|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:
running down from the mountains.
Then, when the Barbarians had set out, Spendius circled the plain,
riding on a Punic stallion, and attended by his slave, who led a third
A single tent remained. Spendius entered it.
"Up, master! rise! we are departing!"
"And where are you going?" asked Matho.
"To Carthage!" cried Spendius.
Matho bounded upon the horse which the slave held at the door.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:
place him above Ch`en Hao in order of merit.
9. WANG HSI, also of the Sung dynasty, is decidedly
original in some of his interpretations, but much less judicious
than Mei Yao-ch`en, and on the whole not a very trustworthy
guide. He is fond of comparing his own commentary with that of
Ts`ao Kung, but the comparison is not often flattering to him.
We learn from Ch`ao Kung-wu that Wang Hsi revised the ancient
text of Sun Tzu, filling up lacunae and correcting mistakes. 
10. HO YEN-HSI of the Sung dynasty. The personal name of
this commentator is given as above by Cheng Ch`iao in the TUNG
CHIH, written about the middle of the twelfth century, but he
The Art of War
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Paz by Honore de Balzac:
"A disgraceful one--which you will perhaps understand, and pity."
"Yes, I, Comte Paz; I am madly in love with a girl who travels all
over France with the Bouthor family,--people who have the rival circus
to Franconi; but they play only at fairs. I have made the director at
the Cirque-Olympique engage her."
"Is she handsome?"
"To my thinking," said Paz, in a melancholy tone. "Malaga (that's her
stage name) is strong, active, and supple. Why do I prefer her to all
other women in the world?--well, I can't tell you. When I look at her,
with her black hair tied with a blue satin ribbon, floating on her
|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 Two Poets by Honore de Balzac:
"Postel is willing to lend you the thousand francs, Lucien," she said,
"but only for six months; and even then he wants you to let him have a
bill endorsed by your brother-in-law, for he says that you are giving
him no security."
She turned and saw David, and there was a deep silence in the room.
The Chardons thought how they had abused David's goodness, and felt
ashamed. Tears stood in the young printer's eyes.
"Then you will not be here at our wedding," he began. "You are not
going to live with us! And here have I been squandering all that I
had! Oh! Lucien, as I came along, bringing Eve her little bits of
wedding jewelry, I did not think that I should be sorry I spent the