|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
brother of our friend Alcibiades, of whom this very same Pericles was the
guardian; and he being in fact under the apprehension that Cleinias would
be corrupted by Alcibiades, took him away, and placed him in the house of
Ariphron to be educated; but before six months had elapsed, Ariphron sent
him back, not knowing what to do with him. And I could mention numberless
other instances of persons who were good themselves, and never yet made any
one else good, whether friend or stranger. Now I, Protagoras, having these
examples before me, am inclined to think that virtue cannot be taught. But
then again, when I listen to your words, I waver; and am disposed to think
that there must be something in what you say, because I know that you have
great experience, and learning, and invention. And I wish that you would,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from At the Sign of the Cat & Racket by Honore de Balzac:
poetry, music, and all his dearest habits. One morning Girodet broke
through all the barriers with which artists are familiar, and which
they know how to evade, went into his room, and woke him by asking,
"What are you going to send to the Salon?" The artist grasped his
friend's hand, dragged him off to the studio, uncovered a small easel
picture and a portrait. After a long and eager study of the two
masterpieces, Girodet threw himself on his comrade's neck and hugged
him, without speaking a word. His feelings could only be expressed as
he felt them--soul to soul.
"You are in love?" said Girodet.
They both knew that the finest portraits by Titian, Raphael, and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Where There's A Will by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
young man. Human nature can stand a lot but it can't stand
everything. He's overdoing it!"
"They like it," I said.
"They think they do," he retorted. "Mark my words, Minnie, if he
adds another mile to the walk to-morrow there will be a mutiny.
Kingdoms may be lost by an extra blister on a heel."
Mr. von Inwald had been sitting with his feet straight out,
scowling, but now he turned and looked at me coolly.
"All that keeps me here," he said, "is Minnie's lovely hair. It
takes me mentally back home, Minnie, to a lovely lady--may I have
a bit of it to keep by me?"
|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 Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honore de Balzac:
hospital when the last term of his stunted growth expires; whereas the
man of the middle class is set upon living, and lives on, but in a
state of idiocy. You will meet him, with his worn, flat old face, with
no light in his eyes, with no strength in his limbs, dragging himself
with a dazed air along the boulevard--the belt of his Venus, of his
beloved city. What was his want? The sabre of the National Guard, a
permanent stock-pot, a decent plot in Pere Lachaise, and, for his old
age, a little gold honestly earned. /HIS/ Monday is on Sunday, his
rest a drive in a hired carriage--a country excursion during which his
wife and children glut themselves merrily with dust or bask in the
sun; his dissipation is at the restaurateur's, whose poisonous dinner
The Girl with the Golden Eyes