|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:
never spared himself there, and, in fact, as he had no other virtue
except his bravery, he was captain of a company of lancers, and much
esteemed by the Duke of Burgoyne, who never troubled what his soldiers
did elsewhere. This nephew of the devil was named Captain Cochegrue;
and his creditors, the blockheads, citizens, and others, whose pockets
he slit, called him the Mau-cinge, since he was as mischievous as
strong; but he had moreover his back spoilt by the natural infirmity
of a hump, and it would have been unwise to attempt to mount thereon
to get a good view, for he would incontestably have run you through.
The second had studied the laws, and through the favour of his uncle
had become a procureur, and practised at the palace, where he did the
Droll Stories, V. 1
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson:
We dwell on a volcano; if this man can have his way, Grunewald
before a week will have been deluged with innocent blood. You know
the truth of what I say; we have looked unblenching into this ever-
possible catastrophe. To him it is nothing: he will abdicate!
Abdicate, just God! and this unhappy country committed to his
charge, and the lives of men and the honour of women . . .' His
voice appeared to fail him; in an instant he had conquered his
emotion and resumed: 'But you, madam, conceive more worthily of your
responsibilities. I am with you in the thought; and in the face of
the horrors that I see impending, I say, and your heart repeats it -
we have gone too far to pause. Honour, duty, ay, and the care of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Paz by Honore de Balzac:
Clementine, not looking at Paz.
"He loves you madly," replied Thaddeus.
"Yes, and because he loves me madly he is all the more likely not to
love me to-morrow," said the countess.
"How inexplicable Parisian women are!" exclaimed Thaddeus. "When they
are loved to madness they want to be loved reasonably: and when they
are loved reasonably they reproach a man for not loving them at all."
"And they are quite right. Thaddeus," she went on, smiling, "I know
Adam well; I am not angry with him; he is volatile and above all grand
seigneur. He will always be content to have me as his wife and he will
never oppose any of my tastes, but--"
|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 The Crisis in Russia by Arthur Ransome:
of common sense that they themselves can understand. We
found that when we said definitely how many carts and men
a village must provide, and used them without delay for a
definite purpose, they were perfectly satisfied and
considered it right and proper. In every case, however,
when they saw people being mobilized and sent thither
without obvious purpose or result, they became hostile at
once." I asked Unshlicht how it was that their army still
contained skilled workmen when one of the objects of
industrial conscription was to get the skilled workmen back
into the factories. He said: "We have an accurate census of