|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin:
lives BE as a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then
But there are some of you who believe not this--who think this cloud
of life has no such close--that it is to float, revealed and
illumined, upon the floor of heaven, in the day when He cometh with
clouds, and every eye shall see Him. Some day, you believe, within
these five, or ten, or twenty years, for every one of us the
judgment will be set, and the books opened. If that be true, far
more than that must be true. Is there but one day of judgment?
Why, for us every day is a day of judgment--every day is a Dies
Irae, and writes its irrevocable verdict in the flame of its West.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An Old Maid by Honore de Balzac:
trail of smoke; her temples grew shiny; decadence was beginning! It
was authentic in Alencon that Mademoiselle Cormon suffered from rush
of blood to the head. She confided her ills to the Chevalier de
Valois, enumerating her foot-baths, and consulting him as to
refrigerants. On such occasions the shrewd old gentleman would pull
out his snuff-box, gaze at the Princess Goritza, and say, by way of
"The right composing draught, my dear lady, is a good and kind
"But whom can one trust?" she replied.
The chevalier would then brush away the snuff which had settled in the
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Adventure by Jack London:
Her hand started out impulsively, then checked. "My name is
Lackland, Joan Lackland." The hand went out. "And let us be
"It could not be otherwise--" he began lamely.
"And I can feed my men all the tinned goods I want?" she rushed on.
"Till the cows come home," he answered, attempting her own
lightness, then adding, "that is, to Berande. You see we don't
have any cows at Berande."
She fixed him coldly with her eyes.
"Is that a joke?" she demanded.
"I really don't know--I--I thought it was, but then, you see, I'm
|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 Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:
excellent constitution of the patient, who resumed her ministrations
seven days later to the great satisfaction of her two gentlemen. Her
influence in their household and her tyranny was increased a hundred-
fold by the accident. In the course of a week, the two nutcrackers ran
into debt; Mme. Cibot paid the outstanding amounts, and took the
opportunity to obtain from Schmucke (how easily!) a receipt for two
thousand francs, which she had lent, she said, to the friends.
"Oh, what a doctor M. Poulain is!" cried La Cibot, for Pons' benefit.
"He will bring you through, my dear sir, for he pulled me out of my
coffin! Cibot, poor man, thought I was dead. . . . Well, Dr. Poulain
will have told you that while I was in bed I thought of nothing but