|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Chouans by Honore de Balzac:
"Well, the readiness with which I do so will cure your illusions."
"Do you wish to save me from the danger of the emotions you cause?"
"Stop, stop!" she cried; "do not try to entangle me in such boudoir
riddles. I don't like to find the wit of fools in a man of your
character. See! here we are beneath the glorious sky, in the open
country; before us, above us, all is grand. You wish to tell me that I
am beautiful, do you not? Well, your eyes have already told me so;
besides, I know it; I am not a woman whom mere compliments can please.
But perhaps you would like," this with satirical emphasis, "to talk
about your /sentiments/? Do you think me so simple as to believe that
sudden sympathies are powerful enough to influence a whole life
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Purse by Honore de Balzac:
was not yet in power, and I was refused a pension. When I applied
again for it, quite lately, I was sternly informed that if the
Baron de Rouville had emigrated I should not have lost him; that
by this time he would have been a rear-admiral; finally, his
Excellency quoted I know not what degree of forfeiture. I took
this step, to which I was urged by my friends, only for the sake
of my poor Adelaide. I have always hated the idea of holding out
my hand as a beggar in the name of a grief which deprives a woman
of voice and strength. I do not like this money valuation for
blood irreparably spilt----"
"Dear mother, this subject always does you harm."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner:
entirely from physical reproduction. That noble as is the function of the
physical reproduction of humanity by the union of man and woman, rightly
viewed, that union has in it latent, other, and even higher forms, of
creative energy and life-dispensing power, and that its history on earth
has only begun. As the first wild rose when it hung from its stem with its
centre of stamens and pistils and its single whorl of pale petals, had only
begun its course, and was destined, as the ages passed, to develop stamen
upon stamen and petal upon petal, till it assumed a hundred forms of joy
And, it would indeed almost seem, that, on the path toward the higher
development of sexual life on earth, as man has so often had to lead in
|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 Troll Garden and Selected Stories by Willa Cather:
shoulders and, untangling his long legs, caught his heels on the
rounds of his chair.
"S'pose there'll be a will, Phelps?" he queried in his weak
The banker laughed disagreeably and began trimming his nails
with a pearl-handled pocketknife.
"There'll scarcely be any need for one, will there?" he
queried in his turn.
The restless Grand Army man shifted his position again,
getting his knees still nearer his chin. "Why, the ole man says
Harve's done right well lately," he chirped.
The Troll Garden and Selected Stories