|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Myths and Myth-Makers by John Fiske:
suggested by the storm-cloud and the lightning must be
reserved for a future occasion. When carefully examined, they
will richly illustrate the conclusion which is the result of
the present inquiry, that the marvellous tales and quaint
superstitions current in every Aryan household have a common
origin with the classic legends of gods and heroes, which
formerly were alone thought worthy of the student's serious
attention. These stories--some of them familiar to us in
infancy, others the delight of our maturer years--constitute
the debris, or alluvium, brought down by the stream of
tradition from the distant highlands of ancient mythology.
Myths and Myth-Makers
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin:
young man, of excellent character, much respected in the town,
clerk of the Assembly, and a pretty poet. Keimer made verses too,
but very indifferently. He could not be said to write them, for his
manner was to compose them in the types directly out of his head.
So there being no copy, but one pair of cases, and the Elegy
likely to require all the letter, no one could help him.
I endeavor'd to put his press (which he had not yet us'd, and of
which he understood nothing) into order fit to be work'd with;
and, promising to come and print off his Elegy as soon as he
should have got it ready, I return'd to Bradford's, who gave me
a little job to do for the present, and there I lodged and dieted,
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:
note. "I was sure of him, poor brother!" said Birotteau, picking up
the note and continuing to read, in a voice broken by tears.
I went to Madame de Listomere, and without telling her the reason
of my request I asked her to lend me all she could dispose of, so
as to swell the amount of my savings. Her generosity has enabled
me to make up a thousand francs; which I send herewith, in a note
of the Receiver-General of Tours on the Treasury.
"A fine sum!" said Constance, looking at Cesarine.
By retrenching a few superfluities in my life, I can return the
four hundred francs Madame de Listomere has lent me in three
years; so do not make yourself uneasy about them, my dear Cesar. I
Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
|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 At the Sign of the Cat & Racket by Honore de Balzac:
untouched. This bit of mischief, and a few others of the same stamp,
would sometimes bring a smile on the face of the younger of
Guillaume's daughters, the pretty maiden who has just now appeared to
the bewitched man in the street.
Though each of these apprentices, even the eldest, paid a round sum
for his board, not one of them would have been bold enough to remain
at the master's table when dessert was served. When Madame Guillaume
talked of dressing the salad, the hapless youths trembled as they
thought of the thrift with which her prudent hand dispensed the oil.
They could never think of spending a night away from the house without
having given, long before, a plausible reason for such an