|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
Two old ladies, wives of former magistrates: The First (wears a cap
with bows, her face is wrinkled, her nose sharp, voice hard, carries a
prayer-book in her hand): "What was that Madame Firmiani's maiden
name?"--The Second (small face red as a crab-apple, gentle voice):
"She was a Cadignan, my dear, niece of the old Prince de Cadignan,
consequently cousin to the present Duc de Maufrigneuse."
Madame Firmiani is a Cadignan. She might have neither virtue, nor
wealth, nor youth, but she would still be a Cadignan; it is like a
prejudice, always alive and working.
An Original: "My dear fellow, I've seen no galoshes in her
antechamber; consequently you can visit her without compromising
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Brother of Daphne by Dornford Yates:
barren, and for my three days' contemplation of the subject I
had absolutely nothing to show. It was past midnight before I
fell into a fitful slumber, only to be aroused three hours and a
half later by the sudden burst of iniquity with which two or
more cats saw fit to shake the silence of the rose-garden.
As I threw out the boot-jack, I noticed the dawn. And as
further sleep seemed out of the question, I decided to dress and
go out into the woods.
When I slipped out of Knight's Bottom into the sunlit road to
find myself face to face with a Punch and Judy show, I was not
far from being momentarily disconcerted. For a second it
The Brother of Daphne
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Euthyphro by Plato:
SOCRATES: Then either we were wrong in our former assertion; or, if we
were right then, we are wrong now.
EUTHYPHRO: One of the two must be true.
SOCRATES: Then we must begin again and ask, What is piety? That is an
enquiry which I shall never be weary of pursuing as far as in me lies; and
I entreat you not to scorn me, but to apply your mind to the utmost, and
tell me the truth. For, if any man knows, you are he; and therefore I must
detain you, like Proteus, until you tell. If you had not certainly known
the nature of piety and impiety, I am confident that you would never, on
behalf of a serf, have charged your aged father with murder. You would not
have run such a risk of doing wrong in the sight of the gods, and you would
|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 Egmont by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe:
old servant is unchanged.
Alva. The moment the princes enter my cabinet, hasten to arrest Egmont's
private Secretary. You have made all needful preparations for securing the
others who are specified?
Silva. Rely upon us. Their doom, like a well-calculated eclipse, will
overtake them with terrible certainty.
Alva. Have you had them all narrowly watched?
Silva. All. Egmont especially. He is the only one whose demeanour, since
your arrival, remains unchanged. The live-long day he is now on one horse
and now on another; he invites guests as usual, is merry and entertaining at
table, plays at dice, shoots, and at night steals to his mistress. The others,