|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Man of Business by Honore de Balzac:
chest with all the pride of an old man with a mistress. Like old
General Montcornet, that pillar of the Vaudeville, he wore earrings.
Denisart was partial to blue; his roomy trousers and well-worn
greatcoat were both of blue cloth.
" 'How long is it since that old fogy came here?' inquired Maxime,
thinking that he saw danger in the spectacles.
" 'Oh, from the beginning,' returned Antonia, 'pretty nearly two
months ago now.'
" 'Good," said Maxime to himself, 'Cerizet only came to me a month
ago.--Just get him to talk,' he added in Antonia's ear; 'I want to
hear his voice.'
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Russia in 1919 by Arthur Ransome:
be there at all.
No man likes being hungry. No man likes being cold.
Everybody in Moscow, as in Petrograd, is both hungry and
cold. There is consequently very general and very bitter
discontent. This is of course increased, not lessened, by the
discipline introduced into the factories and the heavy
burden of the army, although the one is intended to hasten
the end of hunger and cold and the other for the defence of
the revolution. The Communists, as the party in power,
naturally bear the blame and are the objects of the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Pool in the Desert by Sara Jeanette Duncan:
it was possible to look abroad without a sudden painful thought of
contrasting temperatures. We may suppose that the inhabitants of
Paradise sometimes grieve over their luck. Even Madeline Anderson,
whose heart knew no constriction at the remembrance of brother or
husband at some cruel point in the blue expanse, had come to turn
her head more willingly the other way, towards the hills rolling up
to the snows, being a woman who suffered by proxy, and by
observation, and by Rudyard Kipling.
On this particular morning, however, she had not elected to do
either. She slept late instead, and was glad to sleep. I might as
well say at once that on the night before she had made up her mind,
|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 Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
painters call abatis, rose above the varnished leather of the shoes in
a swelling that was some inches high. How the feet were ever got into
the shoes, no one knows.
Following these vegetable parents was a young asparagus, who presented
a tiny head with smoothly banded hair of the yellow-carroty tone that
a Roman adores, long, stringy arms, a fairly white skin with reddish
spots upon it, large innocent eyes, and white lashes, scarcely any
brows, a leghorn bonnet bound with white satin and adorned with two
honest bows of the same satin, hands virtuously red, and the feet of
her mother. The faces of these three beings wore, as they looked round
the studio, an air of happiness which bespoke in them a respectable