|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Juana by Honore de Balzac:
brought her, a lesson upon honor, simplified to his childish
"That boy's character requires care," said Diard.
"Yes," she replied simply.
"How about Juan?"
Madame Diard, struck by the tone in which the words were uttered,
looked at her husband.
"Juan was born perfect," he added.
Then he sat down gloomily, and reflected. Presently, as his wife
continued silent, he added:--
"You love one of YOUR children better than the other."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Blue Flower by Henry van Dyke:
soldiers came down the street, dragging a young girl with torn
dress and dishevelled hair. As the Magian paused to look at
her with compassion, she broke suddenly from the hands of her
tormentors, and threw herself at his feet, clasping him around
the knees. She had seen his white cap and the winged circle
on his breast.
"Have pity on me," she cried, "and save me, for the sake
of the God of Purity! I also am a daughter of the true
religion which is taught by the Magi. My father was a
merchant of Parthia, but he is dead, and I am seized for his
debts to be sold as a slave. Save me from worse than death!"