|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:
I can't stand on my head, but I can applaud a clever acrobat.
My dear sister, I bless your union."
The marquis stood looking for a while into the crown of his hat.
"We have been prepared," he said at last "but it is inevitable
that in face of the event one should experience a certain emotion."
And he gave a most unhilarious smile.
"I feel no emotion that I was not perfectly prepared for,"
said his mother.
"I can't say that for myself," said Newman, smiling but differently
from the marquis. "I am happier than I expected to be.
I suppose it's the sight of your happiness!"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Passionate Pilgrim by William Shakespeare:
Then, thou fair sun, that on this earth doth shine,
Exhale this vapour vow; in thee it is:
If broken, then it is no fault of mine.
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
To break an oath, to win a paradise?
Sweet Cytherea, sitting by a brook
With young Adonis, lovely, fresh, and green,
Did court the lad with many a lovely look,
Such looks as none could look but beauty's queen,
She told him stories to delight his ear;
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:
ability explained by the perfection of their nervous system, which
allows them to seize the lightest indications of thought and feeling.
Their whole being vibrates in communion with great moral convulsions.
Either they feel, or they see.
Now, although separated from her husband for over two years, Madame
Claes foresaw the loss of their property. She fully understood the
deliberate ardor, the well-considered, inalterable steadfastness of
Balthazar; if it were indeed true that he was seeking to make gold, he
was capable of throwing his last crust into the crucible with absolute
indifference. But what was he really seeking? Up to this time maternal
feeling and conjugal love had been so mingled in the heart of this
|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 Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
expression that was simple and candid. Though their attitudes were
elegant and their movements graceful, their faces lacked frankness; it
was easy to see that they belonged to a world where polite manners
form the character from early youth, and the abuse of social pleasures
destroys sentiment and develops egotism.
But when the whole class was here assembled, childlike heads were seen
among this bevy of young girls, ravishingly pure and virgin, faces
with lips half-opened, through which shone spotless teeth, and on
which a virgin smile was flickering. The studio then resembled not a
studio, but a group of angels seated on a cloud in ether.
By mid-day, on this occasion, Servin had not appeared. For some days