|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:
"Three noble families involved!" he exclaimed. "We must not make the
smallest blunder!--You are right: as a first step let us act on
Fouche's principle, 'Arrest!'--and Jacques Collin must at once be sent
back to the secret cells."
"That is to proclaim him a convict and to ruin Lucien's memory!"
"What a desperate business!" said Monsieur de Granville. "There is
danger on every side."
At this instant the governor of the Conciergerie came in, not without
knocking; and the private room of a public prosecutor is so well
guarded, that only those concerned about the courts may even knock at
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Astoria by Washington Irving:
following narrations, and as they form one of those distinct and
strongly marked castes or orders of people, springing up in this
vast continent out of geographical circumstances, or the varied
pursuits, habitudes, and origins of its population, we shall
sketch a few of their characteristics for the information of the
The "voyageurs" form a kind of confraternity in the Canadas, like
the arrieros, or carriers of Spain, and, like them, are employed
in long internal expeditions of travel and traffic: with this
difference, that the arrieros travel by land, the voyageurs by
water; the former with mules and horses, the latter with batteaux
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Snow Image by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
hand, and suffered the moonlight to fall full upon his front.
"In me," said he, with a certain majesty of utterance,--"in me,
you behold a poet."
Though a lithographic print of this gentleman is extant, it may
be well to notice that he was now nearly forty, a thin and
stooping figure, in a black coat, out at elbows; notwithstanding
the ill condition of his attire, there were about him several
tokens of a peculiar sort of foppery, unworthy of a mature man,
particularly in the arrangement of his hair which was so disposed
as to give all possible loftiness and breadth to his forehead.
However, he had an intelligent eye, and, on the whole, a marked
The Snow Image
|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 She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith:
MISS NEVILLE. I have just come from one of our agreeable
tete-a-tetes. She has been saying a hundred tender things, and setting
off her pretty monster as the very pink of perfection.
MISS HARDCASTLE. And her partiality is such, that she actually thinks
him so. A fortune like yours is no small temptation. Besides, as she
has the sole management of it, I'm not surprised to see her unwilling
to let it go out of the family.
MISS NEVILLE. A fortune like mine, which chiefly consists in jewels,
is no such mighty temptation. But at any rate, if my dear Hastings be
but constant, I make no doubt to be too hard for her at last. However,
I let her suppose that I am in love with her son; and she never once
She Stoops to Conquer