|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:
Europe's stratagem was understood by Paccard. As soon as Asie's back
was turned, Europe opened the packet, on which the hapless courtesan
had written: "To be delivered to Monsieur Lucien de Rubempre."
Seven hundred and fifty thousand-franc notes shone in the eyes of
Prudence Servien, who exclaimed:
"Won't we be happy and honest for the rest of our lives!"
Paccard made no objection. His instincts as a thief were stronger than
his attachment to Trompe-la-Mort.
"Durut is dead," he said at length; "my shoulder is still a proof
before letters. Let us be off together; divide the money, so as not to
have all our eggs in one basket, and then get married."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Z. Marcas by Honore de Balzac:
it emancipation. It will always remember the young representatives of
the people and the young army leaders! The imprudence of the
Government is only comparable to its avarice."
That day left its echoes in our lives. Marcas confirmed us in our
resolution to leave France, where young men of talent and energy are
crushed under the weight of successful commonplace, envious, and
insatiable middle age.
We dined together in the Rue de la Harpe. We thenceforth felt for
Marcas the most respectful affection; he gave us the most practical
aid in the sphere of the mind. That man knew everything; he had
studied everything. For us he cast his eye over the whole civilized