|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gobseck by Honore de Balzac:
"I turned pale at the words.
" 'But as we are acquaintances, I shall be satisfied to take twelve
and a half per cent per--(he hesitated)--'well, yes, from you I would
be content to take thirteen per cent per annum. Will that suit you?'
" 'Yes,' I answered.
" 'But if it is too much, stick up for yourself, Grotius!' (a name he
jokingly gave me). 'When I ask you for thirteen per cent, it is all in
the way of business; look into it, see if you can pay it; I don't like
a man to agree too easily. Is it too much?'
" 'No,' said I, 'I will make up for it by working a little harder.'
" 'Gad! your clients will pay for it!' said he, looking at me wickedly
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Pierrette by Honore de Balzac:
malady, though natural and unfortunately common, horrified all ears.
At four o'clock, after the usual rising of the court, president
Tiphaine again took his seat, when Madame Lorrain, accompanied by
Monsieur Auffray and Brigaut and a crowd of interested persons,
entered the court-room. Vinet was alone. This contrast struck the
minds of those present. The lawyer, who still wore his robe, turned
his cold face to the judge, settled his spectacles on his pallid green
eyes, and then in a shrill, persistent voice he stated that two
strangers had forced themselves at night into the Rogron domicile and
had abducted therefrom the minor Lorrain. The legal rights were with
the guardian, who now demanded the restoration of his ward.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson:
O children, and frailer,
Soon in the blue air they'll be,
Singer and sailor.
We, so much older,
Taller and stronger,
We shall look down on the
Birdies no longer.
They shall go flying
With musical speeches
High overhead in the
Tops of the beeches.
A Child's Garden of Verses
|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 Four Arthurian Romances by Chretien DeTroyes:
so many swords girt on the left side; so many good shields, fresh
and new, some resplendent in silver and green, others of azure
with buckles of gold; so many good steeds marked with white, or
sorrel, tawny, white, black, and bay: all gather hastily. And
now the field is quite covered with arms. On either side the
ranks tremble, and a roar rises from the fight. The shock of the
lances is very great. Lances break and shields are riddled, the
hauberks receive bumps and are torn asunder, saddles go empty and
horsemen ramble, while the horses sweat and foam. Swords are
quickly drawn on those who tumble noisily, and some run to
receive the promise of a ransom, others to stave off this