|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Elixir of Life by Honore de Balzac:
sacrifice my hereafter to you."
The fourth drained a cup of Chian wine. "Give me a joyous life!"
she cried; "I begin life afresh each day with the dawn. Forgetful
of the past, with the intoxication of yesterday's rapture still
upon me, I drink deep of life--a whole lifetime of pleasure and
The woman who sat next to Juan Belvidero looked at him with a
feverish glitter in her eyes. She was silent. Then--"I should
need no hired bravo to kill my lover if he forsook me!" she cried
at last, and laughed, but the marvelously wrought gold comfit box
in her fingers was crushed by her convulsive clutch.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Before Adam by Jack London:
practically without a current. In the dead water, just
inside its mouth, lay a tangled mass of tree trunks.
Some of these, what of the wear and tear of freshets
and of being stranded long summers on sand-bars, were
seasoned and dry and without branches. They floated
high in the water, and bobbed up and down or rolled
over when we put our weight upon them.
Here and there between the trunks were water-cracks,
and through them we could see schools of small fish,
like minnows, darting back and forth. Lop-Ear and I
became fishermen at once. Lying flat on the logs,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Nana, Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille by Emile Zola:
"Madame Bron, just listen. Please listen, Madame Bron. I want you
to send up six bottles of champagne between the acts."
But the callboy had again made his appearance. He was out of
breath, and in a singsong voice he called out:
"All to go on the stage! It's your turn, Monsieur Fontan. Make
haste, make haste!"
"Yes, yes, I'm going, Father Barillot," replied Fontan in a flurry.
And he ran after Mme Bron and continued:
"You understand, eh? Six bottles of champagne in the greenroom
between the acts. It's my patron saint's day, and I'm standing 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 Euthyphro by Plato:
do, that I know nothing about them? Tell me, for the love of Zeus,
whether you really believe that they are true.
EUTHYPHRO: Yes, Socrates; and things more wonderful still, of which the
world is in ignorance.
SOCRATES: And do you really believe that the gods fought with one
another, and had dire quarrels, battles, and the like, as the poets
say, and as you may see represented in the works of great artists? The
temples are full of them; and notably the robe of Athene, which is
carried up to the Acropolis at the great Panathenaea, is embroidered
with them. Are all these tales of the gods true, Euthyphro?
EUTHYPHRO: Yes, Socrates; and, as I was saying, I can tell you, if you