|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sons of the Soil by Honore de Balzac:
"I see you don't know him," answered Catherine, as she seized the girl
rapidly by the waist and flung her on the grass, holding her down in
that position with her strong arms. At this moment Nicolas appeared.
Seeing her odious persecutor, the child screamed with all her might,
and drove him five feet away with a violent kick in the stomach; then
she twisted herself like an acrobat, with a dexterity for which
Catherine was not prepared, and rose to run away. Catherine, still on
the ground, caught her by one foot and threw her headlong on her face.
This frightful fall stopped the brave child's cries for a moment.
Nicolas attempted, furiously, to seize his victim, but she, though
giddy from the wine and the fall, caught him by the throat in a grip
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Apology by Xenophon:
the things of others excite no craving in him? Whom would one
reasonably deem wise, rather than such a one as myself, who, from the
moment I began to understand things spoken, have never omitted to
inquire into and learn every good thing in my power? And that I
laboured not in vain, what more conclusive evidence than the fact that
so many of my fellow-citizens who make virtue their pursuit, and many
strangers also, choose my society in preference to that of others?
And how are we to explain the fact that though all know well enough
that I am wholly unable to repay them in money, so many are eager to
present me with some gift? And what do you make of this--while no
one dreams of dunning me for benefits conferred, hosts of people
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde:
weavers bending over their cases. Pale, sickly-looking children
were crouched on the huge crossbeams. As the shuttles dashed
through the warp they lifted up the heavy battens, and when the
shuttles stopped they let the battens fall and pressed the threads
together. Their faces were pinched with famine, and their thin
hands shook and trembled. Some haggard women were seated at a
table sewing. A horrible odour filled the place. The air was foul
and heavy, and the walls dripped and streamed with damp.
The young King went over to one of the weavers, and stood by him
and watched him.
And the weaver looked at him angrily, and said, 'Why art thou
|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 Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac:
The old man turned his glassy eyes on him, smiled gently, and
"How is SHE?"
"She is quite well. But how are you?"
"There is nothing much the matter."
"Don't tire him," said Bianchon, drawing Eugene into a corner of
"Well?" asked Rastignac.
"Nothing but a miracle can save him now. Serous congestion has
set in; I have put on mustard plasters, and luckily he can feel
them, they are acting."