|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:
La Zambinella's attitude, manners, and gestures, instinct with
dejection, melancholy, and discouragement, reawakened in his soul all
the treasures of passion. Each word was a spur. At that moment, they
arrived at Frascati. When the artist held out his arms to help his
mistress to alight, he felt that she trembled from head to foot.
" 'What is the matter? You would kill me,' he cried, seeing that she
turned pale, 'if you should suffer the slightest pain of which I am,
even innocently, the cause.'
" 'A snake!' she said, pointing to a reptile which was gliding along
the edge of a ditch. 'I am afraid of the disgusting creatures.'
"Sarrasine crushed the snake's head with a blow of his foot.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Prince of Bohemia by Honore de Balzac:
you as my spoilt child. But where is the use of coquetry? It would
be pure waste. And yet, monsieur, for want of coquetry I shall
never inspire love in you. I know it; I feel it; yet I do as
before, feeling a power that I cannot withstand, thinking that
this utter self-surrender will win me the sentiment innate in all
men (so /he/ tells me) for the thing that belongs to them.
" 'Ah! how darkly sadness entered my heart yesterday when I found
that I must give up the joy of seeing you. One single thought held
me back from the arms of Death!--It was thy will! To stay away was
to do thy will, to obey an order from thee. Oh! Charles, I was so
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:
imaginary triumph, for within two hours after the circulation of
this first rumor, followed a second, authenticated, announcing that
Maximilian had appeared with the confessor of the Liebenheim
family, at the residence of the chief magistrate, and there
produced satisfactory proofs of his marriage with Miss Liebenheim,
which had been duly celebrated, though with great secrecy, nearly
eight months before. In our city, as in all the cities of our
country, clandestine marriages, witnessed, perhaps, by two friends
only of the parties, besides the officiating priest, are
exceedingly common. In the mere fact, therefore, taken separately,
there was nothing to surprise us, but, taken in connection with the
|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 On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:
believe that the bones of the skull are homologous with--that is correspond
in number and in relative connexion with--the elemental parts of a certain
number of vertebrae. The anterior and posterior limbs in each member of
the vertebrate and articulate classes are plainly homologous. We see the
same law in comparing the wonderfully complex jaws and legs in crustaceans.
It is familiar to almost every one, that in a flower the relative position
of the sepals, petals, stamens, and pistils, as well as their intimate
structure, are intelligible on the view that they consist of metamorphosed
leaves, arranged in a spire. In monstrous plants, we often get direct
evidence of the possibility of one organ being transformed into another;
and we can actually see in embryonic crustaceans and in many other animals,
On the Origin of Species