|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
have more power in the world than his unaided genius. Then, if he
wants money, every one will lend it to him on those rags. At the
Bourse, among bankers, wherever he goes, even at the usurers, he will
find money because he can give security. Well, Monsieur, is not that a
great gulf to bridge over in our social system? But that is only one
aspect of our work. We insure debtors by another scheme of policies
and premiums. We offer annuities at rates graduated according to ages,
on a sliding-scale infinitely more advantageous than what are called
tontines, which are based on tables of mortality that are notoriously
false. Our company deals with large masses of men; consequently the
annuitants are secure from those distressing fears which sadden old
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:
and asked him to give him the sacrament. "If I send to the
clergyman, he will charge me something for it, which I cannot pay,--
I cannot. They say I am rich,--look at this blanket;--but I would
not mind that, if I could save my soul." And, raving, he added,
"Indeed, Doctor, I am a very poor man. I never troubled a
clergyman before, and all I want is, that you will grant me two
trifling requests, very little matters in your way,--save my soul,
and (whispering) make interest to get me a parish coffin,--I have
not enough left to bury me. I always told everyone I was poor, but
the more I told them so, the less they believed me."
John, greatly shocked, retired from the bedside, and sat down in a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela:
ly, uneasy as she caught sight of the malicious glances
leveled at her.
When the dance was over, Demetrio, somewhat un-
steady on his feet, thanked all the kind neighbors who
had welcomed them and promised that when the revo-
lution had triumphed he would remember them one and
all, because "hospital or jail is a true test of friendship."
"May God's hand lead you all," said an old woman.
"God bless you all and keep you well," others added.
Utterly drunk, Maria Antonia said:
"Come back soon, damn soon!"
|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 Out of Time's Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
the Wieroo fastened his long talons about the other's windpipe.
Fosh-bal-soj was possessed of enormous strength and he was
fighting for his life. The Englishman soon realized that the
battle was going against him. Already his lungs were pounding
painfully for air as he reached for his pistol. It was with
difficulty that he drew it from its holster, and even then, with
death staring him in the face, he thought of his precious ammunition.
"Can't waste it," he thought; and slipping his fingers to the
barrel he raised the weapon and struck Fosh-bal-soj a terrific
blow between the eyes. Instantly the clawlike fingers released
their hold, and the creature sank limply to the floor beside
Out of Time's Abyss