|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Damnation of Theron Ware by Harold Frederic:
"I've had just all I can stand of your insinuations
and innuendoes, and it's high time we had some plain talk.
Ever since the revival, you have been dropping sly,
underhand hints about Mr. Gorringe and--and me. Now I ask
you what you mean by it."
Yes, there was a shake in her voice, and he could see
how her bosom heaved in a tremor of nervousness.
It was easy for him to be very calm.
"It is you who introduce these astonishing suggestions,
not I," he replied coldly. "It is you who couple
your name with his--somewhat to my surprise, I admit--
The Damnation of Theron Ware
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac:
the rest were let to a Mme. Couture, the widow of a commissary-
general in the service of the Republic. With her lived Victorine
Taillefer, a schoolgirl, to whom she filled the place of mother.
These two ladies paid eighteen hundred francs a year.
The two sets of rooms on the second floor were respectively
occupied by an old man named Poiret and a man of forty or
thereabouts, the wearer of a black wig and dyed whiskers, who
gave out that he was a retired merchant, and was addressed as M.
Vautrin. Two of the four rooms on the third floor were also let--
one to an elderly spinster, a Mlle. Michonneau, and the other to
a retired manufacturer of vermicelli, Italian paste and starch,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Dynamiter by Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Van De Grift Stevenson:
as he raised the barrel, his eye lighted on the bear, as it
crawled along a ledge some way below him; and ceding to the
hunters instinct, it was at the brute, not at the man, that
he discharged his piece. The bear leaped and fell into a
pool of the river; the canyon re-echoed the report; and in a
moment the camp was afoot. With cries that were scarce
human, stumbling, falling and throwing each other down, these
starving people rushed upon the quarry; and before my father,
climbing down by the ledge, had time to reach the level of
the stream, many were already satisfying their hunger on the
raw flesh, and a fire was being built by the more dainty.
|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 A Second Home by Honore de Balzac:
any better? Rather would he believe that his wife's choice had been
overruled by the tradesmen than allow himself to own the truth. If he
had been less in love, he would have understood that the dealers,
always quick to discern their customers' ideas, had blessed Heaven for
sending them a tasteless little bigot, who would take their old-
fashioned goods off their hands. So he comforted the pretty
"Happiness, dear Angelique, does not depend on a more or less elegant
piece of furniture; it depends on the wife's sweetness, gentleness,
"Why, it is my duty to love you," said Angelique mildly, "and I can