|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
She was firm enough to conceal her agitation, and begged her mother to
see the children put to bed. She then sent for Lousteau, and received
him in a boudoir, next to the great drawing-room, with open doors. She
was going to a ball after the Opera, and was wearing a beautiful dress
of brocade in stripes alternately plain and flowered with pale blue.
Her gloves, trimmed with tassels, showed off her beautiful white arms.
She was shimmering with lace and all the dainty trifles required by
fashion. Her hair, dressed /a la Sevigne/, gave her a look of
elegance; a necklace of pearls lay on her bosom like bubbles on snow.
"What is the matter, monsieur?" said the Countess, putting out her
foot from below her skirt to rest it on a velvet cushion. "I thought,
The Muse of the Department
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll:
`Now I declare that's too bad!' Humpty Dumpty cried, breaking into
a sudden passion. `You've been listening at doors--and behind trees--
and down chimneys--or you couldn't have known it!'
`I haven't, indeed!' Alice said very gently. `It's in a book.'
`Ah, well! They may write such things in a BOOK,' Humpty
Dumpty said in a calmer tone. `That's what you call a History of
England, that is. Now, take a good look at me! I'm one that has
spoken to a King, _I_ am: mayhap you'll never see such another:
and to show you I'm not proud, you may shake hands with me!' And
he grinned almost from ear to ear, as he leant forwards (and as
Through the Looking-Glass
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dust by Mr. And Mrs. Haldeman-Julius:
there's no smells except the rich, healthy smells of nature."
A merry twinkle appeared in Rose's eyes. "Aren't roses out
there"--and her gesture was in the same direction--"rather apt to
be crowded down by the weeds?"
"Not if there was a good strong man about--a man who wanted to
cultivate the soil and give the rose a pretty place in which to
"Why, Martin," Rose laughed lightly, "the way you're fixed out
there with that shack, the only thing that ever blooms is a fine
crop of rag-weeds."
At this gratuitous thrust a flood of crimson surged up Martin's
|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 Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:
her impulse, climbed the gate, put her toe upon his
instep, and scrambled into the saddle behind him. The
pair were speeding away into the distant gray by the
time that the contentious revellers became aware of
what had happened.
The Queen of Spades forgot the stain on her bodice, and
stood beside the Queen of Diamonds and the new-married,
staggering young woman--all with a gaze of fixity in
the direction in which the horse's tramp was
diminishing into silence on the road.
"What be ye looking at?" asked a man who had not
Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman