|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Under the Red Robe by Stanley Weyman:
'Is he--is he not a little mad?" I ventured. I wanted to make
her talk and forget herself.
She looked at me with sudden keenness, then dropped her eyes,
'You do not like him?' she said, a note of challenge in her
voice. 'I have noticed that, Monsieur.'
'I think he does not like me,' I replied.
'He is less trustful than we are,' she answered naively. 'It is
natural that he should be. He has seen more of the world.'
That silenced me for a moment, but she did not seem to notice it.
'I was looking for him a little while ago, and I could not find
him,' I said, after a pause
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Modeste Mignon by Honore de Balzac:
family attracted instant notice as that of one whose irreproachable
life defies the assaults of destiny, which nevertheless makes her the
target of its arrows and a member of the unnumbered tribe of Niobes.
Her blonde wig, carefully curled and well arranged upon her head,
became the cold white face which resembled that of some burgomaster's
wife painted by Hals or Mirevelt. The extreme neatness of her dress,
the velvet boots, the lace collar, the shawl evenly folded and put on,
all bore testimony to the solicitous care which Modeste bestowed upon
When silence was, as the notary had predicted, restored in the pretty
salon, Modeste, sitting beside her mother, for whom she was
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
guaranteed him against the evils which overtook his co-religionists.
The duke, who considered himself under obligations for life to
Ambroise Pare, had lately caused him to be appointed chief-surgeon to
"What is it, monseigneur?" said Ambroise. "Is the king ill? I think it
"The queen is too pretty," replied the surgeon.
"Ah!" exclaimed the duke in astonishment. "However, that is not the
matter now," he added after a pause. "Ambroise, I want you to see a
friend of yours." So saying he drew him to the door of the council-
|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 Elixir of Life by Honore de Balzac:
one dead, save for those eyes. There was something automatic
about the moaning sounds that came from the mouth. Don Juan felt
something like shame that he must be brought thus to his father's
bedside, wearing a courtesan's bouquet, redolent of the fragrance
of the banqueting-chamber and the fumes of wine.
"You were enjoying yourself!" the old man cried as he saw his
Even as he spoke the pure high notes of a woman's voice,
sustained by the sound of the viol on which she accompanied her
song, rose above the rattle of the storm against the casements,
and floated up to the chamber of death. Don Juan stopped his ears