|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain:
that dead-bell rang out a blood-curdling alarum over my head!
The shock of it nearly paralyzed me; for it was the first time I had
ever heard it.
I gathered myself together and flew to the corpse-room. About midway
down the outside rank, a shrouded figure was sitting upright,
wagging its head slowly from one side to the other--a grisly spectacle!
Its side was toward me. I hurried to it and peered into its face.
Heavens, it was Adler!
Can you divine what my first thought was? Put into words,
it was this: 'It seems, then, you escaped me once:
there will be a different result this time!'
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Deserted Woman by Honore de Balzac:
he hoped to know the same felicity makes it clear that it will never
be revived for him; if, with the sweetness of divine love still on his
lips, he has dealt a deadly wound to /her/, his wife in truth, whom he
forsook for a social chimera,--then he must either die or take refuge
in a materialistic, selfish, and heartless philosophy, from which
impassioned souls shrink in horror.
As for Mme. de Beauseant, she doubtless did not imagine that her
friend's despair could drive him to suicide, when he had drunk deep of
love for nine years. Possibly she may have thought that she alone was
to suffer. At any rate, she did quite rightly to refuse the most
humiliating of all positions; a wife may stoop for weighty social