|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Prince of Bohemia by Honore de Balzac:
it makes bourgeois life! After all, a playwright is not a Rastignac
nor a Rhetore----'
"Du Bruel looked ghastly at this. Two days afterwards we met in the
/foyer/ at the Opera, and took a few turns together. The conversation
fell on Tullia.
" 'Do not take my ravings on the boulevard too seriously,' said he; 'I
have a violent temper.'
"For two winters I was a tolerably frequent visitor at du Bruel's
house, and I followed Claudine's tactics closely. She had a splendid
carriage. Du Bruel entered public life; she made him abjure his
Royalist opinions. He rallied himself; he took his place again in the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Reef by Edith Wharton:
departure for London would be deferred. He was exhilarated
by the prospect of being with Anna for a few hours longer,
and she did not ask herself if his exhilaration were a sign
of insensibility, for she was too conscious of his power of
swaying her moods not to be secretly proud of affecting his.
They lingered for some time over the fruit and coffee, and
when they rose to go Darrow suggested that, if she felt
disposed for the play, they were not too late for the second
part of the programme at one of the smaller theatres.
His mention of the hour recalled Owen to her thoughts. She
saw his train rushing southward through the storm, and, in a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne:
At half-past eight the little band was following the edge of the channel.
On the other side, on Safety Islet, numerous birds were gravely strutting.
They were divers, easily recognized by their cry, which much resembles the
braying of a donkey. Pencroft only considered them in an eatable point of
view, and learnt with some satisfaction that their flesh, though blackish,
is not bad food.
Great amphibious creatures could also be seen crawling on the sand;
seals, doubtless, who appeared to have chosen the islet for a place of
refuge. It was impossible to think of those animals in an alimentary point
of view, for their oily flesh is detestable; however, Cyrus Harding
observed them attentively, and without making known his idea, he announced
The Mysterious Island
|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 Walking by Henry David Thoreau:
and settled all your affairs, and are a free man--then you are
ready for a walk.
To come down to my own experience, my companion and I, for I
sometimes have a companion, take pleasure in fancying ourselves
knights of a new, or rather an old, order--not Equestrians or
Chevaliers, not Ritters or Riders, but Walkers, a still more
ancient and honorable class, I trust. The Chivalric and heroic
spirit which once belonged to the Rider seems now to reside in,
or perchance to have subsided into, the Walker--not the Knight,
but Walker, Errant. He is a sort of fourth estate, outside of
Church and State and People.