|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Democracy In America, Volume 2 by Alexis de Toqueville:
minor shades of expression must escape them. As the time they can
devote to letters is very short, they seek to make the best use
of the whole of it. They prefer books which may be easily
procured, quickly read, and which require no learned researches
to be understood. They ask for beauties, self-proffered and
easily enjoyed; above all, they must have what is unexpected and
new. Accustomed to the struggle, the crosses, and the monotony
of practical life, they require rapid emotions, startling
passages -truths or errors brilliant enough to rouse them up, and
to plunge them at once, as if by violence, into the midst of a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Pierrette by Honore de Balzac:
appear in the contract as settling her capital on her brother,
retaining only the income of it. Vinet made Rogron and his sister
comprehend the necessity of antedating the document by two or three
days, so as to commit the mother and daughter in the eyes of the
public and give them a reason for continuing their visits.
"Sign that contract and I'll take upon myself to get you safely out of
this affair," said the lawyer. "There will be a terrible fight; but I
will put my whole soul into it--you'll have to make me a votive
"Oh, yes, yes," said Rogron.
By half-past eleven the lawyer had plenary powers to draw the contract
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Brother of Daphne by Dornford Yates:
cigarette. As she lighted it, I saw that her hand was trembling.
"Silvia, dear, surely you don't think- "
"Must you go?"
"It was a poor joke of mine, I know; but- "
"It was. I don't think a count or a baron would have said such a
Her eyes flashed and she was trembling all over. From being
pretty, she had become beautiful.
"Perhaps not," said I steadily. "But if they had, they would
have meant it, Silvia."
"As you did."
The Brother of Daphne
|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 Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
maidens, wherever they see warriors--Ai, ai!" Again the Jew wagged his
The heyduke twirled his upper moustache and uttered a sound somewhat
resembling the neighing of a horse.
"I pray my lord to do us a service!" exclaimed the Jew: "this prince
has come hither from a foreign land, and wants to get a look at the
Cossacks. He never, in all his life, has seen what sort of people the
The advent of foreign counts and barons was common enough in Poland:
they were often drawn thither by curiosity to view this half-Asiatic
corner of Europe. They regarded Moscow and the Ukraine as situated in
Taras Bulba and Other Tales