|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
always asked me, when he had finished a piece of work, to give him my
opinion on it."
"Just as Moliere consulted La Foret," said Mistigris.
Not knowing that La Foret was Moliere's servant-woman, Madame Moreau
inclined her head graciously, showing that in her ignorance she
accepted the speech as a compliment.
"Didn't he propose to 'croquer' you?" asked Bridau. "Painters are
eager enough after handsome women."
"What may you mean by such language?"
"In the studios we say croquer, craunch, nibble, for sketching,"
interposed Mistigris, with an insinuating air, "and we are always
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe:
otherwise than what I was now.
In the middle of this hardened part of my life I had another
sudden surprise, which called me back a little to that thing
called sorrow, which indeed I began to be past the sense of
before. They told me one night that there was brought into
the prison late the night before three highwaymen, who had
committed robbery somewhere on the road to Windsor,
Hounslow Heath, I think it was, and were pursued to Uxbridge
by the country, and were taken there after a gallant resistance,
in which I know not how many of the country people were
wounded, and some killed.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Elixir of Life by Honore de Balzac:
defines the luxuriant outlines of their figures, lent an arm to
white-haired old men. Young men, with eyes of fire, walked beside
aged crones in holiday array. Then came couples tremulous with
joy, young lovers led thither by curiosity, newly-wedded folk;
children timidly clasping each other by the hand. This throng, so
rich in coloring, in vivid contrasts, laden with flowers,
enameled like a meadow, sent up a soft murmur through the quiet
night. Then the great doors of the church opened.
Late comers who remained without saw afar, through the three
great open doorways, a scene of which the theatrical illusions of
modern opera can give but a faint idea. The vast church was
|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 Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley:
"Only that face!" said Rose, shuddering.
"Not in the glass, maid? Say then, not in the glass?"
"Would to heaven it had been! Lucy, what if he were the man I was
"He? Why, he's a praste, a Popish praste, that can't marry if he
would, poor wratch."
"He is none; and I have cause enough to know it!" And, for want of
a better confidant, Rose poured into the willing ears of her
companion the whole story of yesterday's meeting.
"He's a pretty wooer!" said Lucy at last, contemptuously. "Be a
brave maid, then, be a brave maid, and never terrify yourself with