|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:
pleasure, emboldened the fair Marie, who fell into a platonic love,
gently tempered with those little indulgences in which there is no
danger. From this cause sprang the diabolical pleasures of the game
invented by the ladies, who since the death of Francis the First
feared the contagion, but wished to gratify their lovers. To these
cruel delights, in order to properly play his part, Lavalliere could
not refuse his sanction. Thus every evening the mournful Marie would
attach her guest to her petticoats, holding his hand, kissing him with
burning glances, her cheek placed gently against his, and during this
virtuous embrace, in which the knight was held like the devil by a
holy water brush, she told him of her great love, which was boundless
Droll Stories, V. 1
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from In the Cage by Henry James:
was possible now, all questions were stupid after his, all faces
were ugly. She had been sure she should see the lady again; and
even now she should perhaps, she should probably, see her often.
But for him it was totally different; she should never never see
him. She wanted it too much. There was a kind of wanting that
helped--she had arrived, with her rich experience, at that
generalisation; and there was another kind that was fatal. It was
this time the fatal kind; it would prevent.
Well, she saw him the very next day, and on this second occasion it
was quite different; the sense of every syllable he paid for was
fiercely distinct; she indeed felt her progressive pencil, dabbing
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Professor by Charlotte Bronte:
parlour, and was very kind and gentle while I stayed. The next
day she was kinder still; she came herself into the class to see
that the windows were closed, and that there was no draught; she
exhorted me with friendly earnestness not to over-exert myself;
when I went away, she gave me her hand unasked, and I could not
but mark, by a respectful and gentle pressure, that I was
sensible of the favour, and grateful for it. My modest
demonstration kindled a little merry smile on her countenance; I
thought her almost charming. During the remainder of the
evening, my mind was full of impatience for the afternoon of the
next day to arrive, that I might see her again.
|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 Duchesse de Langeais by Honore de Balzac:
He threw open the door and rushed in, preceded by his disguised
companion, who let down the veil over his face.
There before them lay the dead Duchess; her plank bed had been
laid on the floor of the outer room of her cell, between two
lighted candles. Neither Montriveau nor de Marsay spoke a word
or uttered a cry; but they looked into each other's faces. The
General's dumb gesture tried to say, "Let us carry her away!"
"Quickly" shouted Ronquerolles, "the procession of nuns is
leaving the church. You will be caught!"
With magical swiftness of movement, prompted by an intense
desire, the dead woman was carried into the convent parlour,