|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:
"Is it not your business to die?" said she.
"And also to obey," replied the soldier.
Then the countess knelt down in her accustomed place, and again
regarding her faithful slave, found his face thinner and more deeply
lined than ever it had been.
"Bah!" said she, "I shall have less remorse for his death; he is half
dead as it is."
With this paraphrase of her idea, she cast upon the said gentleman one
of those warm ogles that are only allowable to princesses and harlots,
and the false love which her lovely eyes bore witness to, gave a
Droll Stories, V. 1
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Poems of William Blake by William Blake:
Dolors & lamentations: waiting oft beside the dewy grave
She stood in silence, listning to the voices of the ground,
Till to her own grave plot she came, & there she sat down.
And heard this voice of sorrow breathed from the hollow pit.
Why cannot the Ear be closed to its own destruction?
Or the glistening Eye to the poison of a smile!
Why are Eyelids stord with arrows ready drawn,
Where a thousand fighting men in ambush lie!
Or an Eye of gifts & graces showring fruits & coined gold!
Why a Tongue impress'd with honey from every wind?
Why an Ear, a whirlpool fierce to draw creations in?
Poems of William Blake
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:
can't take one, too; we might go faster."
"Forward, march!" cried Pierrotin, amid a mighty cracking of whips,
after the travellers were again boxed up.
It was now eleven o'clock. The weather, which had been cloudy,
cleared; the breeze swept off the mists, and the blue of the sky
appeared in spots; so that when the coucou trundled along the narrow
strip of road from Saint-Denis to Pierrefitte, the sun had fairly
drunk up the last floating vapors of the diaphanous veil which swathed
the scenery of that famous region.
"Well, now, tell us why you left your friend the pacha," said Pere
Leger, addressing Georges.
|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 Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:
some great natural catastrophe in which the floods retired slowly.
This characteristic, common to most of the earth convulsions in
France, has perhaps contributed, together with the climate, to the
epitaph of /douce/ bestowed by all Europe on our sunny France.
Though this abrupt transition from the smiling landscapes of the
Limousin to the sterner aspects of La Marche and Auvergne may offer to
the thinker and the poet, as he passes them on his way, an image of
the Infinite, that terror of certain minds; though it incites to
revelry the woman of the world, bored as she travels luxuriously in
her carriage,--to the inhabitants of this region Nature is cruel,
savage, and without resources. The soil of these great gray plains is