|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
are easy to prove--"
"In France," said the fool; "but--"
"But in other countries?" said Gaudissart. "Well, Monsieur, to cut
short discussion on this point, I will say, once for all, that death
in foreign countries or on the field of battle is outside of our--"
"Then what are you insuring? Nothing at all!" cried Margaritis. "My
bank, my Territorial Bank, rested upon--"
"Nothing at all?" exclaimed Gaudissart, interrupting the good-man.
"Nothing at all? What do you call sickness, and afflictions, and
poverty, and passions? Don't go off on exceptional points."
"No, no! no points," said the lunatic.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Another Study of Woman by Honore de Balzac:
said the Princesse de Cadignan, addressing the women with a smile at
once sceptical and ironical. "Because, in these days, under a regime
which makes everything small, you prefer small dishes, small rooms,
small pictures, small articles, small newspapers, small books, does
that prove that women too have grown smaller? Why should the human
heart change because you change your coat? In all ages the passions
remain the same. I know cases of beautiful devotion, of sublime
sufferings, which lack the publicity--the glory, if you choose--which
formerly gave lustre to the errors of some women. But though one may
not have saved a King of France, one is not the less an Agnes Sorel.
Do you believe that our dear Marquise d'Espard is not the peer of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from King Henry VI by William Shakespeare:
Salisbury is a desperate homicide;
He fighteth as one weary of his life.
The other lords, like lions wanting food,
Do rush upon us as their hungry prey.
Froissart, a countryman of ours, records,
England all Olivers and Rowlands bred
During the time Edward the Third did reign.
More truly now may this be verified;
For none but Samsons and Goliases
|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 Chouans by Honore de Balzac:
sake of your happiness,--and my own," she added, dropping her head,--
"I will not allow either of us to deceive the other, nor will I permit
you to think that Mademoiselle de Verneuil, angel or devil, maid or
wife, is capable of being seduced by commonplace gallantry."
"Mademoiselle," said the marquis, whose surprise, though he concealed
it, was extreme, and who at once became a man of the great world, "I
entreat you to believe that I take you to be a very noble person, full
of the highest sentiments, or--a charming girl, as you please."
"I don't ask all that," she said, laughing. "Allow me to keep my
incognito. My mask is better than yours, and it pleases me to wear it,
--if only to discover whether those who talk to me of love are