|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:
strayed into the pellucid smokelessness of this region
of yellow grain and pale soil, with which he had
nothing in common, to amaze and to discompose its
What he looked he felt. He was in the agricultural
world, but not of it. He served fire and smoke; these
denizens of the fields served vegetation, weather,
frost, and sun. He travelled with his engine from farm
to farm, from county to county, for as yet the steam
threshing-machine was itinerant in this part of Wessex.
He spoke in a strange northern accent; his thoughts
Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Lily of the Valley by Honore de Balzac:
knowledge of these debates, there were moments when I was happy in the
sense that she rested upon my heart; for she told me of these new
troubles. Day by day I learned more fully the meaning of her words,--
"Love me as my aunt loved me."
"Have you no ambition?" the duchess said to me at dinner, with a stern
"Madame," I replied, giving her a serious look, "I have enough in me
to conquer the world; but I am only twenty-one, and I am all alone."
She looked at her daughter with some astonishment. Evidently she
believed that Henriette had crushed my ambition in order to keep me
near her. The visit of Madame de Lenoncourt was a period of unrelieved
The Lily of the Valley