|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
drew Luigi to her side, and said, in a caressing voice, her hand in
"You have good taste."
"Those words make me happy," he replied.
"But let me see all," said Ginevra, to whom Luigi had made a mystery
of the adornment of the rooms.
They entered the nuptial chamber, fresh and white as a virgin.
"Oh! come away," said Luigi, smiling.
"But I wish to see all."
And the imperious Ginevra looked at each piece of furniture with the
minute care of an antiquary examining a coin; she touched the silken
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:
about in space, or as the tides ebb and flow, by things older and
greater than we ourselves.'
'Alas!' she said, 'what can I say to you? My fathers, eight
hundred years ago, ruled all this province: they were wise, great,
cunning, and cruel; they were a picked race of the Spanish; their
flags led in war; the king called them his cousin; the people, when
the rope was slung for them or when they returned and found their
hovels smoking, blasphemed their name. Presently a change began.
Man has risen; if he has sprung from the brutes, he can descend
again to the same level. The breath of weariness blew on their
humanity and the cords relaxed; they began to go down; their minds
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Maitre Cornelius by Honore de Balzac:
truth, a fire was seldom made,--and no sign that any one had passed
down the flue; and moreover that the chimney issued at a part of the
roof which was almost inaccessible. At last, after two hours of close
investigation, marked with that sagacity which distinguished the
suspicious mind of Louis XI., it was clear to him, beyond all doubt,
that no one had forced an entrance into the strong-room of his
silversmith. No marks of violence were on the locks, nor on the iron
coffers which contained the gold, silver, and jewels deposited as
securities by wealthy debtors.
"If the robber opened this box," said the king, why did he take
nothing out of it but the jewels of the Duke of Bavaria? What reason
|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 Elizabeth and her German Garden by Marie Annette Beauchamp:
forth to her to the above effect a few hours later in the library,
restored to all my philosophy by the warmth and light, "and I find
my resolutions carry me very nicely into the spring. I revise them
at the end of each month, and strike out the unnecessary ones.
By the end of April they have been so severely revised that there
are none left."
"There, you see I am right; if you were not an old bottle your new
contents would gradually arrange themselves amiably as a part of you,
and <159> the practice of your resolutions would lose its bitterness
by becoming a habit."
She shook her head. "Such things never lose their bitterness," she said,
Elizabeth and her German Garden