|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Prince of Bohemia by Honore de Balzac:
actions,' objected we.
" 'That is true,' returned La Palferine, 'but I do not choose that
anything shall slip into my life without my consent.'
"From that day he set himself to torment Claudine. It seemed that he
held the bourgeoise, the nobody, in utter horror; nothing would
satisfy him but a woman with a title. Claudine, it was true, had made
progress; she had learned to dress as well as the best-dressed woman
of the Faubourg Saint-Germain; she had freed her bearing of the
unhallowed traces; she walked with a chastened, inimitable grace; but
this was not enough. This praise of her enabled Claudine to swallow
down the rest.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:
gold around the arm and beneath the left knee. The rowers wore
only a kilt, their bodies being naked to the waist. Good took
off his hat to the old gentleman with an extra flourish, and
inquired after his health in the purest English, to which he
replied by laying the first two fingers of his right hand horizontally
across his lips and holding them there for a moment, which we
took as his method of salutation. Then he also addressed some
remarks to us in the same soft accents that had distinguished
our first interviewer, which we were forced to indicate we did
not understand by shaking our heads and shrugging our shoulders.
This last Alphonse, being to the manner born, did to perfection,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan by Honore de Balzac:
doesn't know herself. I myself saw her swallow up, some thirteen years
ago, the entire fortune of a charming young fellow, and that of an old
notary, in twenty months."
"Thirteen years ago!" exclaimed d'Arthez,--"why, how old is she now?"
"Didn't you see, at dinner," replied Rastignac, laughing, "her son,
the Duc de Maufrigneuse. That young man is nineteen years old;
nineteen and seventeen make--"
"Thirty-six!" cried the amazed author. "I gave her twenty."
"She'll accept them," said Rastignac; "but don't be uneasy, she will
always be twenty to you. You are about to enter the most fantastic of
worlds. Good-night, here you are at home," said the baron, as they
|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 Nada the Lily by H. Rider Haggard:
Umslopogaas. He said that when they stormed the cave he had seen a man
run at a warrior in the cave to kill him. Then as he came, he who was
about to be slain threw down the shield and cried for mercy, and
Galazi knew that this was no warrior of the Halakazi, but a very
beautiful girl. So he called to the man to let her alone and not to
touch her, for the order was that no women should be killed. But the
soldier, being made with the lust of fight, shouted that maid or man
she should die, and slew her. Thereon, he--Galazi--in his wrath ran up
and smote the man with the Watcher and killed him also, and he prayed
that he had done no wrong.
"You have done well, my brother," said Umslopogaas. "Come now, some of
Nada the Lily