|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
which governs us; it was answered at the Carmes and at the Abbaye;
answered on the steps of Saint-Roch; answered once more by the people
against the king before the Louvre in 1830, as it has since been
answered by Lafayette's best of all possible republics against the
republican insurrection at Saint-Merri and the rue Transnonnain. All
power, legitimate or illegitimate, must defend itself when attacked;
but the strange thing is that where the people are held heroic in
their victory over the nobility, power is called murderous in its duel
with the people. If it succumbs after its appeal to force, power is
then called imbecile. The present government is attempting to save
itself by two laws from the same evil Charles X. tried to escape by
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Buttered Side Down by Edna Ferber:
Henri's poise seemed to desert him in that moment. He appeared a
shade less debonair as he received the precious bottle from the
wine man's hands. He made for Miss Fink's desk and stood watching
her while she checked his order. At the door he turned and looked
over his shoulder at Miss Sweeney.
"Some time," he said, deliberately, "when there's no ladies
around, I'll tell you what I think she looks like."
And the little glow of color in Miss Gussic Fink's smooth
cheek became a crimson flood that swept from brow to throat.
"Oh, well," snickered Miss Sweeney, to hide her own
discomfiture, "this is little Heiny's first New Year's Eve in the
Buttered Side Down
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Captain Stormfield by Mark Twain:
That meant for me to stand aside. I done so, and a sky-blue man
with seven heads and only one leg hopped into my place. I took a
walk. It just occurred to me, then, that all the myriads I had
seen swarming to that gate, up to this time, were just like that
creature. I tried to run across somebody I was acquainted with,
but they were out of acquaintances of mine just then. So I thought
the thing all over and finally sidled back there pretty meek and
feeling rather stumped, as you may say.
"Well?" said the head clerk.
"Well, sir," I says, pretty humble, "I don't seem to make out which
world it is I'm from. But you may know it from this - it's the one
|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:
actions of their neighbors, that after compassionating Madame de Dey
(without knowing whether she were happy or unhappy), they proceeded to
search for the reasons of this sudden retreat.
"If she were ill," said the first Inquisitive, "she would have sent
for the doctor; but the doctor has been all day long playing chess
with me. He told me, laughing, that in these days there was but one
malady, and that was incurable."
This joke was cautiously uttered. Men, women, old men, and young
girls, all set to work to explore the vast field of conjecture. The
next day, conjectures became suspicions. As life is all aboveboard in
a little town, the women were the first to learn that Brigitte had