|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Several Works by Edgar Allan Poe:
of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric
of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall; I
replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed-- I aided--
I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did this, and the
clamourer grew still.
It was now midnight, and my task was drawing to a close. I
had completed the eighth, the ninth, and the tenth tier. I had
finished a portion of the last and the eleventh; there remained but
a single stone to be fitted and plastered in. I struggled with its
weight; I placed it partially in its destined position. But now
there came from out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from King Lear by William Shakespeare:
To boot, and boot!
Enter [Oswald the] Steward.
Osw. A proclaim'd prize! Most happy!
That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh
To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor,
Briefly thyself remember. The sword is out
That must destroy thee.
Glou. Now let thy friendly hand
Put strength enough to't.
Osw. Wherefore, bold peasant,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Talisman by Walter Scott:
"Our poets of the Eastern countries say that a valiant camel-
driver is worthy to kiss the lip of a fair Queen, when a cowardly
prince is not worthy to salute the hem of her garment. But with
your permission, noble brother, I must take leave of thee for the
present, to receive the Duke of Austria and yonder Nazarene
knight, much less worthy of hospitality, but who must yet be
suitably entreated, not for their sakes, but for mine own honour
--for what saith the sage Lokman? 'Say not that the food is lost
unto thee which is given to the stranger; for if his body be
strengthened and fattened therewithal, not less is thine own
worship and good name cherished and augmented.'"
|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 Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:
for Esther back, for she must be belling like the does in the forest."
The Prefet at that time was a retired magistrate. Retired magistrates
make far too young Prefets. Partisans of the right, riding the high
horse on points of law, they are not light-handed in arbitary action
such as critical circumstances often require; cases in which the
Prefet should be as prompt as a fireman called to a conflagration. So,
face to face with the Vice-President of the Council of State, the
Prefet confessed to more faults than the police really has, deplored
its abuses, and presently was able to recollect the visit paid to him
by the Baron de Nucingen and his inquiries as to Peyrade. The Prefet,
while promising to check the rash zeal of his agents, thanked Lucien