|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Daughter of Eve by Honore de Balzac:
commercial law,--for the reason that she had gone through so much
misery before attaining to her present precarious success. She had
come down, story by story, from the garret to the first floor, through
so many vicissitudes! She knew life, from that which begins in Brie
cheese and ends at pineapples; from that which cooks and washes in the
corner of a garret on an earthenware stove, to that which convokes the
tribes of pot-bellied chefs and saucemakers. She had lived on credit
and not killed it; she was ignorant of nothing that honest women
ignore; she spoke all languages: she was one of the populace by
experience; she was noble by beauty and physical distinction.
Suspicious as a spy, or a judge, or an old statesman, she was
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Prince of Bohemia by Honore de Balzac:
list; and when the almoner came down again, he found the carriage
waiting for him at the door. The man in livery handed him a note
written in pencil:
" 'The carriage has been engaged for three days. Count Rusticoli
de la Palferine is too happy to associate himself with Court
charities by lending wings to Royal beneficence.'
"La Palferine now calls the civil list the uncivil list.
"He was once passionately loved by a lady of somewhat light conduct.
Antonia lived in the Rue du Helder; she had seen and been seen to some
extent, but at the time of her acquaintance with La Palferine she had
not yet 'an establishment.' Antonia was not wanting in the insolence
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from In Darkest England and The Way Out by General William Booth:
P. S., aged 20, illegitimate child. Went to consult a doctor one time
about some ailment. The doctor abused his position and took advantage
of his patient, and when she complained, gave her #4 as compensation.
When that was spent, having lost her character, she came on the town.
We looked the doctor up, and he fled.
E. A., aged 17, was left an orphan very early in life, and adopted by
her godfather, who himself was the means of her ruin at the age of 10.
A girl in her teens lived with her mother in the "Dusthole," the lowest
part of Woolwich. This woman forced her out upon the streets, and
profited by her prostitution up to the very night of her confinement.
The mother had all the time been the receiver of the gains.
In Darkest England and The Way Out
|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 A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
Oscar was compelled to appear; for Florentine took him by the arm,
still pealing with laughter at the conscience-stricken faces of the
uncle and nephew.
"You here, nephew?"
"Nephew! so he's your nephew?" cried Florentine, with another burst of
laughter. "You never told me about him. Why didn't Mariette carry you
off?" she said to Oscar, who stood there petrified. "What can he do
now, poor boy?"
"Whatever he pleases!" said Cardot, sharply, marching to the door as
if to go away.
"One moment, papa Cardot. You will be so good as to get your nephew