|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Episode Under the Terror by Honore de Balzac:
"I am afraid so," said the lady innocently.
"How if it is a spy? . . . a plot? . . . Don't go. And take the box
away from her----"
The words whispered in the pastry-cook's ear cooled his hot fit of
courage down to zero.
"Oh! I will just go out and say a word or two. I will rid you of him
soon enough," he exclaimed, as he bounced out of the shop.
The old lady meanwhile, passive as a child and almost dazed, sat down
on her chair again. But the honest pastry-cook came back directly. A
countenance red enough to begin with, and further flushed by the bake-
house fire, was suddenly blanched; such terror perturbed him that he
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:
don't know how to make boots! I'll beat your ugly phiz to a
jelly! Why have you come?"
"What money? Be off! Come on Saturday! Boy, give him a cuff!"
But he at once recalled what a life the customers used to lead
him, too, and he felt heavy at heart, and to distract his
attention he took a fat pocketbook out of his pocket and began
counting his money. There was a great deal of money, but Fyodor
wanted more still. The devil in the blue spectacles brought him
another notebook fatter still, but he wanted even more; and the
more he counted it, the more discontented he became.
The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay:
ground, and the boulders that choked the entire width of the gorge.
They were a snow-white crystalline limestone, heavily scored by veins
of bright, gleaming blue. The rivulet was no longer green, but a
clear, transparent crystal. Its noise was musical, and altogether it
looked most romantic and charming, but Leehallfae seemed to find
something else in it - aer features grew more and more set and
About half an hour after all the other life forms had vanished,
another plant-animal was precipitated out of space, in front of their
eyes. It was as tall as Maskull himself, and had a brilliant and
vigorous appearance, as befitted a creature just out of Nature's
|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 Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
execution before which the true artist shrugs his shoulders and the
bourgeoisie worships. Fougeres was dear to friends for rectitude of
ideas, for steadiness of sentiment, absolute kindliness, and great
loyalty; though they had no esteem for his palette, they loved the man
who held it.
"What a misfortune it is that Fougeres has the vice of painting!" said
But for all this, Grassou gave excellent counsel, like those
feuilletonists incapable of writing a book who know very well where a
book is wanting. There was this difference, however, between literary
critics and Fougeres; he was eminently sensitive to beauties; he felt