of the opinion that they will always be rich
enough with their name.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:
me -- and we both fell silent.
"Observe, my dear doctor," I said, "that, but
for fools, the world would be a very dull place.
Look! Here are you and I, both sensible men!
We know beforehand that it is possible to dispute
ad infinitum about everything -- and so we do not
dispute. Each of us knows almost all the other's
secret thoughts: to us a single word is a whole
history; we see the grain of every one of our
feelings through a threefold husk. What is sad,
we laugh at; what is laughable, we grieve at;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
Liddy, ashamed of her flight and afraid to come back alone, drove
before her three terrified women-servants into the drawing-room,
which was as near as any of them would venture.
Once in the drawing-room, Gertrude collapsed and went from one
fainting spell into another. I had all I could do to keep Liddy
from drowning her with cold water, and the maids huddled in a
corner, as much use as so many sheep. In a short time, although
it seemed hours, a car came rushing up, and Anne Watson, who had
waited to dress, opened the door. Three men from the Greenwood
Club, in all kinds of costumes, hurried in. I recognized a Mr.
Jarvis, but the others were strangers.
The Circular Staircase
|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 First Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln:
can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice.
At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy
of the government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people,
is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court,
the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties
in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers,
having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands
of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon
the court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink
to decide cases properly brought before them, and it is no fault of
theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.