|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Nana, Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille by Emile Zola:
moved by the way things were turning out, she took him in her arms
and comforted him to the best of her ability. Oh no, he was quite
beside the mark; she was expecting no one. If the gentleman came it
would not be her fault. What a great ninny that Zizi was to be
taking on so about nothing at all! By her child's soul she swore
she loved nobody except her own Georges. And with that she kissed
him and wiped away his tears.
"Now just listen! You'll see that it's all for your sake," she went
on when he had grown somewhat calmer. "Steiner has arrived--he's up
above there now. You know, duckie, I can't turn HIM out of doors."
"Yes, I know; I'm not talking of HIM," whispered the boy.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tales of the Klondyke by Jack London:
Passuk looked at the man, and at me, as though she were of two
minds, like a mother partridge whose young are in trouble. So I
turned to her and said, 'This man has been dealt unfair. Shall I
give him of our grub a portion?' I saw her eyes light, as with
quick pleasure; but she looked long at the man and at me, and her
mouth drew close and hard, and she said, 'No. The Salt Water is
afar off, and Death lies in wait. Better it is that he take this
stranger man and let my man Charley pass.' So the man went away
in the Silence toward Pelly. That night she wept. Never had I
seen her weep before. Nor was it the smoke of the fire, for the
wood was dry wood. So I marveled at her sorrow, and thought her
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac:
satisfied with the more limited opportunities of private play.
Baron Hulot went quickly up to Lisbeth's apartment, but the door was
locked, and the usual inquiries through the door took up time enough
to enable the two light-handed and cunning women to arrange the scene
of an attack of indigestion with the accessories of tea. Lisbeth was
in such pain that Valerie was very much alarmed, and consequently
hardly paid any heed to the Baron's furious entrance. Indisposition is
one of the screens most often placed by women to ward off a quarrel.
Hulot peeped about, here and there, but could see no spot in Cousin
Betty's room where a Brazilian might lie hidden.
"Your indigestion does honor to my wife's dinner, Lisbeth," said he,
|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 Ball at Sceaux by Honore de Balzac:
confession would cost his haughty mistress; she every minute hoped
that he would break a too respectful silence.
Emilie, seated on a rustic bench, was reflecting on all that had
happened in these three months full of enchantment. Her father's
suspicions were the last that could appeal to her; she even disposed
of them at once by two or three of those reflections natural to an
inexperienced girl, which, to her, seemed conclusive. Above all, she
was convinced that it was impossible that she should deceive herself.
All the summer through she had not been able to detect in Maximilien a
single gesture, or a single word, which could indicate a vulgar origin
or vulgar occupations; nay more, his manner of discussing things