|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ursula by Honore de Balzac:
with which throughout all ages the Peoples crowned their virgins, had
fallen from her brow. She heard in the void and in the silence the
dishonoring words, the malicious comments, the laughter of the little
town. The trial was too heavy, her innocence was too delicate to allow
her to survive the murderous blow. She complained no more; a sorrowful
smile was on her lips; her eyes appealed to heaven, to the Sovereign
of angels, against man's injustice.
When Goupil reached Nemours, Ursula had just been carried down from
her chamber to the ground-floor in the arms of La Bougival and the
doctor. A great event was about to take place. When Madame de
Portenduere became really aware that the girl was dying like an
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain:
"'The remark which I made to the distressed stranger was this: "You
are very far from being a bad man; go, and reform."'" Then he
continued:- "We shall know in a moment now whether the remark here
quoted corresponds with the one concealed in the sack; and if that
shall prove to be so--and it undoubtedly will--this sack of gold
belongs to a fellow-citizen who will henceforth stand before the
nation as the symbol of the special virtue which has made our town
famous throughout the land--Mr. Billson!"
The house had gotten itself all ready to burst into the proper
tornado of applause; but instead of doing it, it seemed stricken
with a paralysis; there was a deep hush for a moment or two, then a
The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf:
"Oh," said Mrs Ramsay with a little start, "No," she added, reflecting
that she did not know this Carrie who built a new billiard room. But
how strange, she repeated, to Mr Bankes's amusement, that they should
be going on there still. For it was extraordinary to think that they
had been capable of going on living all these years when she had not
thought of them more than once all that time. How eventful her own
life had been, during those same years. Yet perhaps Carrie had not
thought about her, either. The thought was strange and distasteful.
"People soon drift apart," said Mr Bankes, feeling, however, some
satisfaction when he thought that after all he knew both the Mannings
and the Ramsays. He had not drifted apart he thought, laying down his
To the Lighthouse
|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 La Grenadiere by Honore de Balzac:
some arrangements, which must remain a secret, known only to us. Take
the key of my little table. That is it. Now open the drawer. You will
find two sealed papers to the left. There is the name of LOUIS on one,
and on the other MARIE."
"Here they are, mother."
"Those are your certificates of birth, darling; you will want them.
Give them to our poor, old Annette to keep for you; ask her for them
when you need them. Now," she continued, "is there not another paper
as well, something in my handwriting?"
"Yes, mother," and Louis began to read, "MARIE WILLEMSENS, BORN