|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas:
"Reflect, M. Raoul; wait."
"Wait! it is impossible. Reflect, Louise, when you are
concerned! it would be insulting, -- give me your hand, dear
Louise; I am my own master. My father will consent, I know;
give me your hand, do not keep me waiting thus. One word in
answer, one word only; if not, I shall begin to think that,
in order to change you forever, nothing more was needed than
a single step in the palace, a single breath of favor, a
smile from the queen, a look from the king."
Raoul had no sooner pronounced this latter word, than La
Ten Years Later
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Ion by Plato:
SOCRATES: But what about matters in which they do not agree?--for example,
about divination, of which both Homer and Hesiod have something to say,--
ION: Very true:
SOCRATES: Would you or a good prophet be a better interpreter of what
these two poets say about divination, not only when they agree, but when
ION: A prophet.
SOCRATES: And if you were a prophet, would you not be able to interpret
them when they disagree as well as when they agree?
SOCRATES: But how did you come to have this skill about Homer only, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Bronte Sisters:
about his proceedings, and complaining that you incite him to
commit those extravagances - one especially, in which she implores
me to use my influence with you to get you away from London, and
affirms that her husband never did such things before you came, and
would certainly discontinue them as soon as you departed and left
him to the guidance of his own good sense.'
'The detestable little traitor! Give me the letter, and he shall
see it as sure as I'm a living man.'
'No, he shall not see it without her consent; but if he did, there
is nothing there to anger him, nor in any of the others. She never
speaks a word against him: it is only anxiety for him that she
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
|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 Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
warmer than the superficial gallantry which is almost a duty of men
"Beauvoir never fully explained this rather obscure episode of the
story; it is at least certain that the commandant thought himself
justified in treating his prisoner with excessive severity. Beauvoir
was placed in the dungeon, fed on black bread and cold water, and
fettered in accordance with the time-honored traditions of the
treatment lavished on captives. His cell, under the fortress-yard, was
vaulted with hard stone, the walls were of desperate thickness; the
tower overlooked the precipice.
"When the luckless man had convinced himself of the impossibility of
The Muse of the Department