|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:
occupied the back room on the third floor of a New York boarding-
house, in a street where the ash-barrels lingered late on the
sidewalk and the gaps in the pavement would have staggered a
Quintus Curtius. She was the widow of a clerk in a large
wholesale house, and his death had left her alone, for her only
daughter had married in California, and could not afford the long
journey to New York to see her mother. Mrs. Manstey, perhaps,
might have joined her daughter in the West, but they had now been
so many years apart that they had ceased to feel any need of each
other's society, and their intercourse had long been limited to
the exchange of a few perfunctory letters, written with
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:
going on within the room.
The moment I had finished breakfast he was by my side. "You wish
to speak to me? now?" he asked in a low tone.
"Yes; now," I answered, breathlessly, and without raising my eyes
from the ground.
"Where shall we go? Outside? It is a bright day, and we shall be
freer there from interruption."
I assented; and then looking up at him appealingly, "Will you fetch
my things for me? I CANNOT go up to that room again."
He seemed to understand me, nodded, and was gone. A few minutes
later we left the house, and made our way in silence towards a