|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:
be that the feeling of a mother for the child of a man whom she
adores, as you adore Felipe, is different from that with which she
regards the offspring of reason, duty, and desperation!
Thoughts such as these, which I bury in my inmost heart, add to the
preoccupation only natural to a woman soon to be a mother. And yet, as
the family cannot exist without children, I long to speed the moment
from which the joys of family, where alone I am to find my life, shall
date their beginning. At present I live a life all expectation and
mystery, except for a sickening physical discomfort, which no doubt
serves to prepare a woman for suffering of a different kind. I watch
my symptoms; and in spite of the attentions and thoughtful care with
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:
to a pile of agreements lying at his elbow he took up the topmost of
them. From where I stood I could read the words: "Ship Ferndale"
written in a large round hand on the first page.
"No, Mr. Powell, they aren't ready, worse luck," says that skipper.
"I've got to ask you to strike out my second officer." He seemed
excited and bothered. He explained that his second mate had been
working on board all the morning. At one o'clock he went out to get
a bit of dinner and didn't turn up at two as he ought to have done.
Instead there came a messenger from the hospital with a note signed
by a doctor. Collar bone and one arm broken. Let himself be
knocked down by a pair horse van while crossing the road outside the