|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:
I wonder when we shall meet again?'
'I don't know, my dear little girl,' I said, 'I am at one end
of life and you are at the other. I have but a short time before
me at best, and most things lie in the past, but I hope that
for you there are many long and happy years, and everything lies
in the future. By-and-by you will grow into a beautiful woman,
Flossie, and all this wild life will be like a far-off dream
to you; but I hope, even if we never do meet again, that you
will think of your old friend and remember what I say to you
now. Always try to be good, my dear, and to do what is right,
rather than what happens to be pleasant, for in the end, whatever
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Psychology of Revolution by Gustave le Bon:
to participate in the execution, and the general massacre
commenced, to the sound of ferocious cries of `The
Huguenots! Kill, kill!' They were struck down, they were
drowned, they were hanged. All that were known as heretics were
so served. Two thousand persons were killed in Paris.''
By contagion, the people of the provinces imitated those of
Paris, and six to eight thousand Protestants were slain.
When time had somewhat cooled religious passions, all the
historians, even the Catholics, spoke of St. Bartholomew's Day
with indignation. They thus showed how difficult it is for the
mentality of one epoch to understand that of another.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Hidden Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac:
when you have drawn the form correctly, and put everything in place
according to the laws of anatomy. You color the features with flesh-
tones, mixed beforehand on your palette,--taking very good care to
shade one side of the face darker than the other; and because you draw
now and then from a nude woman standing on a table, you think you can
copy nature; you fancy yourselves painters, and imagine that you have
got at the secret of God's creations! Pr-r-r-r!--To be a great poet it
is not enough to know the rules of syntax and write faultless grammar.
Look at your saint, Porbus. At first sight she is admirable; but at
the very next glance we perceive that she is glued to the canvas, and
that we cannot walk round her. She is a silhouette with only one side,
|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 Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:
and the affair will have to stop at that stage; but the matter being
once made known will circulate through the Chambers, the newspapers
will get hold of it and make a stir, and the ministry, /sub rosa/, can
envenom the vague accusation through its friends."
"/Parbleu/! my dear fellow," cried Maxime, delighted to find a way
open to his hatred, "you've a strong head,--stronger than that of
these so-called statesmen. But this request for permission addressed
to the president of the Chamber, who is to draw it up?"
"Oh! not I," said Desroches, who did not wish to mix himself up any
farther in this low intrigue. "It isn't legal assistance that you
want; this is simply firing your first gun, and I don't undertake that