|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Study of a Woman by Honore de Balzac:
women are capable of following a plan of this kind for seven years in
order to gratify their fancies later; but to suppose any such
reservations in the Marquise de Listomere would be to calumniate her.
I have had the happiness of knowing this phoenix. She talks well; I
know how to listen; consequently I please her, and I go to her
parties. That, in fact, was the object of my ambition.
Neither plain nor pretty, Madame de Listomere has white teeth, a
dazzling skin, and very red lips; she is tall and well-made; her foot
is small and slender, and she does not put it forth; her eyes, far
from being dulled like those of so many Parisian women, have a gentle
glow which becomes quite magical if, by chance, she is animated. A
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tour Through Eastern Counties of England by Daniel Defoe:
wealthy merchant of London, and chosen Sub-Governor of the South
Sea Company immediately after the ruin of the former Sub-Governor
and Directors, whose overthrow makes the history of these times
Brentwood and Ingatestone, and even Chelmsford itself, have very
little to be said of them, but that they are large thoroughfare
towns, full of good inns, and chiefly maintained by the excessive
multitude of carriers and passengers which are constantly passing
this way to London with droves of cattle, provisions, and
manufactures for London.
The last of these towns is indeed the county town, where the county
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
scheming. As he smoked a second cigar, he seriously reviewed the
His life with Madame de la Baudraye had hitherto cost him quite as
much as it had cost her. To use the language of business, the two
sides of the account balanced, and they could, if necessary, cry
quits. Considering how small his income was, and how hardly he earned
it, Lousteau regarded himself, morally speaking, as the creditor. It
was, no doubt, a favorable moment for throwing the woman over. Tired
at the end of three years of playing a comedy which never can become a
habit, he was perpetually concealing his weariness; and this fellow,
who was accustomed to disguise none of his feelings, compelled himself
The Muse of the Department
|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 Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
Perhaps the weak, flaccid wretch had some stimulant in her pale
life to keep her up,--some love or hope, it might be, or urgent
need. When that stimulant was gone, she would take to whiskey.
Man cannot live by work alone. While she was skinning the
potatoes, and munching them, a noise behind her made her stop.
"Janey!" she called, lifting the candle and peering into the
darkness. "Janey, are you there?"
A heap of ragged coats was heaved up, and the face of a
young,girl emerged, staring sleepily at the woman.
"Deborah," she said, at last, "I'm here the night."
"Yes, child. Hur's welcome," she said, quietly eating on.
Life in the Iron-Mills