|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain:
loafing, good-natured, no-account, irreverent fisherman, hunter,
boys' friend, stray-dogs' friend, typical "Sam Lawson" of the town.
The little mean, smirking, oily Pinkerton showed the sack to all
comers, and rubbed his sleek palms together pleasantly, and enlarged
upon the town's fine old reputation for honesty and upon this
wonderful endorsement of it, and hoped and believed that the example
would now spread far and wide over the American world, and be epoch-
making in the matter of moral regeneration. And so on, and so on.
By the end of a week things had quieted down again; the wild
intoxication of pride and joy had sobered to a soft, sweet, silent
delight--a sort of deep, nameless, unutterable content. All faces
The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Touchstone by Edith Wharton:
understand. It would have been easier had she been more complex,
more feminine--if he could have counted on her imaginative
sympathy or her moral obtuseness--but he was sure of neither. He
was sure of nothing but that, for a time, he must avoid her.
Glennard could not rid himself of the delusion that by and by his
action would cease to make its consequences felt. He would not
have cared to own to himself that he counted on the dulling of his
sensibilities: he preferred to indulge the vague hypothesis that
extraneous circumstances would somehow efface the blot upon his
conscience. In his worst moments of self-abasement he tried to
find solace in the thought that Flamel had sanctioned his course.