|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
returned by Bercy, the quays, and the boulevards to the rue de
The clerks were fluttering still in the skies of fancy to which youth
is lifted by intoxication, when their amphitryon introduced them into
Florentine's salon. There sparkled a bevy of stage princesses, who,
having been informed, no doubt, of Frederic's joke, were amusing
themselves by imitating the women of good society. They were then
engaged in eating ices. The wax-candles flamed in the candelabra.
Tullia's footmen and those of Madame du Val-Noble and Florine, all in
full livery, where serving the dainties on silver salvers. The
hangings, a marvel of Lyonnaise workmanship, fastened by gold cords,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sons of the Soil by Honore de Balzac:
getting in their own harvests first, so as to benefit by the best
strength of the mowers. But Nicolas was not a man to mind losing a
day's work,--especially now that he expected to leave the country
after the fair at Soulanges and begin, as the country people say, the
new life of a soldier.
When La Pechina, with the jug on her head, was about half-way, Nicolas
slid like a wild-cat down the trunk of an elm, among the branches of
which he was hiding, and fell like a thunderbolt in front of the girl,
who flung away her pitcher and trusted to her fleet legs to regain the
pavilion. But a hundred feet farther on, Catherine Tonsard, who was on
the watch, rushed out of the wood and knocked so violently against the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from First Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln:
these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating,
and so nearly impracticable withal, that I deem it better
to forego for the time the uses of such offices.
The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all parts
of the Union. So far as possible, the people everywhere shall have that
sense of perfect security which is most favorable to calm thought
and reflection. The course here indicated will be followed unless current
events and experience shall show a modification or change to be proper,
and in every case and exigency my best discretion will be exercised
according to circumstances actually existing, and with a view and
a hope of a peaceful solution of the national troubles and the
|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 Meno by Plato:
must have the same virtues of temperance and justice?
SOCRATES: And can either a young man or an elder one be good, if they are
intemperate and unjust?
MENO: They cannot.
SOCRATES: They must be temperate and just?
SOCRATES: Then all men are good in the same way, and by participation in
the same virtues?
MENO: Such is the inference.
SOCRATES: And they surely would not have been good in the same way, unless