|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from La Grenadiere by Honore de Balzac:
the hardships of their rough callings, he asked his mother's leave to
take country walks by way of amusement. Mme. Willemsens was beyond
measure glad that he should ask; the boy's astonished masters had told
her that he was overworking himself. So Louis went for long walks. He
tried to inure himself to fatigue, climbed the tallest trees with
incredible quickness, learned to swim, watched through the night. He
was not like the same boy; he was a young man already, with a
sunburned face, and a something in his expression that told of deep
When October came, Mme. Willemsens could only rise at noon. The
sunshine, reflected by the surface of the Loire, and stored up by the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
They must have either heard or guessed which way I went, for I had
proceeded but a short distance when I heard the sound of pursuit.
I had no mind to stop and fight these men here when there was
fighting aplenty elsewhere in the city of Kadabra--fighting
that could be of much more avail to me and mine than useless
life-taking far below the palace.
But the fellows were pressing me; and as I did not know the way
at all, I soon saw that they would overtake me unless I found a
place to conceal myself until they had passed, which would then give
The Warlord of Mars
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Off on a Comet by Jules Verne:
into business, "we want some coffee, some tobacco, and other things.
I have come to-day to order them, to settle the price, and to-morrow
Ben Zoof shall fetch the goods away."
"Merciful, heavens!" the Jew began to whine; but Servadac cut him short.
"None of that miserable howling! Business! I am come to buy your goods.
I shall pay for them."
"Ah yes, your Excellency," whispered the Jew, his voice
trembling like a street beggar. "Don't impose on me.
I am poor; I am nearly ruined already."
"Cease your wretched whining!" cried Servadac. "I have told you once,
I shall pay for all I buy."
|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 Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:
Savonnerie tapestry, which was presented to my grandmother by Louis
XV. along with his portrait. The timepiece was a gift from the
Marechal de Saxe, and the china ornaments on the mantelpiece came from
the Marechal de Richelieu. My grandmother's portrait, painted at the
age of twenty-five, hangs in an oval frame opposite that of the King.
The Prince, her husband, is conspicuous by his absence. I like this
frank negligence, untinged by hypocrisy--a characteristic touch which
sums up her charming personality. Once when my grandmother was
seriously ill, her confessor was urgent that the Prince, who was
waiting in the drawing-room, should be admitted.
"He can come in with the doctor and his drugs," was the reply.