|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Commission in Lunacy by Honore de Balzac:
of the judges of this Court to make his report to you on any day you
may be pleased to name, and thereupon to pronounce judgment,' etc.
"And here," said Popinot, "is the President's order instructing me!--
Well, what does the Marquise d'Espard want with me? I know everything.
But I shall go to-morrow with my registrar to see M. le Marquis, for
this does not seem at all clear to me."
"Listen, my dear uncle, I have never asked the least little favor of
you that had to do with your legal functions; well, now I beg you to
show Madame d'Espard the kindness which her situation deserves. If she
came here, you would listen to her?"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde:
not suffered even the grave to hide her from him. She had been
embalmed by a Moorish physician, who in return for this service had
been granted his life, which for heresy and suspicion of magical
practices had been already forfeited, men said, to the Holy Office,
and her body was still lying on its tapestried bier in the black
marble chapel of the Palace, just as the monks had borne her in on
that windy March day nearly twelve years before. Once every month
the King, wrapped in a dark cloak and with a muffled lantern in his
hand, went in and knelt by her side calling out, 'MI REINA! MI
REINA!' and sometimes breaking through the formal etiquette that in
Spain governs every separate action of life, and sets limits even
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
hurry. Not a very substantial authority indeed, unless on the
ground of sudden inspiration, which was hardly tenable.
"Frankly now, could she have been really inspired?" he queried,
with grave irony, keeping his back to the room, as if entranced by
the contemplation of the town's colossal forms half lost in the
night. He did not even look round when he heard the mutter of the
word "Providential" from the principal subordinate of his
department, whose name, printed sometimes in the papers, was
familiar to the great public as that of one of its zealous and
hard-working protectors. Chief Inspector Heat raised his voice a
The Secret Agent
|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 Historical Lecturers and Essays by Charles Kingsley:
born to him; and then came, as to many of the best in those days,
even sorer trials, trials of the conscience, trials of faith.
For in the meantime Rondelet had become a Protestant, like many of
the wisest men round him; like, so it would seem from the event, the
majority of the university and the burghers of Montpellier. It is
not to be wondered at. Montpellier was a sort of halfway resting-
place for Protestant preachers, whether fugitive or not, who were
passing from Basle, Geneva, or Lyons, to Marguerite of Navarre's
little Protestant court at Pan or at Nerac, where all wise and good
men, and now and then some foolish and fanatical ones, found shelter
and hospitality. Thither Calvin himself had been, passing probably