|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Chouans by Honore de Balzac:
stood watching, the one, with a gloomy expression of revenge, the
other with curiosity, the curling of the smoke, Mademoiselle de
Verneuil's eyes were fastened on the same rock, trying, but in vain,
to see her lover's signal. The fog, which had thickened, buried the
whole region under a veil, its gray tints obscuring even the outlines
of the scenery that was nearest the town. She examined with tender
anxiety the rocks, the castle, the buildings, which loomed like
shadows through the mist. Near her window several trees stood out
against this blue-gray background; the sun gave a dull tone as of
tarnished silver to the sky; its rays colored the bare branches of the
trees, where a few last leaves were fluttering, with a dingy red. But
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Disputation of the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences by Dr. Martin Luther:
peccatorum tollere possint quo ad culpam.
2.  Quod dicitur, nec si s. Petrus modo Papa esset maiores
gratias donare posset, est blasphemia in sanctum Petrum et Papam.
3.  Dicimus contra, quod etiam iste et quilibet papa maiores
habet, scilicet Euangelium, virtutes, gratias, curationum &c. ut
1. Co. XII.
4.  Dicere, Crucem armis papalibus insigniter erectam cruci
Christi equivalere, blasphemia est.
5.  Rationem reddent Episcopi, Curati et Theologi, Qui tales
sermones in populum licere sinunt.
6.  Facit hec licentiosa veniarum predicatio, ut nec
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Faraday as a Discoverer by John Tyndall:
some day to take up the point respecting the magnetism of associated
particles. In the meantime I rejoice at every addition to the facts
and reasoning connected with the subject. When science is a
republic, then it gains: and though I am no republican in other
matters, I am in that.' All his letters illustrate this catholicity
of feeling. Ten years ago, when going down to Brighton, he carried
with him a little paper I had just completed, and afterwards wrote
to me. His letter is a mere sample of the sympathy which he always
showed to me and my work.
'Brighton, December 9, 1857.
'My Dear Tyndall,--I cannot resist the pleasure of saying how very
|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 Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
house than he wanted to be out of it; he couldn't keep in one place,
and he wouldn't learn anything. All I ask of God is that I may die
before he dishonors my name. Those who have no children lose many
pleasures, but they escape great sufferings."
"And these men are fathers!" thought Agathe, weeping anew.
"What I am trying to show you, my dear Madame Bridau, is that you had
better let your boy be a painter; if not, you will only waste your
"If you were able to coerce him," said the sour Desroches, "I should
advise you to oppose his tastes; but weak as I see you are, you had
better let him daub if he likes."