|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
the silicates and the potash; but in all dells and pond-holes in the
woods and pastures and swamps grows a rich and various crop only
unreaped by man. Mine was, as it were, the connecting link between
wild and cultivated fields; as some states are civilized, and others
half-civilized, and others savage or barbarous, so my field was,
though not in a bad sense, a half-cultivated field. They were beans
cheerfully returning to their wild and primitive state that I
cultivated, and my hoe played the Rans des Vaches for them.
Near at hand, upon the topmost spray of a birch, sings the brown
thrasher -- or red mavis, as some love to call him -- all the
morning, glad of your society, that would find out another farmer's
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring by George Bernard Shaw:
to prosecution. In England, so many of our respectable voters are
still grovelling in a gloomy devil worship, of which the fires of
Loki are the main bulwark, that no Government has yet had the
conscience or the courage to repeal our monstrous laws against
Sieglinda, when she flies into the forest with the hero's son
unborn in her womb, and the broken pieces of his sword in her
hand, finds shelter in the smithy of a dwarf, where she brings
forth her child and dies. This dwarf is no other than Mimmy, the
brother of Alberic, the same who made for him the magic helmet.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:
"What is all this? What is all this?" asked La Sauvage. "Has M.
Schmucke ordered something? Who may you be?"
"I represent the firm of Sonet, my dear madame, the biggest monumental
stone-masons in Paris," said the person in black, handing a business-
card to the stalwart Sauvage.
"Very well, that will do. Some one will go with you when the time
comes; but you must not take advantage of the gentleman's condition
now. You can quite see that he is not himself----"
The agent led her out upon the landing.
"If you will undertake to get the order for us," he said
|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 Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
statesman of the future--you reckon upon your talents, you estimate
their value, you rate them, let us say, at a hundred thousand
"Do you give me a hundred thousand crowns?"
"Yes, Monsieur, as you will see. Either your heirs and assigns will
receive them if you die, for the company contemplates that event, or
you will receive them in the long run through your works of art, your
writings, or your fortunate speculations during your lifetime. But, as
I have already had the honor to tell you, when you have once fixed
upon the value of your intellectual capital,--for it is intellectual
capital,--seize that idea firmly,--intellectual--"