|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tattine by Ruth Ogden [Mrs. Charles W. Ide]:
as certainly to scare little Black-and-white out of at least one of the nine
lives to which she is supposed to be entitled. But pussy was too swift and
swiftly scrambled to the very topmost twig that would hold her weight, while
Tattine danced about in helpless rage on the grass beneath the tree. "Tattine
is having a fit," thought little Black-and-white, scared half to death and
quite ready to have a little fit of her own, to judge from her wild eyes and
Tattine's futile rage was followed in a few minutes by, "Oh, Patrick, I never
dreamt it was Kittie. Has SHE been TRAINED to do it, do you think?"
"Oh. no, miss; it just comes natural to cats and kittens to prey upon birds
and birds' nests."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne by Robert Louis Stevenson:
the hills, but not a ray fell into the bottom of the glen where I
was lying. The oak rose before me like a pillar of darkness; and
overhead the heartsome stars were set in the face of the night. No
one knows the stars who has not slept, as the French happily put
it, A LA BELLE ETOILE. He may know all their names and distances
and magnitudes, and yet be ignorant of what alone concerns mankind,
- their serene and gladsome influence on the mind. The greater
part of poetry is about the stars; and very justly, for they are
themselves the most classical of poets. These same far-away
worlds, sprinkled like tapers or shaken together like a diamond
dust upon the sky, had looked not otherwise to Roland or Cavalier,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Firm of Nucingen by Honore de Balzac:
Candide. Long live the Kritik of Pure Reason, La Symbolique, and the
systems in five closely packed volumes, printed by Germans, who little
suspect that the gist of the matter has been known in Paris since
1750, and crystallized in a few trenchant words--the diamonds of our
national thought. Blondet is driving a hearse to his own suicide;
Blondet, forsooth! who manufactures newspaper accounts of the last
words of all the great men that die without saying anything!"
"Come, get on," put in Finot.
"It was my intention to explain to you in what the happiness of a man
consists when he is not a shareholder (out of compliment to Couture).
Well, now, do you not see at what a price Godefroid secured the
|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 Study of a Woman by Honore de Balzac:
to others, who regard that beverage as a panacea for indigestion, I
will add that Eugene was, by this time, writing letters. He was
comfortably seated, with his feet more frequently on the andirons
than, properly, on the rug. Ah! to have one's feet on the polished bar
which connects the two griffins of a fender, and to think of our love
in our dressing-gown is so delightful a thing that I deeply regret the
fact of having neither mistress, nor fender, nor dressing-gown.
The first letter which Eugene wrote was soon finished; he folded and
sealed it, and laid it before him without adding the address. The
second letter, begun at eleven o'clock, was not finished till mid-day.
The four pages were closely filled.