|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Message by Honore de Balzac:
charm possessed by every woman who loves; and, with even
supererogatory simplicity, afforded us that just sufficient spice
of danger which increases pleasure. Ah! how quickly the wind
swept away our talk and our happy laughter!
When we reached Pouilly, I scanned my new friend with much
interest, and truly, it was not difficult to imagine him the hero
of a very serious love affair. Picture to yourselves a young man
of middle height, but very well proportioned, a bright,
expressive face, dark hair, blue eyes, moist lips, and white and
even teeth. A certain not unbecoming pallor still overspread his
delicately cut features, and there were faint dark circles about
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:
Andoche accepted Popinot's perturbation as a compliment.
"Now then, before dinner, let's get to the bottom of the prospectus;
then we can drink without an afterthought," said Gaudissart. "After
dinner one reads askew; the tongue digests."
"Monsieur," said Popinot, "a prospectus is often a fortune."
"And for plebeians like myself," said Andoche, "fortune is nothing
more than a prospectus."
"Ha, very good!" cried Gaudissart, "that rogue of a Finot has the wit
of the forty Academicians."
"Of a hundred Academicians," said Popinot, bewildered by these ideas.
The impatient Gaudissart seized the manuscript and began to read in a
Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen:
could have no share, without shedding many tears.
Elinor's satisfaction, at the moment of removal,
was more positive. She had no such object for her lingering
thoughts to fix on, she left no creature behind, from whom
it would give her a moment's regret to be divided for ever,
she was pleased to be free herself from the persecution
of Lucy's friendship, she was grateful for bringing
her sister away unseen by Willoughby since his marriage,
and she looked forward with hope to what a few months
of tranquility at Barton might do towards restoring
Marianne's peace of mind, and confirming her own.
Sense and Sensibility
|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 Herodias by Gustave Flaubert:
mules entered the courtyard, mounted by men in priestly garb. These
were the Sadducees and the Pharisees, who were drawn to Machaerus by
the same ambition: the one party hoping to be appointed public
sacrificers, the other determined to retain those offices. Their faces
were dark, particularly those of the Pharisees, who were enemies of
Rome and of the tetrarch. The flowing skirts of their tunics
embarrassed their movements as they attempted to pass through the
throng; and their tiaras sat unsteadily upon their brows, around which
were bound small bands of parchment, showing lines of writing.
Almost at the same moment, the soldiers of the advance guard arrived.
Cloth coverings had been drawn over their glittering shields to