|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac:
"To my sorrow, as you see."
"Suppose that she does not care for you?" the man went on, "that she
is deceiving you?"
"I have long known that, monsieur--here, in this very spot, Monsieur
Crevel and I told each other----"
"Oh! Then you knew that you were in Monsieur le Maire's private
The constable lightly touched his hat with a respectful gesture.
"You are very much in love," said he. "I say no more. I respect an
inveterate passion, as a doctor respects an inveterate complaint.--I
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:
not merely whether it is black or white, light or heavy, but whether it is
a good or an evil, whereby, although you are now the dearest of friends and
kinsmen, the most bitter hatred may arise betwixt you, I must hinder your
dissension to the best of my power. If I could, I would tell you the
truth, and so put an end to the dispute; but as I cannot do this, and each
of you supposes that you can bring the other to an agreement, I am
prepared, as far as my capacity admits, to help you in solving the
question. Please, therefore, Critias, try to make us accept the doctrines
which you yourself entertain.
CRITIAS: I should like to follow up the argument, and will ask Eryxias
whether he thinks that there are just and unjust men?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:
"I brought my bill because it was the end of the year," he whispered
to Cesar; "but there's no hurry."
"What is the matter, Cesar?" said Pillerault, noticing the amazement
of his nephew, who, having glanced at the bill, made no reply to
either Ragon or Lourdois.
"Oh, a trifle. I took notes to the amount of five thousand francs from
my neighbor, a dealer in umbrellas, and he has failed. If he has given
me bad securities I shall be caught, like a fool."
"And yet I have warned you many times," cried Ragon; "a drowning man
will catch at his father's leg to save himself, and drown him too. I
have seen so many failures! People are not exactly scoundrels when the
Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
|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 Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll:
for a long time, as we've been doing.'
`A slow sort of country!' said the Queen. `Now, HERE, you see,
it takes all the running YOU can do, to keep in the same place.
If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as
fast as that!'
`I'd rather not try, please!' said Alice. `I'm quite content
to stay here--only I AM so hot and thirsty!'
`I know what YOU'D like!' the Queen said good-naturedly, taking
a little box out of her pocket. `Have a biscuit?'
Alice thought it would not be civil to say `No,' though it
wasn't at all what she wanted. So she took it, and ate it as
Through the Looking-Glass