|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Bride of Lammermoor by Walter Scott:
the painted emblems of their calling, and sign-painters, if they
seldom feasted, did not at least absolutely starve.
To a worthy of this decayed profession, as we have already
intimated, Dick Tinto became an assistant; and thus, as is not
unusual among heaven-born geniuses in this department of the
fine arts, began to paint before he had any notion of drawing.
His talent for observing nature soon induced him to rectify the
errors, adn soar above the instructions, of his teacher. He
particularly shone in painting horses, that being a favourite
sign in the Scottish villages; and, in tracing his progress, it
is beautiful to observe how by degrees he learned to shorten the
The Bride of Lammermoor
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:
sweet and kind and condescending that I did not mind humiliating my
spirit before such a good Christian. I told her that I didn't know
how the poor sinner in her mad blindness called herself, but that
this house had been given to me truly enough by my sister. She
raised her eyebrows at that but she looked at me at the same time
so kindly, as much as to say, 'Don't trust much to that, my dear
girl,' that I couldn't help taking up her hand, soft as down, and
kissing it. She took it away pretty quick but she was not
offended. But she only said, 'That's very generous on your
sister's part,' in a way that made me run cold all over. I suppose
all the world knows our Rita for a shameless girl. It was then
The Arrow of Gold
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from An Old Maid by Honore de Balzac:
occasions he made him take off his blue cotton jacket, with its big
pockets hanging round his hips, and always bulging with handkerchiefs,
clasp-knives, fruits, or a handful of nuts, and forced him to put on a
regulation coat. Rene would then stuff his fill with the other
servants. This duty, which du Bousquier had turned into a reward, won
him the most absolute discretion from the Breton servant.
"You here, mademoiselle!" said Rene to Suzanne when she entered;
"'t'isn't your day. We haven't any linen for the wash, tell Madame
"Old stupid!" said Suzanne, laughing.
The pretty girl went upstairs, leaving Rene to finish his porringer of
|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 Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:
had become mischievous enough to make one tremble.
"And this little chorus singer is here to offer that?" said the
bishop, insolently turning his great rubicund face towards Philippe.
"Monseigneur, I'm here to confess Madame."
"Oh, oh, do you not know the canons? To confess the ladies at this
time of night is a right reserved to bishops, so take yourself off; go
and herd with simple monks, and never come back here again under pain
"Do not move," cried the blushing Imperia, more lovely with passion
than she was with love, because now she was possessed both with
passion and love. "Stop, my friend. Here you are in your own house."
Droll Stories, V. 1