|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from At the Sign of the Cat & Racket by Honore de Balzac:
me the day I got a verdict of the consuls against him. And in those
days they were gentlemen of quality."
"But, father, Monsieur Theodore is of good family, and he wrote me
that he is rich; his father was called Chevalier de Sommervieux before
At these words Monsieur Guillaume looked at his terrible better half,
who, like an angry woman, sat tapping the floor with her foot while
keeping sullen silence; she avoided even casting wrathful looks at
Augustine, appearing to leave to Monsieur Guillaume the whole
responsibility in so grave a matter, since her opinion was not
listened to. Nevertheless, in spite of her apparent self-control, when
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Bureaucracy by Honore de Balzac:
which side you'll take, Monsieur Phellion. Well, I'll bet a dinner
costing five hundred francs at the Rocher de Cancale that Rabourdin
does not get La Billardiere's place. That will cost you only a hundred
francs each, and I'm risking five hundred,--five to one against me! Do
you take it up?" [Shouting into the next room.] "Du Bruel, what say
Phellion [laying down his pen]. "Monsieur, may I ask on what you base
that contingent proposal?--for contingent it is. But stay, I am wrong
to call it a proposal; I should say contract. A wager constitutes a
Fleury. "No, no; you can only apply the word 'contract' to agreements
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:
her work as a whole.
"You must zee yourself!" she cried. "It is much better
than you was t'other day."
As the looking-glass was only large enough to reflect a
very small portion of Tess's person at one time, Mrs
Durbeyfield hung a black cloak outside the casement,
and so made a large reflector of the panes, as it is
the wont of bedecking cottagers to do. After this she
went downstairs to her husband, who was sitting in the
"I'll tell 'ee what 'tis, Durbeyfield," said she
Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman
|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 Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac:
Poiret with her! What can she have done to make him so fond of
her? He runs about after her like a little dog."
"Lord!" said Sylvie, flinging up her head, "those old maids are
up to all sorts of tricks."
"There's that poor M. Vautrin that they made out to be a
convict," the widow went on. "Well, you know that is too much for
me, Sylvie; I can't bring myself to believe it. Such a lively man
as he was, and paid fifteen francs a month for his coffee of an
evening, paid you very penny on the nail too."
"And open-handed he was!" said Christophe.
"There is some mistake," said Sylvie.