|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:
built, and I hope you will do us the honor of coming to see us there."
Gaudissart's theatre passed into other hands a year ago, but M.
Topinard is still the cashier. M. Topinard, however, has grown gloomy
and misanthropic; he says little. People think that he has something
on his conscience. Wags at the theatre suggest that his gloom dates
from his marriage with Lolotte. Honest Topinard starts whenever he
hears Fraisier's name mentioned. Some people may think it strange that
the one nature worthy of Pons and Schmucke should be found on the
third floor beneath the stage of a boulevard theatre.
Mme. Remonencq, much impressed with Mme. Fontaine's prediction,
declines to retire to the country. She is still living in her splendid
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:
lozenges, and the ploughshares like ships' anchors, with the
pomegranate trees that were watered with silphium. Such wealth of the
soil and such inventions of wisdom dazzled them.
In the evening they stretched themselves on the tents without
unfolding them; and thought with regret of Hamilcar's feast, as they
fell asleep with their faces towards the stars.
In the middle of the following day they halted on the bank of a river,
amid clumps of rose-bays. Then they quickly threw aside lances,
bucklers and belts. They bathed with shouts, and drew water in their
helmets, while others drank lying flat on their stomachs, and all in
the midst of the beasts of burden whose baggage was slipping from