|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac:
and as you, my little Duchess, are partly at the bottom of the
mischief, I am going to patch matters up. She is a saintly creature, I
know her well; she will repay you every penny."
At the name of Hulot, at the words two hundred thousand francs, a
gleam from Valerie's eyes flashed from between her long eyelids like
the flame of a cannon through the smoke.
"What did the old thing do to move you to compassion? Did she show you
"Do not make game of her, sweetheart; she is a very saintly, a very
noble and pious woman, worthy of all respect."
"Am I not worthy of respect then, heh?" answered Valerie, with a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Now, what of the real sentiments of these loyal subjects of
Elizabeth? They professed a holy horror for Knox's position:
let us see if their own would please a modern audience any
better, or was, in substance, greatly different.
John Aylmer, afterwards Bishop of London, published an answer
to Knox, under the title of AN HARBOUR FOR FAITHFUL AND TRUE
SUBJECTS AGAINST THE LATE BLOWN BLAST, CONCERNING THE
GOVERNMENT OF WOMEN. (1) And certainly he was a thought more
acute, a thought less precipitate and simple, than his
adversary. He is not to be led away by such captious terms
as NATURAL AND UNNATURAL. It is obvious to him that a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:
Mademoiselle de Temninck; with whom he fell deeply in love. At first,
Josephine de Temninck thought herself the object of a mere caprice,
and refused to listen to Monsieur Claes; but passion is contagious;
and to a poor girl who was lame and ill-made, the sense of inspiring
love in a young and handsome man carries with it such strong seduction
that she finally consented to allow him to woo her.
It would need a volume to paint the love of a young girl humbly
submissive to the verdict of a world that calls her plain, while she
feels within herself the irresistible charm which comes of sensibility
and true feeling. It involves fierce jealousy of happiness, freaks of
cruel vengeance against some fancied rival who wins a glance,--
|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 Ursula by Honore de Balzac:
happiness of a gentleman."
At first poor Ursula was unable to answer; she took the withered hands
of Savinien's mother and kissed them.
"Ah, madame," she said in a faltering voice, "I should never have had
the boldness to think of rising above my condition if I had not been
encouraged by promises; my only claim was that of an affection without
bounds; but now they have found the means to separate me from him I
love,--they have made me unworthy of him. Never!" she cried, with a
ring in her voice which painfully affected those about her, "never
will I consent to give to any man a degraded hand, a stained
reputation. I loved too well,--yes, I can admit it in my present