|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
where Joseph heard her say in a low voice, but still so that he could
hear the words:--
"Your nephew is a painter; you don't care for those pictures; be kind,
and give them to him."
"It seems," said Jean-Jacques, leaning on Flore's arm to reach the
place were Joseph was standing in ecstasy before an Albano, "--it seems
that you are a painter--"
"Only a 'rapin,'" said Joseph.
"What may that be?" asked Flore.
"A beginner," replied Joseph.
"Well," continued Jean-Jacques, "if these pictures can be of any use
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Virginibus Puerisque by Robert Louis Stevenson:
diligently now, and acquire a stock of knowledge; for when
years come upon you, you will find that poring upon books will
be but an irksome task." The old gentleman seems to have been
unaware that many other things besides reading grow irksome,
and not a few become impossible, by the time a man has to use
spectacles and cannot walk without a stick. Books are good
enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless
substitute for life. It seems a pity to sit, like the Lady of
Shalott, peering into a mirror, with your back turned on all
the bustle and glamour of reality. And if a man reads very
hard, as the old anecdote reminds us, he will have little time