|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Commission in Lunacy by Honore de Balzac:
brain. And your Marquise, too, has all the characteristics of her
monstrosity, the beak of a bird of prey, the clear, cold eye, the
gentle voice--she is as polished as the steel of a machine, she
touches everything except the heart."
"There is some truth in what you say, Bianchon."
"Some truth?" replied Bianchon. "It is all true. Do you suppose that I
was not struck to the heart by the insulting politeness by which she
made me measure the imaginary distance which her noble birth sets
between us? That I did not feel the deepest pity for her cat-like
civilities when I remembered what her object was? A year hence she
will not write one word to do me the slightest service, and this
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Across The Plains by Robert Louis Stevenson:
interview in the back kitchen. The Marechal-des-logis, who was a
very handsome man, and I believe both intelligent and honest, had
no clear opinion on the case. He thought the Commissary had done
wrong, but he did not wish to get his subordinates into trouble;
and he proposed this, that, and the other, to all of which the
Arethusa (with a growing sense of his position) demurred.
"In short," suggested the Arethusa, "you want to wash your hands of
further responsibility? Well, then, let me go to Paris."
The Marechal-des-logis looked at his watch.
"You may leave," said he, "by the ten o'clock train for Paris."
And at noon the next day the travellers were telling their
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from My Aunt Margaret's Mirror by Walter Scott:
medicine, with which, it was affirmed, he had wrought remarkable
cures. But though, on the one hand, the physicians of Edinburgh
termed him an empiric, there were many persons, and among them
some of the clergy, who, while they admitted the truth of the
cures and the force of his remedies, alleged that Doctor Baptista
Damiotti made use of charms and unlawful arts in order to obtain
success in his practice. The resorting to him was even solemnly
preached against, as a seeking of health from idols, and a
trusting to the help which was to come from Egypt. But the
protection which the Paduan Doctor received from some friends of
interest and consequence enabled him to set these imputations at
|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 The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H. P. Lovecraft:
upon that narrow ridge.
As fury and recklessness increased,
the number falling into the sea became very great. Those striking
the harbour met nameless extinction from the unseen bubblers,
but of those striking the open sea some were able to swim to the
foot of the cliffs and land on tidal rocks, while the hovering
galley of the enemy rescued several moonbeasts. The cliffs were
unscalable except where the monsters had debarked, so that none
of the ghouls on the rocks could rejoin their battle-line. Some
were killed by javelins from the hostile galley or from the moonbeasts
above, but a few survived to be rescued. When the security of
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath