|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Prince of Bohemia by Honore de Balzac:
extent, but at the time of her acquaintance with La Palferine she had
not yet 'an establishment.' Antonia was not wanting in the insolence
of old days, now degenerating into rudeness among women of her class.
After a fortnight of unmixed bliss, she was compelled, in the interest
of her civil list, to return to a less exclusive system; and La
Palferine, discovering a certain lack of sincerity in her dealings
with him, sent Madame Antonia a note which made her famous.
" 'MADAME,--Your conduct causes me much surprise and no less
distress. Not content with rending my heart with your disdain, you
have been so little thoughtful as to retain a toothbrush, which my
means will not permit me to replace, my estates being mortgaged
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Man of Business by Honore de Balzac:
"Which will you lay your money on?" asked Desroches, looking round at
an audience, surprised to find how deeply it was interested.
"A pretty story!" cried Malaga. "My dear boy, go on, I beg of you.
This goes to one's heart."
"Nothing commonplace could happen between two fighting-cocks of that
calibre," added La Palferine.
"Pooh!" cried Malaga. "I will wager my cabinet-maker's invoice (the
fellow is dunning me) that the little toad was too many for Maxime."
"I bet on Maxime," said Cardot. "Nobody ever caught him napping."
Desroches drank off a glass that Malaga handed to him.
"Mlle. Chocardelle's reading-room," he continued, after a pause, "was