|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
pangs of a passing memory, the vision of a dear yet far-off Shade,--
memories which bring regret for all that earth has swallowed up, with
smiles for vanished joys.
And now, believe that the writer would not, for the wealth of England,
steal from poesy a single lie with which to embellish this narrative.
The following is a true history, on which you may safely spend the
treasures of your sensibility--if you have any.
In these days the French language has as many idioms and represents as
many idiosyncracies as there are varieties of men in the great family
of France. It is extremely curious and amusing to listen to the
different interpretations or versions of the same thing or the same
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Prince of Bohemia by Honore de Balzac:
class, she took no part in the virtuous reforms which ruined the corps
de ballet; she continued the Guimard dynasty. She owed her ascendency,
moreover, to various well-known protectors, to the Duc de Rhetore (the
Due de Chaulieu's eldest son), to the influence of a famous
Superintendent of Fine Arts, and sundry diplomatists and rich
foreigners. During her apogee she had a neat little house in the Rue
Chauchat, and lived as Opera nymphs used to live in the old days. Du
Bruel was smitten with her about the time when the Duke's fancy came
to an end in 1823. Being a mere subordinate in the Civil Service, du
Bruel tolerated the Superintendent of Fine Arts, believing that he
himself was really preferred. After six years this connection was