|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Unconscious Comedians by Honore de Balzac:
"And why do you complain in that stupid way," said Leon, "of a
prostitution to which you will owe the winning of your lawsuit? Do you
think you are more virtuous than we, less of a comedian, less greedy,
less liable to fall under some temptation, less conceited than those
we have been making dance for you like puppets?"
"Poor lad!" said Leon, shrugging his shoulders, "haven't you already
promised Rastignac your electoral influence?"
"Yes, because he was the only one who ridiculed himself."
"Poor lad!" repeated Bixiou, "why slight me, who am always ridiculing
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honore de Balzac:
corrupting, which is always open and will never be shut, the great
book of the world; not to mention another book, a thousand times more
dangerous, which is composed of all that men whisper into each other's
ears, or women murmur behind their fans, of an evening in society."
"Henri, there is certainly something extraordinary the matter with
you; that is obvious in spite of your active discretion."
"Yes! . . . Come, I must kill the time until this evening. Let's to
the tables. . . . Perhaps I shall have the good luck to lose."
De Marsay rose, took a handful of banknotes and folded them into his
cigar-case, dressed himself, and took advantage of Paul's carriage to
repair to the Salon des Etrangers, where until dinner he consumed the
The Girl with the Golden Eyes
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
That is true.
And therefore Simmias is said to be great, and is also said to be small,
because he is in a mean between them, exceeding the smallness of the one by
his greatness, and allowing the greatness of the other to exceed his
smallness. He added, laughing, I am speaking like a book, but I believe
that what I am saying is true.
I speak as I do because I want you to agree with me in thinking, not only
that absolute greatness will never be great and also small, but that
greatness in us or in the concrete will never admit the small or admit of
|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 Brother of Daphne by Dornford Yates:
turn on the electric fan?"
"I've been making good resolutions to pass the time."
"Hurray! So've I. I'm going to give up ferns. And you can tell
me yours as we go along."
"Yes, my dear. Didn't I tell you I was a highwayman? I only
left York two hours ago."
"Yes, I came by the boat train, with Black Bess in a horse-box.
And now I'm going to abduct you, Eve. Your soul's not your own
when you're up against High Toby. I have a pistol in my holster,
The Brother of Daphne