|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Distinguished Provincial at Paris by Honore de Balzac:
something so altogether different from the stage seen over the
footlights, that Lucien's astonishment knew no bounds. The curtain was
just about to fall on a good old-fashioned melodrama entitled Bertram,
a play adapted from a tragedy by Maturin which Charles Nodier,
together with Byron and Sir Walter Scott, held in the highest esteem,
though the play was a failure on the stage in Paris.
"Keep a tight hold of my arm, unless you have a mind to fall through a
trap-door, or bring down a forest on your head; you will pull down a
palace, or carry off a cottage, if you are not careful," said Etienne.
--"Is Florine in her dressing-room, my pet?" he added, addressing an
actress who stood waiting for her cue.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Hidden Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac:
disposition of those who promote the arts. But on the contrary he
fancied he saw something diabolical in the expression of the old man's
face,--something, I know not what, which has the quality of alluring
the artistic mind.
Imagine a bald head, the brow full and prominent and falling with deep
projection over a little flattened nose turned up at the end like the
noses of Rabelais and Socrates; a laughing, wrinkled mouth; a short
chin boldly chiselled and garnished with a gray beard cut into a
point; sea-green eyes, faded perhaps by age, but whose pupils,
contrasting with the pearl-white balls on which they floated, cast at
times magnetic glances of anger or enthusiasm. The face in other
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Aeroplanes and Dirigibles of War by Frederick A. Talbot:
weighing one ton is equivalent to a similar weight of ballast.
If this were discarded suddenly the equilibrium of the dirigible
would be seriously disturbed--it would exert a tendency to fly
upwards at a rapid speed. It is doubtful whether the planes
controlling movement in the vertical plane would ever be able to
counteract this enormous vertical thrust. Something would have
to submit to the strain. Even if the dirigible displaced say 20
tons, and a bomb weighing one ton were discharged, the weight of
the balloon would be decreased suddenly by approximately five
per cent, so that it would shoot upwards at an alarming speed,
and some seconds would elapse before control was regained.
|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 A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:
turn. We discussed the subject of convictions,
and each of us had some different conviction to
"So far as I am concerned," said the doctor,
"I am convinced of one thing only" . . .
"And that is --?" I asked, desirous of
learning the opinion of a man who had been silent
"Of the fact," he answered, "that sooner or
later, one fine morning, I shall die."
"I am better off than you," I said. "In addi-