|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Aspern Papers by Henry James:
but how can we get at it unless we dig a little?
The present has such a rough way of treading it down."
"Oh, I like the past, but I don't like critics," the old woman declared
with her fine tranquility.
"Neither do I, but I like their discoveries."
"Aren't they mostly lies?"
"The lies are what they sometimes discover," I said, smiling at the quiet
impertinence of this. "They often lay bare the truth."
"The truth is God's, it isn't man's; we had better leave it alone.
Who can judge of it--who can say?"
"We are terribly in the dark, I know," I admitted; "but if we give
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:
The bonds that had held me to "old master" were broken. No man now
had a right to call me his slave or assert mastery over me. I was
in the rough and tumble of an outdoor world, to take my chance with
the rest of its busy number. I have often been asked how I felt
when first I found myself on free soil. There is scarcely anything
in my experience about which I could not give a more satisfactory answer.
A new world had opened upon me. If life is more than breath and the
"quick round of blood," I lived more in that one day than in a year
of my slave life. It was a time of joyous excitement which words
can but tamely describe. In a letter written to a friend soon after
reaching New York, I said: "I felt as one might feel upon escape