|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Commission in Lunacy by Honore de Balzac:
were to have died with me. To reveal them I must disclose to you some
secret wounds, must place the honor of my family in your keeping, and
must speak of myself, a delicate matter, as you will fully understand.
I hope, monsieur, that it will all remain a secret between us. You
will, no doubt, be able to find in the formulas of the law one which
will allow of judgment being pronounced without any betrayal of my
"So far as that goes, it is perfectly possible, Monsieur le Marquis."
"Some time after my marriage," said M. d'Espard, "my wife having run
into considerable expenses, I was obliged to have recourse to
borrowing. You know what was the position of noble families during the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tik-Tok of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
thunderclaps echoed far over the sea. The waves
tossed the little raft here and there as a child
tosses a rubber ball and Betsy had a solemn
feeling that for hundreds of watery miles in every
direction there was no living thing besides
herself and the small donkey.
Perhaps Hank had the same thought, for he gently
rubbed his nose against the frightened girl and
said "Hee-haw!" in his softest voice, as if to
"You'll protect me, Hank dear, won't you?" she
Tik-Tok of Oz
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Symposium by Plato:
Follow then, he said, and let us demolish the proverb:--
'To the feasts of inferior men the good unbidden go;'
instead of which our proverb will run:--
'To the feasts of the good the good unbidden go;'
and this alteration may be supported by the authority of Homer himself, who
not only demolishes but literally outrages the proverb. For, after
picturing Agamemnon as the most valiant of men, he makes Menelaus, who is
but a fainthearted warrior, come unbidden (Iliad) to the banquet of
Agamemnon, who is feasting and offering sacrifices, not the better to the
worse, but the worse to the better.
I rather fear, Socrates, said Aristodemus, lest this may still be my case;
|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 Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:
'--What prodigious armies you had in Flanders!'--
Brother Toby, replied my father, taking his wig from off his head with his
right hand, and with his left pulling out a striped India handkerchief from
his right coat pocket, in order to rub his head, as he argued the point
with my uncle Toby.--
--Now, in this I think my father was much to blame; and I will give you my
reasons for it.
Matters of no more seeming consequence in themselves than, 'Whether my
father should have taken off his wig with his right hand or with his
left,'--have divided the greatest kingdoms, and made the crowns of the