|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:
"At this moment," she said, with an exhibition of coquetry of the sort
that drives men to despair, "I have a most violent desire to know this
secret. To-morrow it may be that I will not listen to you."
She smiled and we parted, she still as proud and as cruel, I as
ridiculous, as ever. She had the audacity to waltz with a young aide-
de-camp, and I was by turns angry, sulky, admiring, loving, and
"Until to-morrow," she said to me, as she left the ball about two
o'clock in the morning.
"I won't go," I thought. "I give up. You are a thousand times more
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moby Dick by Herman Melville:
countenance. He is never chased; he would run away with rope-walks
of line. Prodigies are told of him. Adieu, Sulphur Bottom! I can
say nothing more that is true of ye, nor can the oldest Nantucketer.
Thus ends BOOK I. (FOLIO), and now begins BOOK II. (OCTAVO).
OCTAVOES.*--These embrace the whales of middling magnitude, among
which present may be numbered:--I., the GRAMPUS; II., the BLACK FISH;
III., the NARWHALE; IV., the THRASHER; V., the KILLER.
*Why this book of whales is not denominated the Quarto is very plain.
Because, while the whales of this order, though smaller than those
of the former order, nevertheless retain a proportionate likeness to
them in figure, yet the bookbinder's Quarto volume in its dimensioned
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from United States Declaration of Independence:
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,
it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute
new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing
its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect
their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments
long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed
to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing
United States Declaration of Independence
|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 Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
of mail, reaching the body itself with his blade. The Cossack's shirt
was dyed purple: but Schilo heeded it not. He brandished his brawny
hand, heavy indeed was that mighty fist, and brought the pommel of his
sword down unexpectedly upon his foeman's head. The brazen helmet flew
into pieces and the Lyakh staggered and fell; but Schilo went on
hacking and cutting gashes in the body of the stunned man. Kill not
utterly thine enemy, Cossack: look back rather! The Cossack did not
turn, and one of the dead man's servants plunged a knife into his
neck. Schilo turned and tried to seize him, but he disappeared amid
the smoke of the powder. On all sides rose the roar of matchlocks.
Schilo knew that his wound was mortal. He fell with his hand upon his
Taras Bulba and Other Tales