|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Pierrette by Honore de Balzac:
one of the noted men of the last century, the French Alcibiades, was
appointed governor of Guyenne. His lungs were diseased, and, heaven
knows why! the wine of the country did him good and he recovered.
Bordeaux instantly made a hundred millions; the marshal widened its
territory to Angouleme, to Cahors,--in short, to over a hundred miles
of circumference! it is hard to tell where the Bordeaux vineyards end.
And yet they haven't erected an equestrian statue to the marshal in
"Ah! if anything of that kind happens to Provins," said Monsieur
Desfondrilles, "let us hope that somewhere in the Upper or Lower town
they will set up a bas-relief of the head of Monsieur Opoix, the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:
"Killing some, banishing others, driving many away from the
capital, while still others are going into self-imposed exile."
"Does the Emperor know anything about this?" we inquired.
"No doubt," he replied. "Everybody knows it, why not he?"
"That will make his imprisonment all the harder to bear," we
"Quite right," he answered.
"There is general alarm in the city that the Emperor himself will
be disposed of; what do you think about it?"
"Who can tell? He has not a friend in the palace except the first
concubine, and, I am told, that she like himself is kept in close