|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:
that I have returned to the study of chemistry, and I am the happiest
man on earth."
Two years after the winter when Monsieur Claes returned to chemistry,
the aspect of his house was changed. Whether it were that society was
affronted by his perpetual absent-mindedness and chose to think itself
in the way, or that Madame Claes's secret anxieties made her less
agreeable than before, certain it is that she no longer saw any but
her intimate friends. Balthazar went nowhere, shut himself up in his
laboratory all day, sometimes stayed there all night, and only
appeared in the bosom of his family at dinner-time.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde:
LORD GORING. You want to talk to me about Mrs. Cheveley?
LADY CHILTERN. Yes. You have guessed it. After you left last night
I found out that what she had said was really true. Of course I made
Robert write her a letter at once, withdrawing his promise.
LORD GORING. So he gave me to understand.
LADY CHILTERN. To have kept it would have been the first stain on a
career that has been stainless always. Robert must be above
reproach. He is not like other men. He cannot afford to do what
other men do. [She looks at LORD GORING, who remains silent.] Don't
you agree with me? You are Robert's greatest friend. You are our
greatest friend, Lord Goring. No one, except myself, knows Robert
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Kenilworth by Walter Scott:
forgotten or omitted the most important of all. She hath added
another to those dangling satellites whom it is her pleasure to
keep revolving around her."
"Your lordship meaneth that Raleigh, the Devonshire youth," said
Varney--"the Knight of the Cloak, as they call him at court?"
"He may be Knight of the Garter one day, for aught I know," said
Leicester, "for he advances rapidly--she hath capped verses with
him, and such fooleries. I would gladly abandon, of my own free
will, the part--I have in her fickle favour; but I will not be
elbowed out of it by the clown Sussex, or this new upstart. I
hear Tressilian is with Sussex also, and high in his favour. I
|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 Daughter of Eve by Honore de Balzac:
of his prosperous edifice, built, alas! without foundations. His nerve
failed him; too weak already to sustain so vast an enterprise, he felt
himself incapable of attempting to build it up again; he was fated to
perish in its ashes. Love for the countess gave him still a few
thrills of life; his mask brightened for a moment, but behind it hope
was dead. He did not suspect the hand of du Tillet, and laid the blame
of his misfortune on the usurer. Rastignac, Blondet, Lousteau, Vernou,
Finot, and Massol took care not to enlighten him. Rastignac, who
wanted to return to power, made common cause with Nucingen and du
Tillet. The others felt a satisfaction in the catastrophe of an equal
who had attempted to make himself their master. None of them, however,