|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
Saint-Germain, among the Listomeres, the Lenoncourts, and the
Vandenesses, he heard so much gossip, so many facts and falsities,
about Madame Firmiani that he resolved to be presented to her under
the name of de Rouxellay, that of his estate in Touraine. The astute
old gentleman was careful to choose an evening when he knew that
Octave would be engaged in finishing a piece of work which was to pay
him well,--for this so-called lover of Madame Firmiani still went to
her house; a circumstance that seemed difficult to explain. As to
Octave's ruin, that, unfortunately, was no fable, as Monsieur de
Bourbonne had at once discovered.
Monsieur de Rouxellay was not at all like the provincial uncle at the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac:
your father's honor. Adieu! You will always have a faithful friend
in your cousin
The president smiled at the exclamation which the ambitious young man
could not repress as he received the documents.
"We shall announce our marriages at the same time," remarked Monsieur
"Ah! you marry Eugenie? Well, I am delighted; she is a good girl.
But," added Charles, struck with a luminous idea, "she must be rich?"
"She had," said the president, with a mischievous smile, "about
nineteen millions four days ago; but she has only seventeen millions
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Sportsman by Xenophon:
than that of a wrestler, and thrust forward his boar-spear."
 Cf. Hes. "Shield," 387; Hom. "Il." xii. 148: "Then forth rushed
the twain, and fought in front of the gates like wild boars that
in the mountains abide the assailing crew of men and dogs, and
charging on either flank they crush the wood around them, cutting
it at the root, and the clatter of their tusks waxes loud, till
one smite them and take their life away" (A. Lang).
From this extremity there is but one means of escape, and one alone,
for the luckless prisoner. One of his fellow-huntsmen must approach
with boar-spear and provoke the boar, making as though he would let
fly at him; but let fly he must not, for fear of hitting the man under
|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 Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde:
of them. And of these Christ was one.
'Know thyself' was written over the portal of the antique world.
Over the portal of the new world, 'Be thyself' shall be written.
And the message of Christ to man was simply 'Be thyself.' That is
the secret of Christ.
When Jesus talks about the poor he simply means personalities, just
as when he talks about the rich he simply means people who have not
developed their personalities. Jesus moved in a community that
allowed the accumulation of private property just as ours does, and
the gospel that he preached was not that in such a community it is
an advantage for a man to live on scanty, unwholesome food, to wear