|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Deserted Woman by Honore de Balzac:
of God. My past pain has risen up before your mind, and the misery
from which you rescued me has been my protection. To owe your love
to your pity! The thought is even more painful to me than the fear
of spoiling your life for you. The man who can bring himself to
stab his mistress is very charitable if he gives her her deathblow
while she is happy and ignorant of evil, while illusions are in
full blossom. . . . Yes, death is preferable to the two thoughts
which have secretly saddened the hours for several days. To-day,
when you asked 'What ails you?' so tenderly, the sound of your
voice made me shiver. I thought that, after your wont, you were
reading my very soul, and I waited for your confidence to come,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Statesman by Plato:
with our will, and whatever be his mode of treatment,--incision, burning,
or the infliction of some other pain,--whether he practises out of a book
or not out of a book, and whether he be rich or poor, whether he purges or
reduces in some other way, or even fattens his patients, is a physician all
the same, so long as he exercises authority over them according to rules of
art, if he only does them good and heals and saves them. And this we lay
down to be the only proper test of the art of medicine, or of any other art
YOUNG SOCRATES: Quite true.
STRANGER: Then that can be the only true form of government in which the
governors are really found to possess science, and are not mere pretenders,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott:
only for themselves; and when they found their labor was in vain,
they tried no longer, but sat weeping. Bud, with ceaseless toil and
patient care, tended the lilies, which bloomed brightly, the crowns
grew bright, and in her hands the wands had power over birds and
blossoms, for she was striving to give happiness to others,
forgetful of herself. And the idle Fairies, with thankful words, took
the garments from her, and then with Bud went forth to Fairy-Land,
and stood with beating hearts before the gates; where crowds of Fairy
friends came forth to welcome them.
But when Queen Dew-Drop touched them with her wand, as they passed in,
the light faded from their crowns, their robes became like withered
|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 Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini:
as a respectable young provincial attorney.
He bowed to his reflection in the mirror.
"Buffoon!" he apostrophized it. "At last you have found yourself.
At last you have come into your heritage. You should be a great
Hearing his new name called out by M. Binet, he went below to find
the company assembled, and waiting in the entrance corridor of the
He was, of course, an object of great interest to all the company.
Most critically was he conned by M. Binet and mademoiselle; by the
former with gravely searching eyes, by the latter with a curl of