|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Study of a Woman by Honore de Balzac:
"If my visit is indiscreet you must blame Monsieur le marquis. I had
already accepted your mysterious denial, when he himself came up, and
introduced me into the sanctuary."
"Monsieur de Listomere is not in my confidence on this point. It is
not always prudent to put a husband in possession of certain secrets."
The firm and gentle tones in which the marquise said these words, and
the imposing glance which she cast upon Rastignac made him aware that
he had posed in his cravat a trifle prematurely.
"Madame, I understand you," he said, laughing. "I ought, therefore, to
be doubly thankful that Monsieur le marquis met me; he affords me an
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Duchesse de Langeais by Honore de Balzac:
account, and to use her name and personality to make better terms
for themselves with certain stars of the second magnitude. And
those lesser powers were delighted to take a lover away from Mme
de Langeais. The Duchess was keen-sighted enough to see these
desertions and treaties with the enemy; and her pride would not
suffer her to be the dupe of them. As M. de Talleyrand, one of
her great admirers, said, she knew how to take a second edition
of revenge, laying the two-edged blade of a sarcasm between the
pairs in these "morganatic" unions. Her mocking disdain
contributed not a little to increase her reputation as an
extremely clever woman and a person to be feared. Her character