|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Domestic Peace by Honore de Balzac:
try to follow her; besides, Martial, utterly confounded, was in no
mood to carry the adventure further. The Countess' laugh found an echo
in the boudoir, where the young coxcomb now perceived, between two
shrubs, the Colonel and Madame de Vaudremont, both laughing heartily.
"Will you have my horse, to ride after your prize?" said the Colonel.
The Baron took the banter poured upon him by Madame de Vaudremont and
Montcornet with a good grace, which secured their silence as to the
events of the evening, when his friend exchanged his charger for a
rich and pretty young wife.
As the Comtesse de Soulanges drove across Paris from the Chausee
d'Antin to the Faubourg Saint-Germain, where she lived, her soul was
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Charmides and Other Poems by Oscar Wilde:
Along the reedy shore, and circumvent
Some goat-eared Pan to be their seneschal
For fear of bold Poseidon's ravishment,
And loose their girdles, with shy timorous eyes,
Lest from the surf his azure arms and purple beard should rise.
On this side and on that a rocky cave,
Hung with the yellow-belled laburnum, stands
Smooth is the beach, save where some ebbing wave
Leaves its faint outline etched upon the sands,
As though it feared to be too soon forgot
By the green rush, its playfellow, - and yet, it is a spot
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Modeste Mignon by Honore de Balzac:
Before losing her sight altogether she persisted, against the wishes
of her friends, in visiting her daughter's grave, on which she riveted
her gaze in contemplation. That image remained vivid in the darkness
which now fell upon her, just as the red spectrum of an object shines
in our eyes when we close them in full daylight. This terrible and
double misfortune made Dumay, not less devoted, but more anxious about
Modeste, now the only daughter of the father who was unaware of his
loss. Madame Dumay, idolizing Modeste, like other women deprived of
their children, cast her motherliness about the girl,--yet without
disregarding the commands of her husband, who distrusted female
intimacies. Those commands were brief. "If any man, of any age, or any
|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 Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:
the purple of grapes, and wine-colored hues flowed among the high
shoulders of the mountains.
"I have seen a sight like this," said Gaston, "between Granada and
"So you know Spain!" said the Padre.
Often he had thought of this resemblance, but never till now met any one
to share his thought. The courtly proprietor of San Fernando and the
other patriarchal rancheros with whom he occasionally exchanged visits
across the wilderness knew hospitality and inherited gentle manners,
sending to Europe for silks and laces to give their daughters; but their
eyes had not looked upon Granada, and their ears had never listened to