|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Pierrette by Honore de Balzac:
Neither brother nor sister believed in affection, and Pierrette's
whole being was affection. Colonel Gouraud, anxious to please
Mademoiselle Rogron, approved of all she did about Pierrette. Vinet
also encouraged them in what they said against her. He attributed all
her so-called misdeeds to the obstinacy of the Breton character, and
declared that no power, no will, could ever conquer it. Rogron and his
sister were so shrewdly flattered by the two manoeuvrers that the
former agreed to go security for the "Courrier de Provins," and the
latter invested five thousand francs in the enterprise.
On this, the colonel and lawyer took the field. They got a hundred
shares, of five hundred francs each, taken among the farmers and
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Caesar's Commentaries in Latin by Julius Caesar:
reliquum quidem in terris esse neminem quem non superare possint.
Ad haec Caesar quae visum est respondit; sed exitus fuit orationis:
sibi nullam cum iis amicitiam esse posse, si in Gallia remanerent; neque
verum esse, qui suos fines tueri non potuerint alienos occupare; neque
ullos in Gallia vacare agros qui dari tantae praesertim multitudini sine
iniuria possint; sed licere, si velint, in Ubiorum finibus considere,
quorum sint legati apud se et de Sueborum iniuriis querantur et a se
auxilium petant: hoc se Ubiis imperaturus.
Legati haec se ad suos relaturos dixerunt et re deliberata post diem
tertium ad Caesarem reversuros: interea ne propius se castra moveret
petierunt. Ne id quidem Caesar ab se impetrari posse dixit. Cognoverat
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln:
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . .
we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead,
who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power
to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember,
what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished
work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining
before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion
to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . .
|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 Unconscious Comedians by Honore de Balzac:
the costs of living and the dearness of even the most trifling things,
that he kept himself, all this time, secluded in his shabby lodgings.
The Southerner, deprived of his sun, execrated Paris, which he called
a manufactory of rheumatism. As he added up the costs of his suit and
his living, he vowed within himself to poison the prefect on his
return, or to minotaurize him. In his moments of deepest sadness he
killed the prefect outright; in gayer mood he contented himself with
One morning as he ate his breakfast and cursed his fate, he picked up
a newspaper savagely. The following lines, ending an article, struck
Gazonal as if the mysterious voice which speaks to gamblers before