|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
of that clear enough? There'll be troubles. If the queens want their
surcoats, they must send for them. The Prince de Conde has perhaps
made up his mind to kill Messieurs de Guise; who, on their side,
expect to rid themselves of him. The prince will use the Huguenots to
protect himself. Why should the son of a furrier get himself into that
fray? When you are married, and when you are councillor to the
Parliament, you will be as prudent as your father. Before belonging to
the new religion, the son of a furrier ought to wait until the rest of
the world belongs to it. I don't condemn the Reformers; it is not my
business to do so; but the court is Catholic, the two queens are
Catholic, the Parliament is Catholic; we must supply them with furs,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Letters from England by Elizabeth Davis Bancroft:
know each other or the English so well as to give the same easy flow
to conversation. I am afraid we are the greatest diners-out in
London, but we are brought into contact a great deal with the
literary and Parliamentary people, which our colleagues know little
about, as also with the clergy and the judges. I should not be
willing to make it the habit of my life, but it is time not misspent
during the years of our abode here. . . . The good old Archbishop of
York is dead, and I am glad I paid my visit to him when I did. Mr.
Rogers has paid me a long visit to-day and gave me all the
particulars of his death. It was a subject I should not have
introduced, for of that knot of intimate friends, Mr. Grenville, the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Man of Business by Honore de Balzac:
"Had hair like this!" cried Bixiou, ruffling his locks till they stood
on end. Gifted with the same talent for mimicking absurdities which
Chopin the pianist possesses to so high a degree, he proceeded
forthwith to represent the character with startling truth.
"He rolls his head like this when he speaks; he was once a commercial
traveler; he has been all sorts of things--"
"Well, he was born to travel, for at this minute, as I speak, he is on
the sea on his way to America," said Desroches. "It is his only
chance, for in all probability he will be condemned by default as a
fraudulent bankrupt next session."
"Very much at sea!" exclaimed Malaga.
|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 The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:
They dance around him, they fling red roses upon him,
They trample him with their naked feet,
His cries are lost in laughter,
Their feet grow dark with his blood, they beat and
They dance upon him, until he cries no more . . .
Have we not heard that cry before?
Beside a sea, in the green evening,
Beneath green clouds, in a copper sky . . .
Was it you? was it I?