|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Another Study of Woman by Honore de Balzac:
However, he is gone," said the Minister, looking round.
"He would not stay to supper," said Madame de Nucingen.
"For six months, possessed by my passion," de Marsay went on, "but
incapable of suspecting that it had overmastered me, I had abandoned
myself to that rapturous idolatry which is at once the triumph and the
frail joy of the young. I treasured /her/ old gloves; I drank an
infusion of the flowers /she/ had worn; I got out of bed at night to
go and gaze at /her/ window. All my blood rushed to my heart when I
inhaled the perfume she used. I was miles away from knowing that woman
is a stove with a marble casing."
"Oh! spare us your terrible verdicts," cried Madame de Montcornet with
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Marie by H. Rider Haggard:
he reached the earth.
Here he settled, tilting forward in that odd way which vultures have,
and scrambling a few awkward paces until he gained his balance. Then he
froze into immobility, gazing with in awful, stony glare at the
prostrate Hans, who lay within about fifteen feet of him. Scarcely was
this aasvogel down, when others, summoned from the depths of sky, did as
he had done. They appeared, they sank, they wheeled, always from east
to west, the way the sun travels. They hovered for a few seconds, then
fell like stones, pitched on to their beaks, recovered themselves,
waddled forward into line, and sat gazing at Hans. Soon there was a
great ring of them about him, all immovable, all gazing, all waiting for
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:
"When I reflect, my dear cousin," said she, "on the miserable death
of Justine Moritz, I no longer see the world and its works as they
before appeared to me. Before, I looked upon the accounts of vice
and injustice that I read in books or heard from others as tales of
ancient days or imaginary evils; at least they were remote and more
familiar to reason than to the imagination; but now misery has come home,
and men appear to me as monsters thirsting for each other's blood.
Yet I am certainly unjust. Everybody believed that poor girl to be guilty;
and if she could have committed the crime for which she suffered,
assuredly she would have been the most depraved of human creatures.
For the sake of a few jewels, to have murdered the son of her benefactor
|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 Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:
"Never! Do you not know that it means death? The hermaphrodite Baals
are unveiled to us alone who are men in understanding and women in
weakness. Your desire is sacrilege; be satisfied with the knowledge
that you possess!"
She fell upon her knees placing two fingers against her ears in token
of repentance; and crushed by the priest's words, and filled at once
with anger against him, with terror and humiliation, she burst into
sobs. Schahabarim remained erect, and more insensible than the stones
of the terrace. He looked down upon her quivering at his feet, and
felt a kind of joy on seeing her suffer for his divinity whom he
himself could not wholly embrace. The birds were already singing, a