|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:
various little streams flowing down the hillsides and on a little
river, along the bank of which runs the country road which connects
the chief town of the arrondissement with the prefecture. Like all the
villages of this upland plain, Montegnac is built of earth baked in
the sun and moulded into square blocks. After a fire a house looks as
if it had been built of brick. The roofs are of thatch. Poverty is
Before the village lay several fields of potatoes, radishes, and rye,
redeemed from the barren plain. On the slope of the hill were
irrigated meadows where the inhabitants raised horses, the famous
Limousin breed, which is said to be a legacy of the Arabs when they
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Aspern Papers by Henry James:
"How charming! It's gray and pink!" my companion exclaimed;
and that is the most comprehensive description of it.
It was not particularly old, only two or three centuries;
and it had an air not so much of decay as of quiet discouragement,
as if it had rather missed its career. But its wide front,
with a stone balcony from end to end of the piano nobile or most
important floor, was architectural enough, with the aid of various
pilasters and arches; and the stucco with which in the intervals
it had long ago been endued was rosy in the April afternoon.
It overlooked a clean, melancholy, unfrequented canal,
which had a narrow riva or convenient footway on either side.