|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ursula by Honore de Balzac:
by the insults of the heirs and partly by her heavy affliction.
"Look at that hypocrite weeping," said some of the heirs, pointing to
Savinien, who was deeply affected by the doctor's death.
"The question is," said Goupil, "has he any good grounds for weeping.
Don't laugh too soon, my friends; the seals are not yet removed."
"Pooh!" said Minoret, who had good reason to know the truth, "you are
always frightening us about nothing."
As the funeral procession left the church to proceed to the cemetery,
a bitter mortification was inflicted on Goupil; he tried to take
Desire's arm, but the latter withdrew it and turned away from his
former comrade in presence of all Nemours.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Massimilla Doni by Honore de Balzac:
There are some strongly blended natures on which extremes of joy or of
grief have a soporific effect. Now on a youth so compounded that he
could idealize his mistress to the point of ceasing to think of her as
a woman, this sudden incursion of wealth had the effect of a dose of
opium. When the Prince had drunk the whole of the bottle of port,
eaten half a fish and some portion of a French pate, he felt an
irresistible longing for bed. Perhaps he was suffering from a double
intoxication. So he pulled off the counterpane, opened the bed,
undressed in a pretty dressing-room, and lay down to meditate on
"I forgot poor Carmagnola," said he; "but my cook and butler will have