|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:
to me true, and a voice cried to me, 'Do not deceive him.' Monsieur le
marquis," she said, in a guttural voice which haughtily challenged
condemnation, "know this; I am a dishonored creature, unworthy of you.
From this hour I accept my fate as a lost woman. I am weary of playing
a part,--the part of a woman to whom you had brought back the
sanctities of her soul. Virtue is a burden to me. I should despise you
if you were weak enough to marry me. The Comte de Bauvan might commit
that folly, but you--you must be worthy of your future and leave me
without regret. A courtesan is too exacting; I should not love you
like the simple, artless girl who felt for a moment the delightful
hope of being your companion, of making you happy, of doing you honor,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Bureaucracy by Honore de Balzac:
him; and yet he never failed at midday to ask the man to buy him a
After trying to get a few reasonable ideas into this foolish head,
Rabourdin had finally given up the attempt as hopeless. Adolphe (his
family name was Adolphe) had lately economized on dinners and lived
entirely on bread and water, to buy a pair of spurs and a riding-whip.
Jokes at the expense of this starving Amadis were made only in the
spirit of mischievous fun which creates vaudevilles, for he was really
a kind-hearted fellow and a good comrade, who harmed no one but
himself. A standing joke in the two bureaus was the question whether
he wore corsets, and bets depended on it. Vimeux was originally
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Roads of Destiny by O. Henry:
the store Tansey saw a closed carriage standing with its back toward
him and a motionless driver perched in his place.
"Why, it's Tansey!" exclaimed Captain Peek. "How are you, Tansey? H-
have a cigar, Tansey?"
"Why, it's Peek!" cried Tansey, jubilant at his own temerity. "What
deviltry are you up to now, Peek? Back streets and a closed carriage!
"There's no one in the carriage," said the Captain, smoothly.
"Everybody out of it is in luck," continued Tansey, aggressively. "I'd
love for you to know, Peek, that I'm not stuck on you. You're a
|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 Virginian by Owen Wister:
"No. Not much. If I'd knowed that one was a detective story, I'd
have got yu' to try something else on me. Can you guess the
murderer, or is the author too smart for yu'? That's all they
amount to. Well, he was too smart for me this time, but that
didn't distress me any. That other book talks too much."
Molly was scandalized, and she told him it was a great work.
"Oh, yes, yes. A fine book. But it will keep up its talkin'.
Don't let you alone."
"Didn't you feel sorry for poor Maggie Tulliver?"
"Hmp. Yes. Sorry for her, and for Tawmmy, too. But the man did
right to drownd 'em both."