|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Odyssey by Homer:
luckless Odysseus have perished beyond that which was
ordained, had not grey-eyed Athene given him sure counsel.
He rose from the line of the breakers that belch upon the
shore, and swam outside, ever looking landwards, to find,
if he might, spits that take the waves aslant, and havens
of the sea. But when he came in his swimming over against
the mouth of a fair-flowing river, whereby the place seemed
best in his eyes, smooth of rocks, and withal there was a
covert from the wind, Odysseus felt the river running, and
prayed to him in his heart:
'Hear me, O king, whosoever thou art; unto thee am I come,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare:
'Twas a commodity lay fretting by you;
'Twill bring you gain, or perish on the seas.
The gain I seek is, quiet in the match.
No doubt but he hath got a quiet catch.
But now, Baptista, to your younger daughter:
Now is the day we long have looked for;
I am your neighbour, and was suitor first.
The Taming of the Shrew
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
village, or, if you will, the suburb of Saint-Satur. The La Baudrayes
of the present day have, as is frequently the case, thrust themselves
in, and are but a substitute for those La Baudrayes whose name,
glorious in the Crusades, figured in the chief events of the history
of Le Berry.
The story must be told.
In the time of Louis XIV. a certain sheriff named Milaud, whose
forefathers had been furious Calvinists, was converted at the time of
the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. To encourage this movement in
one of the strong-holds of Calvinism, the King gave said Milaud a good
appointment in the "Waters and Forests," granted him arms and the
The Muse of the Department
|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 Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan by Honore de Balzac:
prudently retired after her coquettish rebuff; but it was not as easy
as she expected to bring back a man of his nature who had once been
However, after a month of literary campaigning and the finest platonic
discourses, d'Arthez grew bolder, and arrived every day at three
o'clock. He retired at six, and returned at nine, to remain until
midnight, or one in the morning, with the regularity of an ardent and
impatient lover. The princess was always dressed with more or less
studied elegance at the hour when d'Arthez presented himself. This
mutual fidelity, the care they each took of their appearance, in fact,
all about them expressed sentiments that neither dared avow, for the