|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Complete Poems of Longfellow by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
Florence is dead: her houses are but tombs;
Silence and solitude are in her streets.
Ah yes; and often I repeat the words
You wrote upon your statue of the Night,
There in the Sacristy of San Lorenzo:
"Grateful to me is sleep; to be of stone
More grateful, while the wrong and shame endure;
To see not, feel not, is a benediction;
Therefore awake me not; oh, speak in whispers."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Domestic Peace by Honore de Balzac:
Count had promised his guests. And Napoleon would have kept his word
but for the scene which had broken out that very evening between him
and Josephine--the scene which portended the impending divorce of the
august pair. The report of this incident, at the time kept very
secret, but recorded by history, did not reach the ears of the
courtiers, and had no effect on the gaiety of Comte de Gondreville's
party beyond keeping Napoleon away.
The prettiest women in Paris, eager to be at the Count's on the
strength of mere hearsay, at this moment were a besieging force of
luxury, coquettishness, elegance, and beauty. The financial world,
proud of its riches, challenged the splendor of the generals and high