|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Daughter of Eve by Honore de Balzac:
good humor of his intercourse with Raoul there flashed now and then a
malignant jeer. One day, after pressing his hand in Florine's boudoir
and watching him as he got into his carriage, du Tillet remarked to
Lousteau (envier par excellence):--
"That fellow is off to the Bois in fine style to-day, but he is just
as likely, six months hence, to be in a debtor's prison."
"He? never!" cried Lousteau. "He has Florine."
"How do you know that he'll keep her? As for you, who are worth a
dozen of him, I predict that you will be our editor-in-chief within
In October Nathan's notes to du Tillet fell due, and the banker
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:
And thought how the streets were hoarse with a tide of people,
With clamor of voices, and numberless faces . . .
And it seemed to him, of a sudden, that he would drown
Here in the quiet of evening air,
These empty and voiceless places . . .
And he hurried towards the city, to enter there.
Along the darkening road, between tall trees
That made a sinister whisper, loudly he walked.
Behind him, sea-gulls dipped over long grey seas.
Before him, numberless lovers smiled and talked.
And death was observed with sudden cries,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln:
on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth
upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and
dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether
that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . .
can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place
for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
|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 Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:
"This yarn--how can I? There wasn't a flaw in your alibi."
"But haven't I filled it full of them now?"
Denver shook his head. "I might think so if I hadn't happened to
know that you WANTED to. There's the hitch, don't you see?"
Granice groaned. "No, I didn't. You mean my wanting to be found
"Of course! If somebody else had accused you, the story might
have been worth looking into. As it is, a child could have
invented it. It doesn't do much credit to your ingenuity."
Granice turned sullenly toward the door. What was the use of
arguing? But on the threshold a sudden impulse drew him back.