|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:
ORESTES FASTING AND PYLADES DRUNK
At length, by dint of mounting on each other's backs,
aiding themselves with the skeleton of the staircase, climbing up
the walls, clinging to the ceiling, slashing away at the very brink
of the trap-door, the last one who offered resistance, a score
of assailants, soldiers, National Guardsmen, municipal guardsmen,
in utter confusion, the majority disfigured by wounds in the face during
that redoubtable ascent, blinded by blood, furious, rendered savage,
made an irruption into the apartment on the first floor. There they
found only one man still on his feet, Enjolras. Without cartridges,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Juana by Honore de Balzac:
"Come!" he said to himself; "but what of poison? or the dagger or
carbine of Perez? And that apprentice not yet asleep, perhaps, in the
shop? and the servant in her hammock? Besides, this old house echoes
the slightest sound; I can hear old Perez snoring even here. Come,
indeed! She can have nothing more to lose."
Bitter reflection! rakes alone are logical and will punish a woman for
devotion. Man created Satan and Lovelace; but a virgin is an angel on
whom he can bestow naught but his own vices. She is so grand, so
beautiful, that he cannot magnify or embellish her; he has only the
fatal power to blast her and drag her down into his own mire.
Montefiore waited for a later and more somnolent hour of the night;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Spirit of the Border by Zane Grey:
with what might have been expected from his aspect. Then, seeing Joe's head
covered with blood, he continued: "Able to get up?"
"I'm not hurt," answered Joe, rising when his bonds had been cut.
"Brothers, I reckon?" Wetzel said, bending over Jim.
"Yes, we're brothers. Wake up, Jim, wake up! We're saved!"
"What? Who's that?" cried Jim, sitting up and staring at Wetzel.
"This man has saved our lives! See, Jim, the Indians are dead! And, Jim, it's
Wetzel, the hunter. You remember, Jeff Lynn said I'd know him if I ever saw
"What happened to Jeff?" inquired Wetzel, interrupting. He had turned from
Jim's grateful face.
The Spirit of the Border
|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 Sons of the Soil by Honore de Balzac:
--Rigou, Soudry, and Gaubertin--wielded in election periods over
electors whose fortunes depended on their good-will.
Hate, intelligence, and means at command, such were the three sides of
the terrible triangle which describes the general's closest enemy, the
spy ever watching Les Aigues,--a shark having constant dealings with
sixty to eighty small land-owners, relations or connections of the
peasantry, who feared him as such men always fear their creditor.
Rigou was in his way another Tonsard. The one throve on thefts from
nature, the other waxed fat on legal plunder. Both liked to live well.
It was the same nature in two species,--the one natural, the other
whetted by his training in a cloister.