|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Georgics by Virgil:
Faints, turns him from the springs, and paws the earth
With ceaseless hoof: low droop his ears, wherefrom
Bursts fitful sweat, a sweat that waxes cold
Upon the dying beast; the skin is dry,
And rigidly repels the handler's touch.
These earlier signs they give that presage doom.
But, if the advancing plague 'gin fiercer grow,
Then are their eyes all fire, deep-drawn their breath,
At times groan-laboured: with long sobbing heave
Their lowest flanks; from either nostril streams
Black blood; a rough tongue clogs the obstructed jaws.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Firm of Nucingen by Honore de Balzac:
in their goodness, refrained from asking any more than a thousand, or
five hundred, or even two hundred and fifty francs. It was not given
out that the experiment in aere publico was not meant to last for more
than seven, five, or even three years, so that shareholders would not
have long to wait for the catastrophe. It was in the childhood of the
art. Promoters did not even publish the gigantic prospectuses with
which they stimulate the imagination, and at the same time make
demands for money of all and sundry."
"That only comes when nobody wishes to part with money," said Couture.
"In short, there was no competition in investments," continued Bixiou.
"Paper-mache manufacturers, cotton printers, zinc-rollers, theatres,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Margret Howth: A Story of To-day by Rebecca Harding Davis:
looking up at Mrs. Howth and Joel, laughing as they talked with
her. The face would have startled you on so old and stunted a
body. It was a child's face, quick, eager, with that pitiful
beauty you always see in deformed people. Her eyes, I think,
were the kindliest, the hopefullest I ever saw. Nothing but the
livid thickness of her skin betrayed the fact that set Lois apart
from even the poorest poor,--the taint in her veins of black
"Whoy! be n't this Tiger?" said Joel, as the dog ran yelping
about him. "How comed yoh with him, Lois?"
"Tiger an' his master's good friends o' mine,--you remember they
Margret Howth: A Story of To-day
|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 Blix by Frank Norris:
speak to me of aesthetics. Cat-tails, GILDED. Of course, why not
GILDED!" He wrung his hands. "'Somewhere people are happy.
Somewhere little children are at play--'"
"Oh, hush!" she interrupted. "I know it's bad; but we've always
had it so, and I won't have it abused. Let's go into the dining-
room, anyway. We'll sit in there after this. We've always been
stiff and constrained in here."
They went out into the dining-room, and drew up a couple of arm-
chairs into the bay window, and sat there looking out. Blix had