|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne:
was at the height of its splendor.
During the whole evening the bands of the Preobra-
jensky and Paulowsky regiments had played without cessa-
tion polkas, mazurkas, schottisches, and waltzes from among
the choicest of their repertoires. Innumerable couples of
dancers whirled through the magnificent saloons of the pal-
ace, which stood at a few paces only from the "old house
of stones" -- in former days the scene of so many terrible
dramas, the echoes of whose walls were this night awakened
by the gay strains of the musicians.
The grand-chamberlain of the court, was, besides, well
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne:
constitutes the elementary tissues of vegetable? This substance
is found quite pure in many bodies, especially in cotton, which
is nothing more than the down of the seeds of the cotton plant.
Now cotton, combined with cold nitric acid, become transformed
into a substance eminently insoluble, combustible, and explosive.
It was first discovered in 1832, by Braconnot, a French chemist,
who called it xyloidine. In 1838 another Frenchman, Pelouze,
investigated its different properties, and finally, in 1846,
Schonbein, professor of chemistry at Bale, proposed its employment
for purposes of war. This powder, now called pyroxyle, or
fulminating cotton, is prepared with great facility by simply
From the Earth to the Moon
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Bureaucracy by Honore de Balzac:
live, and their good looks by which to make their fortune. Devoted to
masked balls during the carnival, they seek their luck there, though
it often escapes them. Many end the weary round by marrying milliners,
or old women,--sometimes, however, young ones who are charmed with
their handsome persons, and with whom they set up a romance
illustrated with stupid love letters, which, nevertheless, seem to
answer their purpose.
Bixiou (pronounce it Bisiou) was a draughtsman, who ridiculed Dutocq
as readily as he did Rabourdin, whom he nicknamed "the virtuous
woman." Without doubt the cleverest man in the division or even in the
ministry (but clever after the fashion of a monkey, without aim or
|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 from England by Elizabeth Davis Bancroft:
that it may be many years before it happens again. He was not
present the other evening.
LETTER: To Mr. and Mrs. I.P.D.
My dear Uncle and Aunt:
LONDON, June 20, 1847
On the 19th, Saturday, we breakfasted with Lady Byron and my friend,
Miss Murray, at Mr. Rogers'. He and Lady Byron had not met for
many, many years, and their renewal of old friendship was very
interesting to witness. Mr. Rogers told me that he first introduced
her to Lord Byron. After breakfast he had been repeating some lines
of poetry which he thought fine, when he suddenly exclaimed: "But