|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
"Ah! that's true," said the count. "Yes, I will think about it, be
sure of that. As for Colonel Czerni-Georges, the friend of Ali Pacha,
and Mina's aide-de-camp--" he continued, walking up to Georges.
"He! why that's my second clerk!" cried Crottat.
"You are quite mistaken, Maitre Crottat," said the count, assuming a
stern air. "A clerk who intends to be a notary does not leave
important deeds in a diligence at the mercy of other travellers;
neither does he spend twenty francs between Paris and Moisselles; or
expose himself to be arrested as a deserter--"
"Monseigneur," said Georges Marest, "I may have amused myself with the
bourgeois in the diligence, but--"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Timaeus by Plato:
by a love of hasty generalization, but by a divine instinct, a dialectical
enthusiasm, in which the human faculties seemed to yearn for enlargement.
We know that 'being' is only the verb of existence, the copula, the most
general symbol of relation, the first and most meagre of abstractions; but
to some of the ancient philosophers this little word appeared to attain
divine proportions, and to comprehend all truth. Being or essence, and
similar words, represented to them a supreme or divine being, in which they
thought that they found the containing and continuing principle of the
universe. In a few years the human mind was peopled with abstractions; a
new world was called into existence to give law and order to the old. But
between them there was still a gulf, and no one could pass from the one to
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tom Grogan by F. Hopkinson Smith:
a job at Schwartz's, tending gate. Now, what'll I do? Shall I
chuck up the job or stick?"
The old man looked into the desolate, weary face of the woman and
then at Tom. Then he said slowly:--
"Well, child, ye kin do widout it, an' maybe t' others can't."
"Ye've got it straight," said Tom; "that's just what I think
meself." Then, turning to the stranger:--
"Go home and tell yer man to go to bed. I'll touch nothin'
that'll break the heart of any woman. The job's McGaw's. I'll
throw up me bid."
|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 Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
When he saw me, however, he did not wait for any retort on my
part. He faded away--this is not slang; he did--he absolutely
disappeared in the dusk without my getting more than a glimpse of
his face. I had a vague impression of unfamiliar features and of
a sort of cap with a visor. Then he was gone.
I went to the lodge and rapped. It required two or three
poundings to bring Thomas to the door, and he opened it only an
inch or so.
"Where is Warner?" I asked.
"I--I think he's in bed, ma'm."
"Get him up," I said, "and for goodness' sake open the door,
The Circular Staircase