|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from At the Sign of the Cat & Racket by Honore de Balzac:
thought his future parents amiable. He was not above enlivening them
by a few jests in the best taste. So he too pleased every one. In the
evening, when the drawing-room, furnished with what Madame Guillaume
called "everything handsome," was deserted, and while she flitted from
the table to the chimney-piece, from the candelabra to the tall
candlesticks, hastily blowing out the wax-lights, the worthy draper,
who was always clear-sighted when money was in question, called
Augustine to him, and seating her on his knee, spoke as follows:--
"My dear child, you shall marry your Sommervieux since you insist; you
may, if you like, risk your capital in happiness. But I am not going
to be hoodwinked by the thirty thousand francs to be made by spoiling
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Twilight Land by Howard Pyle:
hill and valley, over moor and mountain, until the Fiddler's head
grew so dizzy that he had to shut his eyes. Suddenly Ill-Luck let
him drop, and down he fell--thump! bump!--on the hard ground.
Then he opened his eyes and sat up, and, lo and behold! there he
was, under the oak-tree whence he had started in the first place.
There lay his fiddle, just as he had left it. He picked it up and
ran his fingers over the strings--trum, twang! Then he got to
his feet and brushed the dirt and grass from his knees. He tucked
his fiddle under his arm, and off he stepped upon the way he had
been going at first.
"Just to think!" said he, "I would either have been the richest
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Hated Son by Honore de Balzac:
"Rise, madame. I give you my word as a man of honor to do nothing
against the life of that cursed child, provided he lives among the
rocks between the sea and the house, and never crosses my path. I will
give him that fisherman's house down there for his dwelling, and the
beach for a domain. But woe betide him if I ever find him beyond those
The countess began to weep.
"Look at him!" she said. "He is your son."
At that word, the frightened mother carried away the child whose heart
was beating like that of a bird caught in its nest. Whether innocence
|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 Herbert West: Reanimator by H. P. Lovecraft:
which he injected into the veins of dead things, and if they were
fresh enough they responded in strange ways. He had had much trouble
in discovering the proper formula, for each type of organism was
found to need a stimulus especially adapted to it. Terror stalked
him when he reflected on his partial failures; nameless things
resulting from imperfect solutions or from bodies insufficiently
fresh. A certain number of these failures had remained alive --
one was in an asylum while others had vanished -- and as he thought
of conceivable yet virtually impossible eventualities he often
shivered beneath his usual stolidity.
West had soon learned
Herbert West: Reanimator