|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Exiles by Honore de Balzac:
eyes. Overwhelmed by a luxury of sentiment, which weighed on his
heart, he stood there timid and weak--a midge in the sunbeams.
Sigier's discourse had proved to them the mysteries of the spiritual
world; the tall, old man was to invest them with glory; the lad felt
them in himself, though he could in no way express them. The three
represented in living embodiment Science, Poetry, and Feeling.
On going into the house, the Exile shut himself into his room, lighted
the inspiring lamp, and gave himself over to the ruthless demon of
Work, seeking words of the silence and ideas of the night. Godefroid
sat down in his window sill, by turns gazing at the moon reflected in
the water, and studying the mysteries of the sky. Lost in one of the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
till they reached La Baudraye, where Dinah fled indoors, trying not to
be seen by any one. In her agitation she threw herself on a sofa and
burst into tears.
"If I am an object of horror to you, of aversion or scorn, I will go,"
said Lousteau, who had followed her. And he threw himself at her feet.
It was at this crisis that Madame Piedefer came in, saying to her
"What is the matter? What has happened?"
"Give your daughter another dress at once," said the audacious
Parisian in the prim old lady's ear.
Hearing the mad gallop of Gatien's horse, Madame de la Baudraye fled
The Muse of the Department
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lysis by Plato:
I shall not ask which is the richer of the two, I said; for you are
friends, are you not?
Certainly, they replied.
And friends have all things in common, so that one of you can be no richer
than the other, if you say truly that you are friends.
They assented. I was about to ask which was the juster of the two, and
which was the wiser of the two; but at this moment Menexenus was called
away by some one who came and said that the gymnastic-master wanted him. I
supposed that he had to offer sacrifice. So he went away, and I asked
Lysis some more questions. I dare say, Lysis, I said, that your father and
mother love you very much.
|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 A Horse's Tale by Mark Twain:
of poultry; it is what you tell poultry by. Look at the mosquito."
"What do you reckon he is, then? He must be something."
"Why, he could be a reptile; anything that hasn't wings is a
"Who told you that?"
"Nobody told me, but I overheard it."
"Where did you overhear it?"
"Years ago. I was with the Philadelphia Institute expedition in
the Bad Lands under Professor Cope, hunting mastodon bones, and I
overheard him say, his own self, that any plantigrade circumflex
vertebrate bacterium that hadn't wings and was uncertain was a