|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Ball at Sceaux by Honore de Balzac:
observing unhappy examples, the brilliant hues of their ideal are
extinguished. Then, one fine day, in the course of events, they are
quite astonished to find themselves happy without the nuptial poetry
of their day-dreams. It was on the strength of that poetry that
Mademoiselle Emilie de Fontaine, in her slender wisdom, had drawn up a
programme to which a suitor must conform to be excepted. Hence her
disdain and sarcasm.
"Though young and of an ancient family, he must be a peer of France,"
said she to herself. "I could not bear not to see my coat-of-arms on
the panels of my carriage among the folds of azure mantling, not to
drive like the princes down the broad walk of the Champs-Elysees on
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:
"Remember the night that we came home? You were an innocent one, you
"Get along! Such a time ago I forget." Well she remembered.
"Such a clout on the ear as you gave me...But I soon taught you."
"Oh, don't start talking. You've too much beer. Come to bed."
He tilted back in his chair, chuckling with laughter.
"That's not what you said to me that night. God, the trouble you gave me!"
But the little Frau seized the candle and went into the next room. The
children were all soundly sleeping. She stripped the mattress off the
baby's bed to see if he was still dry, then began unfastening her blouse
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Ion by Plato:
interpret anything in Homer. But, rejoins Socrates, when Homer speaks of
the arts, as for example, of chariot-driving, or of medicine, or of
prophecy, or of navigation--will he, or will the charioteer or physician or
prophet or pilot be the better judge? Ion is compelled to admit that every
man will judge of his own particular art better than the rhapsode. He
still maintains, however, that he understands the art of the general as
well as any one. 'Then why in this city of Athens, in which men of merit
are always being sought after, is he not at once appointed a general?' Ion
replies that he is a foreigner, and the Athenians and Spartans will not
appoint a foreigner to be their general. 'No, that is not the real reason;
there are many examples to the contrary. But Ion has long been playing
|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 Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling:
accusing the other of having begun the rioting.
Early in the dawn, after a night's patrol with his seven policemen,
Michele went down the road, musket in hand, to meet the Assistant
Collector, who had ridden in to quell Tibasu. But, in the presence
of this young Englishman, Michele felt himself slipping back more
and more into the native, and the tale of the Tibasu Riots ended,
with the strain on the teller, in an hysterical outburst of tears,
bred by sorrow that he had killed a man, shame that he could not
feel as uplifted as he had felt through the night, and childish
anger that his tongue could not do justice to his great deeds. It
was the White drop in Michele's veins dying out, though he did not