|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Facino Cane by Honore de Balzac:
out into ashes, the lava had cooled; but the tracks of the flames, the
wreckage, and a little smoke remained to bear witness to the violence
of the eruption, the ravages of the fire. These images crowded up at
the sight of the clarionet player, till the thoughts now grown cold in
his face burned hot within my soul.
The fiddle and the flageolet took a deep interest in bottles and
glasses; at the end of a country-dance, they hung their instruments
from a button on their reddish-colored coats, and stretched out their
hands to a little table set in the window recess to hold their liquor
supply. Each time they did so they held out a full glass to the
Italian, who could not reach it for himself because he sat in front of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lin McLean by Owen Wister:
I had not; and forthwith Lin poured out to me the pent-up complaints and
sociability with which he was bursting. The foreman had sent him over
here with a sackful of letters for the post, and to bring back the week's
mail for the ranch. A day was gone now, and nothing for a man to do but
sit and sit. Tommy was overdue fifteen hours. Well, you could have
endured that, but the neighbors had all locked their cabins and gone to
Buffalo. It was circus week in Buffalo. Had I ever considered the money
there must be in the circus business? Tommy had taken the outgoing
letters early yesterday. Nobody had kept him waiting. By all rules he
should have been back again last night. Maybe the stage was late reaching
Powder River, and Tommy had had to lay over for it. Well, that would
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:
aimed it, to admonish you to desist from your enterprise.
I could as easily have lodged it in your heart."
"It did not need," said the knight, with rueful gallantry;
"you have lodged one there already."
"If you mean to say that you love me," said Matilda, "it is more than I
ever shall you: but if you will show your love by no further interfering
with mine, you will at least merit my gratitude."
The knight made a wry face under the double pain of heart and body caused
at the same moment by the material or martial, and the metaphorical
or erotic arrow, of which the latter was thus barbed by a declaration
more candid than flattering; but he did not choose to put in any such
|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 Paz by Honore de Balzac:
waves of what we call society, the century, Paris, London, St.
Petersburg,--or what you will.
If the axiom that architecture is the expression of manner and morals
was ever proved, it was certainly after the insurrection of 1830,
during the present reign of the house of Orleans. As all the old
fortunes are diminishing in France, the majestic mansions of our
ancestors are constantly being demolished and replaced by species of
phalansteries, in which the peers of July occupy the third floor above
some newly enriched empirics on the lower floors. A mixture of styles
is confusedly employed. As there is no longer a real court or nobility
to give the tone, there is no harmony in the production of art. Never,