|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
nee Lousteau, his grandson Borniche with a sister Adolphine, the heirs
of old Borniche, and lastly, his other grandson, Francois Hochon.
Hochon's eldest son was taken by the draft of 1813, which drew in the
sons of well-to-do families who had escaped the regular conscription,
and were now formed into a corps styled the "guards of honor." This
heir-presumptive, who was killed at Hanau, had married early in life a
rich woman, intending thereby to escape all conscriptions; but after
he was enrolled, he wasted his substance, under a presentiment of his
end. His wife, who followed the army at a distance, died at Strasburg
in 1814, leaving debts which her father-in-law Hochon refused to pay,
--answering the creditors with an axiom of ancient law, "Women are
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
admiration he excited among the common people counterbalanced their
opinion; his courage, his dashing appearance, his decision of
character, could not fail to please the masses, to whom his
degradations were, for the most part, unknown, and indeed the
bourgeoisie themselves scarcely suspected its extent. Max played a
role at Issoudun which was something like that of the blacksmith in
the "Fair Maid of Perth"; he was the champion of Bonapartism and the
Opposition; they counted upon him as the burghers of Perth counted
upon Smith on great occasions. A single incident will put this hero
and victim of the Hundred-Days into clear relief.
In 1819, a battalion commanded by royalist officers, young men just
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Under the Andes by Rex Stout:
events happened so quickly that their order is uncertain.
A black form arose from the water with a leap like lightning
and landed squarely on the raft, which proceeded to perform its
favorite dive. It would have done so with much less persuasion,
for the fish was a monster--it appeared to me at that moment to be
twenty feet long.
On the instant, as the raft capsized, Harry and I lunged with
our spears, tumbling forward and landing on each other and on top
of the fish. I felt my spear sinking into the soft fish almost
The raft slipped from under, and we found ourselves
|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 Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom by William and Ellen Craft:
from, and which side you goin day wid dat ar little
don up buckra" (white man)?
I replied, "To Philadelphia."
"What!" he exclaimed, with astonishment, "to
"Yes," I said.
"By squash! I wish I was going wid you! I
hears um say dat dare's no slaves way over in dem
parts; is um so?"
I quietly said, "I have heard the same thing."
"Well," continued he, as he threw down the
Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom