|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Two Poets by Honore de Balzac:
A few habitues slipped in familiarly among the rest, so did one or two
eldest sons; shy, mute young men tricked out in gorgeous jewelry, and
highly honored by an invitation to this literary solemnity, the
boldest men among them so far shook off the weight of awe as to
chatter a good deal with Mlle. de la Haye. The women solemnly arranged
themselves in a circle, and the men stood behind them. It was a quaint
assemblage of wrinkled countenances and heterogeneous costumes, but
none the less it seemed very alarming to Lucien, and his heart beat
fast when he felt that every one was looking at him. His assurance
bore the ordeal with some difficulty in spite of the encouraging
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A treatise on Good Works by Dr. Martin Luther:
God in prayer and lamentation, to exercise faith thereby? Answer:
First, every man's own besetting need and trouble, of which David
says, Psalm xxxii: "Thou art my refuge in all trouble which
compasseth me about; Thou art my comfort, to preserve me from all
evil which surrounds me." Likewise, Psalm cxlii: "I cried unto
the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make
my supplication. I poured out my complaint before Him; I showed
before Him my trouble." In the mass a Christian shall keep in
mind the short-comings or excesses he feels, and pour out all
these freely before God with weeping and groaning, as woefully
as he can, as to his faithful Father, who is ready to help him.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Captain Stormfield by Mark Twain:
sick and nearly starved to death, they had him out and crowned him,
and then they rode him on a rail about the village, and everybody
followed along, beating tin pans and yelling. Well, he died before
morning. He wasn't ever expecting to go to heaven, much less that
there was going to be any fuss made over him, so I reckon he was a
good deal surprised when the reception broke on him."
"Was you there, Sandy?"
"Bless you, no!"
"Why? Didn't you know it was going to come off?"
"Well, I judge I did. It was the talk of these realms - not for a
day, like this barkeeper business, but for twenty years before the
|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 Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
which took wing--rowed, and talked of their hetman.
ST. JOHN'S EVE
A STORY TOLD BY THE SACRISTAN OF THE DIKANKA CHURCH
Thoma Grigroovitch had one very strange eccentricity: to the day of
his death he never liked to tell the same thing twice. There were
times when, if you asked him to relate a thing afresh, he would
interpolate new matter, or alter it so that it was impossible to
recognise it. Once upon a time, one of those gentlemen who, like the
usurers at our yearly fairs, clutch and beg and steal every sort of
frippery, and issue mean little volumes, no thicker than an A B C
book, every month, or even every week, wormed this same story out of
Taras Bulba and Other Tales