|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
I'll take another lease of it at seven thousand five hundred for
eighteen years. Therefore it is really an investment at more than two
and a half per cent. The count can't complain of that. In order not to
involve Moreau, he is himself to propose me as tenant and farmer; it
gives him a look of acting for his master's interests by finding him
nearly three per cent for his money, and a tenant who will pay well."
"How much will Moreau make, in all?"
"Well, if the count gives him ten thousand francs for the transaction
the matter will bring him fifty thousand,--and well-earned, too."
"After all, the count, so they tell me, doesn't like Presles. And then
he is so rich, what does it matter what it costs him?" said the inn-
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Jolly Corner by Henry James:
charged - they perfectly availed to make what he saw portentous.
He COULDN'T, by any lapse, have blocked that aperture; and if he
hadn't, if it was unthinkable, why what else was clear but that
there had been another agent? Another agent? - he had been
catching, as he felt, a moment back, the very breath of him; but
when had he been so close as in this simple, this logical, this
completely personal act? It was so logical, that is, that one
might have TAKEN it for personal; yet for what did Brydon take it,
he asked himself, while, softly panting, he felt his eyes almost
leave their sockets. Ah this time at last they WERE, the two, the
opposed projections of him, in presence; and this time, as much as
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Historical Lecturers and Essays by Charles Kingsley:
lecture on medicine and natural science.
It would have been well for him, perhaps, had he never opened his
lips. He might have done good enough to his fellow-creatures by his
own undoubted powers of healing. He cured John Frobenius, the
printer, Erasmus's friend, at Basle, when the doctors were going to
cut his leg off. His fame spread far and wide. Round Basle and
away into Alsace he was looked on, even an enemy says, as a new
But these were days in which in a university everyone was expected
to talk and teach, and so Paracelsus began lecturing; and then the
weakness which was mingled with his strength showed itself. He
|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 The Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:
say one word about her, either good or evil. As for la Peyrade, as
this is not the first time he has been requested to go and see
Monsieur du Portail, I am surprised that he hesitates to do so."
"Ah ca!" said Brigitte, "that little old man has completely befooled
"I tell you that that little old man is all that he appears to be. He
wears seven crosses, he drives in a splendid equipage, and he has told
me things that have overwhelmed me with astonishment."
"Well, perhaps he's a fortune-teller like Madame Fontaine, who managed
once upon a time to upset me when Madame Minard and I, just to amuse
ourselves, went to consult her."