|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas:
monsieur le prince to be kind enough to give you up to me; I
have received his reply, and you belong to me from this
morning. Monsieur le prince was a good master, but I hope
you will not lose by the exchange."
"Yes, yes, Raoul, be satisfied; the king has some good in
him," said D'Artagnan, who had fathomed the character of
Louis, and who played with his self-love, within certain
limits; always observing, be it understood, the proprieties
and flattering, even when he appeared to be bantering.
"Sire," said Bragelonne, with a voice soft and musical, and
with the natural and easy elocution he inherited from his
Ten Years Later
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Unconscious Comedians by Honore de Balzac:
Besides," she said, letting a cold smile flicker on her lips, and
enforcing it by an icy glance full of catlike distrust, "if it doesn't
concern your happiness, it concerns your fortune; and at the height
where I find you lodging no man haggles over a 'dot'-- Come," she
said, "out with it! What is it you want to know, my lambs?"
"About the Beunier family," replied Bixiou, very glad to find out
something in this indirect manner about persons in whom he was
"Oh! as for that," she said, "one louis is quite enough."
"Because I hold all the mother's jewels and she's on tenter-hooks
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac:
of a silk dress and a young woman's light footstep on the stair;
some one was going to Goriot's room. He seemed to expect the
visit, for his door stood ajar. The portly Sylvie presently came
up to tell her mistress that a girl too pretty to be honest,
"dressed like a goddess," and not a speck of mud on her laced
cashmere boots, had glided in from the street like a snake, had
found the kitchen, and asked for M. Goriot's room. Mme. Vauquer
and the cook, listening, overheard several words affectionately
spoken during the visit, which lasted for some time. When M.
Goriot went downstairs with the lady, the stout Sylvie forthwith
took her basket and followed the lover-like couple, under pretext
|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 The Recruit by Honore de Balzac:
raised such a lively discussion on the quality of ciders, which was
ably seconded by the old merchant, that the company almost forgot to
watch her, finding her countenance quite natural, and her composure
imperturbable. The public prosecutor and one of the judges of the
revolutionary tribunal was taciturn, observing attentively every
change in her face; every now and then they addressed her some
embarrassing question, to which, however, the countess answered with
admirable presence of mind. Mothers have such courage!
After Madame de Dey had arranged the card parties, placing some guests
at the boston, and some at the whist tables, she stood talking to a
number of young people with extreme ease and liveliness of manner,