|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:
float with the stream, never caring for the future. He ruled a little
set of newcomers, he had friendships--or rather, habits of fifteen
years' standing, and men with whom he supped, and dined, and indulged
his wit. He earned from seven to eight hundred francs a month, a sum
which he found quite insufficient for the prodigality peculiar to the
impecunious. Indeed, Lousteau found himself now just as hard up as
when, on first appearing in Paris, he had said to himself, "If I had
but five hundred francs a month, I should be rich!"
The cause of this phenomenon was as follows: Lousteau lived in the Rue
des Martyrs in pretty ground-floor rooms with a garden, and splendidly
furnished. When he settled there in 1833 he had come to an agreement
The Muse of the Department
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Hermione's Little Group of Serious Thinkers by Don Marquis:
That's is one thing that Papa and Mamma
and I agree about. And this year we had a very
simple sort of Thanksgiving Day.
Of course, it's rather a bore if you have to invite
a lot of relations.
But one must always sacrifice something to gain
the worth-while things, mustn't one?
And what is more worth while than simplicity?
Simplicity! Simplicity! Isn't it truly WONDERFUL!
Nearly every night before I go to bed I ask my-
self: "have I been simple and genuine today? Or