|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Vicar of Tours by Honore de Balzac:
"Then it is infamous!" cried the navel lieutenant. "I myself will take
the abbe to the Radical--"
"Go at night," said Monsieur de Bourbonne, interrupting him.
"I have just learned that the Abbe Troubert is appointed vicar-general
in place of the other man, who died yesterday."
"I don't care a fig for the Abbe Troubert."
Unfortunately the Baron de Listomere (a man thirty-six years of age)
did not see the sign Monsieur de Bourbonne made him to be cautious in
what he said, motioning as he did so to a friend of Troubert, a
|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 The Red Inn by Honore de Balzac:
betray a secret surprised by me,--to add a murdered head to the dowry
of an innocent girl, to give her for the rest of her life bad dreams,
to deprive her of all her illusions, and say, 'Your gold is stained
with blood'? I have borrowed the 'Dictionary of Cases of Conscience'
from an old ecclesiastic, but I can find nothing there to solve my
doubts. Shall I found pious masses for the repose of the souls of
Prosper Magnan, Wahlenfer, and Taillefer? Here we are in the middle of
the nineteenth century! Shall I build a hospital, or institute a prize
for virtue? A prize for virtue would be given to scoundrels; and as
for hospitals, they seem to me to have become in these days the
protectors of vice. Besides, such charitable actions, more or less