|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:
deplorable violence. Looking at him, you would have said that he was a
cold, dull man. Renown, science, future, life, prizes, all vanished.
" 'To win her love or die!' Such was the sentence Sarrasine pronounced
"He was so completely intoxicated that he no longer saw theatre,
audience, or actors, no longer heard the music. Nay, more, there was
no space between him and La Zambinella; he possessed her; his eyes,
fixed steadfastly upon her, took possession of her. An almost
diabolical power enabled him to feel the breath of that voice, to
inhale the fragrant powder with which her hair was covered, to see the
slightest inequalities of her face, to count the blue veins which
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:
GENTEEL, adj. Refined, after the fashion of a gent.
Observe with care, my son, the distinction I reveal:
A gentleman is gentle and a gent genteel.
Heed not the definitions your "Unabridged" presents,
For dictionary makers are generally gents.
GEOGRAPHER, n. A chap who can tell you offhand the difference between
the outside of the world and the inside.
Habeam, geographer of wide reknown,
Native of Abu-Keber's ancient town,
In passing thence along the river Zam
The Devil's Dictionary
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Spirit of the Border by Zane Grey:
quiet, mild chap; but a streak of chain-lightnin' when he's riled. Wetzel is
an Injun-killer. Some people say as how he's crazy over scalp-huntin'; but I
reckon that's not so. I've seen him a few times. He don't hang round the
settlement 'cept when the Injuns are up, an' nobody sees him much. At home he
sets round silent-like, an' then mebbe next mornin' he'll be gone, an' won't
show up fer days or weeks. But all the frontier knows of his deeds. Fer
instance, I've hearn of settlers gettin' up in the mornin' an' findin' a
couple of dead and scalped Injuns right in front of their cabins. No one
knowed who killed 'em, but everybody says 'Wetzel.' He's allus warnin' the
settlers when they need to flee to the fort, and sure he's right every time,
because when these men go back to their cabins they find nothin' but ashes.
The Spirit of the Border
|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 Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
king alone together. As they crossed the /salle des gardes/ to enter
the council-chamber, the grand-master told the usher to bring the
queen's furrier to him. When Christophe saw the usher approaching from
the farther end of the great hall, he took him, on account of his
uniform, for some great personage, and his heart sank within him. But
that sensation, natural as it was at the approach of the critical
moment, grew terrible when the usher, whose movement had attracted the
eyes of all that brilliant assembly upon Christophe, his homely face
and his bundles, said to him:--
"Messeigneurs the Cardinal de Lorraine and the Grand-master wish to
speak to you in the council chamber."