|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Unconscious Comedians by Honore de Balzac:
must next be shown the ascarides, the taenia, the intestinal worm,--
the republican, since I must needs name him," said Leon.
When the three friends were once more packed into their hackney-coach,
Gazonal looked at his cousin and Bixiou like a man who had a mind to
launch a flood of oratorical and Southern bile upon the elements.
"I distrusted with all my might this great hussy of a town," he rolled
out in Southern accents; "but since this morning I despise her! The
poor little province you think so petty is an honest girl; but Paris
is a prostitute, a greedy, lying comedian; and I am very thankful not
to be robbed of my skin in it."
"The day is not over yet," said Bixiou, sententiously, winking at
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Modeste Mignon by Honore de Balzac:
which was supple and yet not fragile, had no terrors for maternity,
like those of girls who seek beauty by the fatal pressure of a corset.
Steel and dimity and lacings defined but did not create the serpentine
lines of the elegant figure, graceful as that of a young poplar
swaying in the wind.
A pearl-gray dress with crimson trimmings, made with a long waist,
modestly outlined the bust and covered the shoulders, still rather
thin, with a chemisette which left nothing to view but the first
curves of the throat where it joined the shoulders. From the aspect of
the young girl's face, at once ethereal and intelligent, where the
delicacy of a Greek nose with its rosy nostrils and firm modelling
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass:
Whence came the daring spirit necessary to grapple with a man
who, eight-and-forty hours before, could, with his slightest word
have made me tremble like a leaf in a storm, I do not know; at
any rate, _I was resolved to fight_, and, what was better still,
I was actually hard at it. The fighting madness had come upon
me, and I found my strong fingers firmly attached to the throat
of my cowardly tormentor; as heedless of consequences, at the
moment, as though we stood as equals before the law. The very
color of the man was forgotten. I felt as supple as a cat, and
was ready for the snakish creature at every turn. Every blow of
his was parried, though I dealt no blows in turn. I was strictly
My Bondage and My Freedom
|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 Desert Gold by Zane Grey:
and scorned himself for doubting.
There in the gloom sat the silent, impassive, inscrutable Yaqui.
His dark face, his dark eyes were plain in the light of the stars.
Always he was near Gale, unobtrusive, shadowy, but there. Why?
Gale absolutely could not doubt that the Indian had heart as well
as mind. Yaqui had from the very first stood between Gale and
accident, toil, peril. It was his own choosing. Gale could not
change him or thwart him. He understood the Indian's idea of
obligation and sacred duty. But there was more, and that baffled
Gale. In the night hours, alone on the slope, Gale felt in Yaqui,
as he felt the mighty throb of that desert pulse, a something that