|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:
made a banker, who set on foot and directed vast enterprises; the
head, namely, of the house of Claparon.
The fate of Charles Claparon would be, if du Tillet's scheme ended in
bankruptcy, a swift deliverance to the tender mercies of Jews and
Pharisees; and he well knew it. But to a poor devil who was
despondently roaming the boulevard with a future of forty sous in his
pocket when his old comrade du Tillet chanced to meet him, the little
gains that he was to get out of the affair seemed an Eldorado. His
friendship, his devotion, to du Tillet, increased by unreflecting
gratitude and stimulated by the wants of a libertine and vagabond
life, led him to say /amen/ to everything. Having sold his honor, he
Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
pleasant things here in Bunnybury that I would miss if I went away.
So perhaps I'd better stay."
Dorothy laughed. Then she looked grave.
"It won't do for you to be a King and a cry-baby at the same time,"
she said. "You've been making all the other rabbits unhappy and
discontented with your howls about being so miserable. So I guess
it's better to have another King."
"Oh, no indeed!" exclaimed the King, earnestly. "If you won't say
anything to Glinda I'll promise to be merry and gay all the time,
and never cry or wail again."
"Honor bright?" she asked.
The Emerald City of Oz
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Street of Seven Stars by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
sounds echoed and reechoed sadly through the silent rooms--it was
when she was ready for bed that she found the money under her
pillow, and a scrawl from Scatchy, a breathless, apologetic
scrawl, little Scatchett having adored her from afar, as the
plain adore the beautiful, the mediocre the gifted:--
DEAREST HARRY [here a large blot, Scatchy being addicted to
blots]: I am honestly frightened when I think what we are doing.
But, oh, my dear, if you could know how pleased we are with
ourselves you'd not deny us this pleasure. Harry, you have
it--the real thing, you know, whatever it is--and I haven't. None
of the rest of us had. And you must stay. To go now, just when
|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 Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
never wounds; she neither discourses nor argues, but she likes to lead
a discussion and stop it at the right moment. Her manner is affable
and smiling, her politeness never forced, her readiness to serve
others never servile; she reduces the respect she claims to a soft
shadow; she never wearies you, and you leave her satisfied with her
and with yourself. Her charming grace is conveyed to all the things
with which she surrounds herself. Everything about her pleases the
eye; in her presence you breathe, as it were, your native air. This
woman is natural. There is no effort about her; she is aiming at no
effect; her feelings are shown simply, because they are true. Frank
herself, she does not wound the vanity of others; she accepts men as