|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ferragus by Honore de Balzac:
the most enviable are those which enable the development of sentiments
to their fullest extent,--fertilizing them by the accomplishment of
even their caprices, and surrounding them with a brilliancy that
enlarges them, with refinements that purify them, with a thousand
delicacies that make them still more alluring. If you hate dinners on
the grass, and meals ill-served, if you feel a pleasure in seeing a
damask cloth that is dazzlingly white, a silver-gilt dinner service,
and porcelain of exquisite purity, lighted by transparent candles,
where miracles of cookery are served under silver covers bearing coats
of arms, you must, to be consistent, leave the garrets at the tops of
the houses, and the grisettes in the streets, abandon garrets,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Augsburg Confession by Philip Melanchthon:
Gospel, or of absolution, and believes that for Christ's sake,
sins are forgiven, comforts the conscience, and delivers it from
terrors. Then good works are bound to follow, which are the fruits
They condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that those once justified
can lose the Holy Ghost. Also those who contend that some may
attain to such perfection in this life that they cannot sin.
The Novatians also are condemned, who would not absolve such as had
fallen after Baptism, though they returned to repentance.
They also are rejected who do not teach that remission of sins comes
through faith but command us to merit grace through satisfactions of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Death of the Lion by Henry James:
her in which I tried to express that the function of such a man was
to exercise his genius - not to serve as a hoarding for pictorial
posters. The people I was perhaps angriest with were the editors
of magazines who had introduced what they called new features, so
aware were they that the newest feature of all would be to make him
grind their axes by contributing his views on vital topics and
taking part in the periodical prattle about the future of fiction.
I made sure that before I should have done with him there would
scarcely be a current form of words left me to be sick of; but
meanwhile I could make surer still of my animosity to bustling
ladies for whom he drew the water that irrigated their social
|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 Fanny Herself by Edna Ferber:
these details with a brisk capability that swept everything
before it. A sunny bedroom for Mizzi. But then, a bright
living room, too, for Theodore's hours of practice. No
noise. Chicago's roar maddened him. Otti shied at every
new contrivance that met her eye. She had to be broken in
to elevators, electric switches, hot and cold faucets,
"No apartment ever built could cover all the requirements,"
Fanny confided to Fenger, after the first harrowing week.
"What they really need is a combination palace, houseboat,
sanatorium, and creche."