|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Deserted Woman by Honore de Balzac:
puts leaven into his dough.
The sum-total contained by all heads put together consists of a
certain quantity of antiquated notions; a few new inflections brewed
in company of an evening being added from time to time to the common
stock. Like sea-water in a little creek, the phrases which represent
these ideas surge up daily, punctually obeying the tidal laws of
conversation in their flow and ebb; you hear the hollow echo of
yesterday, to-day, to-morrow, a year hence, and for evermore. On all
things here below they pass immutable judgments, which go to make up a
body of tradition into which no power of mortal man can infuse one
drop of wit or sense. The lives of these persons revolve with the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:
"Yes, Mrs. Fyne," I said, smiling no longer. "I see. It would have
been horrible even on the stage."
"Ah!" she interrupted me--and I really believe her change of
attitude back to folded arms was meant to check a shudder. "But it
wasn't on the stage, and it was not with her lips that she laughed."
"Yes. It must have been horrible," I assented. "And then she had
to go away ultimately--I suppose. You didn't say anything?"
"No," said Mrs. Fyne. "I rang the bell and told one of the maids to
go and bring the hat and coat out of the cab. And then we waited."
I don't think that there ever was such waiting unless possibly in a
jail at some moment or other on the morning of an execution. The