|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
let the sum accumulate.
There does not exist, or rather, there seldom exists, a criminal who
is wholly criminal. Neither do we ever meet with a dishonest nature
which is completely dishonest. It is possible for a man to cheat his
master to his own advantage, or rake in for himself alone all the hay
in the manger, but, even while laying up capital by actions more or
less illicit, there are few men who never do good ones. If only from
self-love, curiosity, or by way of variety, or by chance, every man
has his moment of beneficence; he may call it his error, he may never
do it again, but he sacrifices to Goodness, as the most surly man
sacrifices to the Graces once or twice in his life. If Moreau's faults
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Collection of Antiquities by Honore de Balzac:
eyes in the shape of some famous woman of old times; she is Agnes
Sorel, Marie Touchet, Gabrielle; and I lend her all the love that was
lost in her heart, all the love that she never expressed. The angel
shape seen in glimpses through the haze of childish fancies visits me
now sometimes across the mists of dreams."
Keep this portrait in mind; it is a faithful picture and sketch of
character. Mlle. d'Esgrignon is one of the most instructive figures in
this story; she affords an example of the mischief that may be done by
the purest goodness for lack of intelligence.
Two-thirds of the emigres returned to France during 1804 and 1805, and
almost every exile from the Marquis d'Esgrignon's province came back
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:
"Because I am comfortable there."
"No, Jane, you are not comfortable there, because your heart is not
with me: it is with this cousin--this St. John. Oh, till this
moment, I thought my little Jane was all mine! I had a belief she
loved me even when she left me: that was an atom of sweet in much
bitter. Long as we have been parted, hot tears as I have wept over
our separation, I never thought that while I was mourning her, she
was loving another! But it is useless grieving. Jane, leave me:
go and marry Rivers."
"Shake me off, then, sir,--push me away, for I'll not leave you of
my own accord."
|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 Fanny Herself by Edna Ferber:
So. You have a skeleton sketch of Haynes-Cooper, whose
feelers reach the remotest dugout in the Yukon, the most
isolated cabin in the Rockies, the loneliest ranch-house in
Wyoming; the Montana mining shack, the bleak Maine farm, the
plantation in Virginia.
And the man who had so innocently put life into this
monster? A plumpish, kindly-faced man; a bewildered,
gentle, unimaginative and somewhat frightened man, fresh-
cheeked, eye-glassed. In his suite of offices in the new
Administration Building--built two years ago--marble and oak
throughout--twelve stories, and we're adding three already;