|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:
dissatisfied with the light, pushed a table close to the partition, on
which she placed a chair, climbed lightly to the summit of this
erection, and again looked through the crevice. She cast but one
glance into the space beyond, which was lighted through a skylight;
but what she saw produced so strong an effect upon her that she
"Take care, Mademoiselle Ginevra, you'll fall!" cried Laure.
All the young girls gazed at the imprudent climber, and the fear of
their coming to her gave her courage; she recovered her equilibrium,
and replied, as she balanced herself on the shaking chair:--
"Pooh! it is more solid than a throne!"
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A treatise on Good Works by Dr. Martin Luther:
learn to do right for the sake of God's commandments also. Just
as young children are induced to pray, fast, learn, etc., by
gifts and promises of the parents, even though it would not be
good to treat them so all their lives, so that they never learn
to do good in the fear of God: far worse, if they become
accustomed to do good for the sake of praise and honor.
XXIII. But this is true, that we must none the less have a good
name and honor, and every one ought so to live that nothing evil
can be said of him, and that he give offence to no one, as St.
Paul says, Romans xii: "We are to be zealous to do good, not only
before God, but also before all men." And II. Corinthians iv: "We
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:
there was no obstacle to the existence of friendship between myself
and Louis de l'Estorade. Having renounced all idea of finding in
marriage those transports of love on which our minds used so often,
and with such perilous rapture, to dwell, I found a gentle calm
settling over me. "If debarred from love, why not seek for happiness?"
I said to myself. "Moreover, I am loved, and the love offered me I
shall accept. My married life will be no slavery, but rather a
perpetual reign. What is there to say against such a situation for a
woman who wishes to remain absolute mistress of herself?"
The important point of separating marriage from marital rights was
settled in a conversation between Louis and me, in the course of which
|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 On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau:
politicians by profession; but I think, what is it to any
independent, intelligent, and respectable man what decision
they may come to? Shall we not have the advantage of this
wisdom and honesty, nevertheless? Can we not count upon
some independent votes? Are there not many individuals in
the country who do not attend conventions? But no: I find
that the respectable man, so called, has immediately drifted
from his position, and despairs of his country, when his
country has more reasons to despair of him. He forthwith
adopts one of the candidates thus selected as the only
available one, thus proving that he is himself available for
On the Duty of Civil Disobedience