|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:
"There's more in the letter; finish it."
"Oh, the rest is only to be read by a lover," answered Octave,
"Yes, right, my boy," said the old man, gently. "I have had many
affairs in my day, but I beg you to believe that I too have loved, 'et
ego in Arcardia.' But I don't understand yet why you give lessons in
"My dear uncle, I am your nephew; isn't that as good as saying that I
had dipped into the capital left me by my father? After I had read
this letter a sort of revolution took place within me. I paid my whole
arrearage of remorse in one day. I cannot describe to you the state I
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Domestic Peace by Honore de Balzac:
eyes to his at the right moment and drop their lids with assumed
When the movement of a new figure, invented by a dancer named Trenis,
and named after him, brought Martial face to face with the Colonel--"I
have won your horse," said he, laughing.
"Yes, but you have lost eighty thousand francs a year!" retorted
Montcornet, glancing at Madame de Vaudremont.
"What do I care?" replied Martial. "Madame de Soulanges is worth
At the end of the quadrille more than one whisper was poured into more
than one ear. The less pretty women made moral speeches to their
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Selected Writings of Guy De Maupassant by Guy De Maupassant:
five francs altogether, instead of the six which he owed her.
"Ah!" said Captain the Count de Garens, "I should rather think
that I do remember that Epiphany supper, during the war!
"At the time I was quarter-master of cavalry, and for a fort
night, I had been lurking about as a scout in front of the German
advanced guard. The evening before we had cut down a few Uhlans
and had lost three men, one of whom was that poor little
Raudeville. You remember Joseph de Raudeville well, of course.
"Well, on that day my captain ordered me to take six troopers and
occupy the village of Porterin, where there had been five fights
|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 The Enchanted Island of Yew by L. Frank Baum:
At this threat the soldiers dropped their swords and axes, and all
fell upon their knees, trembling visibly and imploring their cruel
master not to change them into june-bugs.
"Bah!" cried Nerle, scornfully; "why don't you fight? If we kill you,
then you will escape being June-bugs."
"The fact is," said the captain, woefully, "we simply can't fight.
For our swords are only tin, and our axes are made of wood, with
silver-paper pasted over them."
"But why is that?" asked Wul-Takim, while all the party showed
"Why, until now we have never had any need to fight," said the
The Enchanted Island of Yew