|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Seraphita by Honore de Balzac:
the Sieg, suddenly frozen, formed an immense arcade beneath which the
inhabitants might have crossed under shelter from the blast had any
dared to risk themselves inland. But the dangers of every step away
from their own surroundings kept even the boldest hunters in their
homes, afraid lest the narrow paths along the precipices, the clefts
and fissures among the rocks, might be unrecognizable beneath the
Thus it was that no human creature gave life to the white desert where
Boreas reigned, his voice alone resounding at distant intervals. The
sky, nearly always gray, gave tones of polished steel to the ice of
the fiord. Perchance some ancient eider-duck crossed the expanse,
|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:
ascribed so many virtues to her lover that the man she adored could
not but be incapable of any stain.
As Emilio had not taken her hand, the Duchess pushed her fingers
through his hair that the singer had kissed. Then she perceived that
Emilio's hand was clammy and his brow moist.
"What ails you?" she asked, in a voice to which tenderness gave the
sweetness of a flute.
"Never till this moment have I known how much I love you," he replied.
"Well, dear idol, what would you have?" said she.
"What have I done to make her ask that?" he wondered to himself.
"Emilio, what letter was that which you threw into the lagoon?"