|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Study of a Woman by Honore de Balzac:
germs of flattering hopes. Beaux, wits, and fops, men whose sentiments
are fed by sucking their canes, those of a great name, or a great
fame, those of the highest or the lowest rank in her own world, they
all blanch before her. She has conquered the right to converse as long
and as often as she chooses with the men who seem to her agreeable,
without being entered on the tablets of gossip. Certain coquettish
women are capable of following a plan of this kind for seven years in
order to gratify their fancies later; but to suppose any such
reservations in the Marquise de Listomere would be to calumniate her.
I have had the happiness of knowing this phoenix. She talks well; I
know how to listen; consequently I please her, and I go to her
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Reason Discourse by Rene Descartes:
which the Author has discovered, in the third, certain of the rules of
Morals which he has deduced from this Method; in the fourth, the
reasonings by which he establishes the existence of God and of the Human
Soul, which are the foundations of his Metaphysic; in the fifth, the order
of the Physical questions which he has investigated, and, in particular,
the explication of the motion of the heart and of some other difficulties
pertaining to Medicine, as also the difference between the soul of man and
that of the brutes; and, in the last, what the Author believes to be
required in order to greater advancement in the investigation of Nature
than has yet been made, with the reasons that have induced him to write.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain:
ordinary yard, with a low fence running back through its middle
from the street in front to the lane in the rear. The distance was
not great, and Wilson was able to see the girl very well,
the window shades of the room she was in being up, and the window also.
The girl had on a neat and trim summer dress, patterned in broad stripes
of pink and white, and her bonnet was equipped with a pink veil.
She was practicing steps, gaits and attitudes, apparently; she was
doing the thing gracefully, and was very much absorbed in her work.
Who could she be, and how came she to be in young Tom Driscoll's room?
Wilson had quickly chosen a position from which he could watch the girl
without running much risk of being seen by her, and he remained there
|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 Russia in 1919 by Arthur Ransome:
bumpity drive to the station, reminding me of similar though
livelier experiences in the earlier days of the revolution when
lorries were used for the transport of machine guns, red
guards, orators, enthusiasts of all kinds, and any stray
persons who happened to clamber on.
At the Nikolai Station we found perfect order until we got
into our wagon, an old third-class wagon, in which a
certain number of places which one of the party had
reserved had been occupied by people who had no right
to be there. Even this difficulty was smoothed out in a
manner that would have been impossible a year