|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Passion in the Desert by Honore de Balzac:
vivid color which gave her robe an imperial splendor; but just then
his sight was troubled by her sinister appearance.
The presence of the panther, even asleep, could not fail to produce
the effect which the magnetic eyes of the serpent are said to have on
For a moment the courage of the soldier began to fail before this
danger, though no doubt it would have risen at the mouth of a cannon
charged with shell. Nevertheless, a bold thought brought daylight to
his soul and sealed up the source of the cold sweat which sprang forth
on his brow. Like men driven to bay, who defy death and offer their
body to the smiter, so he, seeing in this merely a tragic episode,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Hated Son by Honore de Balzac:
affirmative sign, as if that gesture were the only language in which
to express her thoughts.
"It is not all clear to me yet," thought the bonesetter.
Like all men in constant practice, he recognized at once a woman in
her first trouble as he called it. Though the modest inexperience of
certain gestures showed him the virgin ignorance of the countess, the
mischievous operator exclaimed:--
"Madame is delivered as if she knew all about it!"
The count then said, with a calmness more terrifying than his anger:--
"Give me the child."
"Don't give it him, for the love of God!" cried the mother, whose