|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Adieu by Honore de Balzac:
which his friend was passing, was careful not to question or excite
him; he was only anxious to reach the chateau, for the change which
had taken place in the colonel's features, in fact in his whole
person, made him fear for his friend's reason. As soon, therefore, as
the carriage had reached the main street of Ile-Adam, he dispatched
the footman to the village doctor, so that the colonel was no sooner
fairly in his bed at the chateau than the physician was beside him.
"If monsieur had not been many hours without food the shock would have
killed him," said the doctor.
After naming the first precautions, the doctor left the room, to
prepare, himself, a calming potion. The next day, Monsieur de Sucy was
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Nana, Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille by Emile Zola:
mother being kissed. In the next carriage Mignon, in order to
astonish Lucy, was making his sons recite a fable by La Fontaine.
Henri was prodigious at this exercise; he could spout you one
without pause or hesitation. But Maria Blond, at the head of the
procession, was beginning to feel extremely bored. She was tired of
hoaxing that blockhead of a Tatan Nene with a story to the effect
that the Parisian dairywomen were wont to fabricate eggs with a
mixture of paste and saffron. The distance was too great: were they
never going to get to their destination? And the question was
transmitted from carriage to carriage and finally reached Nana, who,
after questioning her driver, got up and shouted:
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Master of the World by Jules Verne:
for using their guns. Our captain seemed content to keep this
distance; though it would have been easy for him to increase it, and
then at nightfall, to dodge back behind the enemy.
Already Buffalo had disappeared on our right, and a little after
seven o'clock the opening of the Niagara River appeared ahead. If he
entered there, knowing that he could not return, our captain must
have lost his mind! And in truth was he not insane, this man who
proclaimed himself, who believed himself, Master of the World?
I watched him there, calm, impassive not even turning his head to
note the progress of the destroyers and I wondered at him.
This end of the lake was absolutely deserted. Freight steamers bound
|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 Oscar Wilde Miscellaneous by Oscar Wilde:
And yet so cunningly wrought that one would say,
It breathed, or held its breath.
Would not this noble and most costly robe
Suit young Lord Guido well?
Nay, but entreat him;
He will refuse you nothing, though the price
Be as a prince's ransom. And your profit
Shall not be less than mine.
BIANCA. Am I your prentice?
Why should I chaffer for your velvet robe?