|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
notary, Cardot, his quarterly earnings and economies. When the notary
had received about three thousand francs he invested them in some
first mortgage, the interest of which he drew himself and added to the
quarterly payments made to him by Fougeres. The painter was awaiting
the fortunate moment when his property thus laid by would give him the
imposing income of two thousand francs, to allow himself the otium cum
dignitate of the artist and paint pictures; but oh! what pictures!
true pictures! each a finished picture! chouette, Koxnoff, chocnosoff!
His future, his dreams of happiness, the superlative of his hopes--do
you know what it was? To enter the Institute and obtain the grade of
officer of the Legion of honor; to side down beside Schinner and Leon
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson:
If I am so clearly unfitted for my post,' the Prince asked; 'if my
friends admit it, if my subjects clamour for my downfall, if
revolution is preparing at this hour, must I not go forth to meet
the inevitable? should I not save these horrors and be done with
these absurdities? in a word, should I not abdicate? O, believe me,
I feel the ridicule, the vast abuse of language,' he added, wincing,
'but even a principulus like me cannot resign; he must make a great
gesture, and come buskined forth, and abdicate.'
'Ay,' said Gotthold, 'or else stay where he is. What gnat has
bitten you to-day? Do you not know that you are touching, with lay
hands, the very holiest inwards of philosophy, where madness dwells?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Mountains by Stewart Edward White:
the trail, Lily would climb on until jammed against
the animal immediately preceding her. Thus often
she found herself forced to cling desperately to
extremely bad footing until the others were ready to
proceed. Altogether she was a precious nuisance, that
acted busily but without thinking.
Two virtues she did possess. She was a glutton
for work; and she could fall far and hard without
injuring herself. This was lucky, for she was always
falling. Several times we went down to her fully
expecting to find her dead or so crippled that she would
|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 Dark Lady of the Sonnets by George Bernard Shaw:
become one of the ablest men of his time instead of being merely its
ablest playwright. One might surmise that Shakespear found out that
the Dark Lady's brains could no more keep pace with his than Anne
Hathaway's, if there were any evidence that their friendship ceased
when he stopped writing sonnets to her. As a matter of fact the
consolidation of a passion into an enduring intimacy generally puts an
end to sonnets.
That the Dark Lady broke Shakespear's heart, as Mr Harris will have it
she did, is an extremely unShakespearian hypothesis. "Men have died
from time to time, and worms have eaten them; but not for love," says
Rosalind. Richard of Gloster, into whom Shakespear put all his own