|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
to myself, 'Now for my rostrum eloquence. He is tied to the
dynasty; I'll cook him; this triumph will be capital practice for
my ministerial talents.' So I went to work and praised his
'Debats.' Hein! if I didn't lead him along! Thread by thread, I
began to net my man. I launched my four-horse phrases, and the F-
sharp arguments, and all the rest of the cursed stuff. Everybody
listened; and I saw a man who had July as plain as day on his
mustache, just ready to nibble at a 'Movement.' Well, I don't know
how it was, but I unluckily let fall the word 'blockhead.'
Thunder! you should have seen my gray hat, my dynastic hat
(shocking bad hat, anyhow), who got the bit in his teeth and was
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:
misery, while the parents of good children have undergone the misfortune of
losing them, and have been so little happier than the others that they
would have preferred never to have had children rather than to have had
them and lost them. And yet, although these and the like examples are
manifest and known of all, it is rare to find any one who has refused what
has been offered him, or, if he were likely to gain aught by prayer, has
refrained from making his petition. The mass of mankind would not decline
to accept a tyranny, or the command of an army, or any of the numerous
things which cause more harm than good: but rather, if they had them not,
would have prayed to obtain them. And often in a short space of time they
change their tone, and wish their old prayers unsaid. Wherefore also I
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson:
employment - with which the situation might be gilded. Indeed, as a
person frankly bad, she pleased me, in the court of Grunewald, like
a piece of nature.
The power of this man over the Princess is, therefore, without
bounds. She has sacrificed to the adoration with which he has
inspired her not only her marriage vow and every shred of public
decency, but that vice of jealousy which is so much dearer to the
female sex than either intrinsic honour or outward consideration.
Nay, more: a young, although not a very attractive woman, and a
princess both by birth and fact, she submits to the triumphant
rivalry of one who might be her mother as to years, and who is so
|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 Persuasion by Jane Austen:
as large as a three-shilling piece. If you look across the street,
you will see Admiral Brand coming down and his brother. Shabby fellows,
both of them! I am glad they are not on this side of the way.
Sophy cannot bear them. They played me a pitiful trick once:
got away with some of my best men. I will tell you the whole story
another time. There comes old Sir Archibald Drew and his grandson.
Look, he sees us; he kisses his hand to you; he takes you for my wife.
Ah! the peace has come too soon for that younker. Poor old Sir Archibald!
How do you like Bath, Miss Elliot? It suits us very well.
We are always meeting with some old friend or other; the streets
full of them every morning; sure to have plenty of chat;