|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Eve and David by Honore de Balzac:
nothing of the kind has been done, it seems." And Lucien told the tale
of his sorrows. The story, as he told it in his feverish excitement,
was worthy of the poet. He besought the cure to go to Angouleme and to
ask for news of Eve and his mother, Mme. Chardon, and to let him know
the truth, and whether it was still possible to repair the evil.
"I shall live till you come back, sir," he added, as the hot tears
fell. "If my mother, and sister, and David do not cast me off, I shall
Lucien's remorse was terrible to see, the tears, the eloquence, the
young white face with the heartbroken, despairing look, the tales of
sorrow upon sorrow till human strength could no more endure, all these
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Marriage Contract by Honore de Balzac:
"I do not suppose there can be any doubt about the transfer of the
diamonds, as you are now one family."
"It would be more regular if Madame Evangelista made them over now, as
Monsieur de Manerville has become responsible for the guardianship
funds, and we never know who may live or die," said Solonet, who
thought he saw in this circumstance fresh cause of anger in the
mother-in-law against the son-in-law.
"Ah! mother," cried Paul, "it would be insulting to us all to do that,
--'Summum jus, summum injuria,' monsieur," he said to Solonet.
"And I," said Madame Evangelista, led by the hatred now surging in her
heart to see a direct insult to her in the indirect appeal of Maitre
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Drama on the Seashore by Honore de Balzac:
greatest among great men.
I was measuring how long a time it might take a thought to develop.
Compass in hand, standing on a rock some hundred fathoms above the
ocean, the waves of which were breaking on the reef below, I surveyed
my future, filling it with books as an engineer or builder traces on
vacant ground a palace or a fort.
The sea was beautiful; I had just dressed after bathing; and I awaited
Pauline, who was also bathing, in a granite cove floored with fine
sand, the most coquettish bath-room that Nature ever devised for her
water-fairies. The spot was at the farther end of Croisic, a dainty
little peninsula in Brittany; it was far from the port, and so
|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 Gobseck by Honore de Balzac:
followed, but in a moment he spoke again. 'Well,' he said, 'do you
think that it is nothing to have this power of insight into the
deepest recesses of the human heart, to embrace so many lives, to see
the naked truth underlying it all? There are no two dramas alike:
there are hideous sores, deadly chagrins, love scenes, misery that
soon will lie under the ripples of the Seine, young men's joys that
lead to the scaffold, the laughter of despair, and sumptuous banquets.
Yesterday it was a tragedy. A worthy soul of a father drowned himself
because he could not support his family. To-morrow is a comedy; some
youngster will try to rehearse the scene of M. Dimanche, brought up to
date. You have heard the people extol the eloquence of our latter day