|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:
joy as he listened to the solemn words of the president, which
betrayed the quiverings of a heart beneath the impassibility of human
justice. He was unable to stir from his place before the bar, and
seemed for a moment nailed there, gazing at the judges with a
wondering air, as though they were angels opening to him the gates of
social life. His uncle took him by the arm and led him from the hall.
Cesar had not as yet obeyed the command of Louis XVIII., but he now
mechanically fastened the ribbon of the Legion of honor to his button-
hole. In a moment he was surrounded by his friends and borne in
triumph down the great stairway to his coach.
"Where are you taking me, my friends?" he said to Joseph Lebas,
Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Critias by Plato:
came down in the direction of the sea, having the district of Oropus on the
right, and with the river Asopus as the limit on the left. The land was
the best in the world, and was therefore able in those days to support a
vast army, raised from the surrounding people. Even the remnant of Attica
which now exists may compare with any region in the world for the variety
and excellence of its fruits and the suitableness of its pastures to every
sort of animal, which proves what I am saying; but in those days the
country was fair as now and yielded far more abundant produce. How shall I
establish my words? and what part of it can be truly called a remnant of
the land that then was? The whole country is only a long promontory
extending far into the sea away from the rest of the continent, while the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas:
but without words, protestations, or vows, my life has
entwined itself with yours; you leave me, and you are right
in doing so, -- I repeat it, you are right; but in losing
you, I lose my life.
"The moment you leave me, Valentine, I am alone in the
world. My sister is happily married; her husband is only my
brother-in-law, that is, a man whom the ties of social life
alone attach to me; no one then longer needs my useless
life. This is what I shall do; I will wait until the very
moment you are married, for I will not lose the shadow of
one of those unexpected chances which are sometimes reserved
The Count of Monte Cristo
|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 Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:
resist a display of this kind; Brunner caught Cecile's hand, made her
turn, and watched her confusion under his gaze, after the manner of
the heroes of the novels of Auguste Lafontaine of chaste memory.
"You are adorable," said he.
Cecile's petulant gesture replied, "So are you--who could help liking
"It is all right, mamma," she whispered to her parent, who came up at
that moment with Pons.
The sight of a family party on these occasions is not to be described.
Everybody was well satisfied to see a mother put her hand on an
eligible son-in-law. Compliments, double-barreled and double-charged,