|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Unseen World and Other Essays by John Fiske:
inquisitors at Rouen learned, to their dismay, that their victim
had escaped, what were they to do? Confess that they had been
foiled, and create a panic in the army by the news that their
dreaded enemy was at liberty? Or boldly carry out their purposes
by a fictitious execution, trusting in the authority which
official statements always carry, and shrewdly foreseeing that,
after her recantation, the disgraced Maid would no more venture
to claim for herself the leadership of the French forces?
Clearly, the latter would have been the wiser course. We may
assume, then, that, by the afternoon of the 28th, the story of
the relapse was promulgated, as a suitable preparation for what
The Unseen World and Other Essays
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac:
softened the old man; he remained unmoved, harsh, and cold as a
granite rock. He continued to go and come about his business as usual;
but ceased to stutter, talked less, and was more obdurate in business
transactions than ever before. Often he made mistakes in adding up his
"Something is going on at the Grandets," said the Grassinists and the
"What has happened in the Grandet family?" became a fixed question
which everybody asked everybody else at the little evening-parties of
Saumur. Eugenie went to Mass escorted by Nanon. If Madame des Grassins
said a few words to her on coming out of church, she answered in an
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:
And felt his body go suddenly small and light;
Felt his brain float off like a dwindling vapor;
And heard a whistle of wind, and saw a tree
Come plunging up to him, and thought to himself,
'By God--I'm done for now, the dream was right . . .'
The warm sun dreams in the dust, the warm sun falls
On bright red roofs and walls;
The trees in the park exhale a ghost of rain;
We go from door to door in the streets again,
Talking, laughing, dreaming, turning our faces,
|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 Z. Marcas by Honore de Balzac:
lowest step into the street. On the day when we first found ourselves
bereft of tobacco for our pipes, it struck us that for some days we
had been eating bread without any kind of butter.
Great was our distress.
"No tobacco!" said the Doctor.
"No cloak!" said the Keeper of the Seals.
"Ah, you rascals, you would dress as the postillion de Longjumeau, you
would appear as Debardeurs, sup in the morning, and breakfast at night
at Very's--sometimes even at the /Rocher de Cancale/.--Dry bread for
you, my boys! Why," said I, in a big bass voice, "you deserve to sleep
under the bed, you are not worthy to lie in it--"