|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:
the cloisters and the court beyond them are full of ghosts
trooping down into the night of hell; the sun is blotted out of
heaven, and a blighting gloom is over all the land."
Thus did he speak, and they all of them laughed heartily.
Eurymachus then said, "This stranger who has lately come here
has lost his senses. Servants, turn him out into the streets,
since he finds it so dark here."
But Theoclymenus said, "Eurymachus, you need not send any one
with me. I have eyes, ears, and a pair of feet of my own, to say
nothing of an understanding mind. I will take these out of the
house with me, for I see mischief overhanging you, from which
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Second Home by Honore de Balzac:
waiting at the door.
"Monsieur, your son, the attorney-general, came about an hour since,"
said the man-servant, "and is waiting for you in your bedroom."
Granville signed to the man to leave him.
"What motive can be strong enough to require you to infringe the order
I have given my children never to come to me unless I send for them?"
asked the Count of his son as he went into the room.
"Father," replied the younger man in a tremulous voice, and with great
respect, "I venture to hope that you will forgive me when you have
"Your reply is proper," said the Count. "Sit down," and he pointed to
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:
haven't slept for the last ten nights . . .'
"His voice lost itself in the calm of the evening. The long shadows
of the forest had slipped downhill while we talked, had gone far
beyond the ruined hovel, beyond the symbolic row of stakes.
All this was in the gloom, while we down there were yet in the sunshine,
and the stretch of the river abreast of the clearing glittered
in a still and dazzling splendour, with a murky and overshadowed
bend above and below. Not a living soul was seen on the shore.
The bushes did not rustle.
"Suddenly round the corner of the house a group of men appeared, as though
they had come up from the ground. They waded waist-deep in the grass,
Heart of Darkness
|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 Albert Savarus by Honore de Balzac:
Besancon four or five times in the course of the winter, and busying
herself with improving her land, was regarded as a very eccentric
personage. She was one of the celebrities of the Eastern provinces.
Madame de Soulas has two children, a boy and a girl, and she has grown
younger; but Monsieur de Soulas has aged a good deal.
"My fortune has cost me dear," said he to young Chavoncourt. "Really
to know a bigot it is unfortunately necessary to marry her!"
Mademoiselle de Watteville behaves in the most extraordinary manner.
"She has vagaries," people say. Every year she goes to gaze at the
walls of the Grande Chartreuse. Perhaps she dreams of imitating her
grand-uncle by forcing the walls of the monastery to find a husband,