|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Wife, et al by Anton Chekhov:
I went downstairs and walked without haste over the carpeted
floor through the vestibule and the hall. Ivan Ivanitch was
sitting on the sofa in the drawing-room; he was drinking tea
again and muttering something. My wife was standing opposite to
him and holding on to the back of a chair. There was a gentle,
sweet, and docile expression on her face, such as one sees on the
faces of people listening to crazy saints or holy men when a
peculiar hidden significance is imagined in their vague words and
mutterings. There was something morbid, something of a nun's
exaltation, in my wife's expression and attitude; and her
low-pitched, half-dark rooms with their old-fashioned furniture,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne by Robert Louis Stevenson:
I told him sternly, 'Nothing.'
'Nothing?' cried he.
I repeated 'Nothing,' and made off.
It's odd to think of, but perhaps I thus became as inexplicable to
the old man as he had been to me.
The road lay under chestnuts, and though I saw a hamlet or two
below me in the vale, and many lone houses of the chestnut farmers,
it was a very solitary march all afternoon; and the evening began
early underneath the trees. But I heard the voice of a woman
singing some sad, old, endless ballad not far off. It seemed to be