|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:
uncultivation for himself. The book is absolutely dangerous,
considering the magnitude and variety of its misstatements,
and the convincing confidence with which they are made.
And yet it is a text-book in the schools of America.
The poor blunderer mouses among the sublime creations of the
Old Masters, trying to acquire the elegant proficiency in
art-knowledge, which he has a groping sort of comprehension is a
proper thing for a traveled man to be able to display. But what is
the manner of his study? And what is the progress he achieves?
To what extent does he familiarize himself with the great pictures
of Italy, and what degree of appreciation does he arrive at? Read:
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Three Taverns by Edwin Arlington Robinson:
Skin most of us of our mediocrity,
We should have nothing then that we could scratch.
The picture smarts. Cover it, if you please,
And do so rather gently. Now for Norcross."
Ferguson closed his eyes in resignation,
While a dead sigh came out of him. "Good God!"
He said, and said it only half aloud,
As if he knew no longer now, nor cared,
If one were there to listen: "Have I said nothing --
Nothing at all -- of Norcross? Do you mean
To patronize him till his name becomes