|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:
"Stay here under your care?" he asked. "It would do me no good, Padre.
Temptation sticks closer to me than a brother!" and he gave that laugh of
his which had disarmed severer judges than his host. "By next week I
should have introduced some sin or other into your beautiful Garden of
Ignorance here. It will be much safer for your flock if I go and join the
other serpents at San Francisco."
Soon after breakfast the Padre had his two mules saddled, and he and his
guest set forth down the hills together to the shore. And, beneath the
spell and confidence of pleasant, slow riding and the loveliness of
everything, the young man talked freely of himself.
"And, seriously," said he, "if I missed nothing else at Santa Ysabel, I
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:
her a widow or wife, silly or wise, virtuous or the reverse, rich or
pour, soulless or full of feeling, handsome or plain,--in short, there
were as many Madame Firmianis as there are species in society, or
sects in Catholicism. Frightful reflection! we are all like
lithographic blocks, from which an indefinite number of copies can be
drawn by criticism,--the proofs being more or less like us according
to a distribution of shading which is so nearly imperceptible that our
reputation depends (barring the calumnies of friends and the
witticisms of newspapers) on the balance struck by our criticisers
between Truth that limps and Falsehood to which Parisian wit gives