|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Facino Cane by Honore de Balzac:
"Venice is a fine city; I have always had a fancy to go there."
The old man's face lighted up, the wrinkles began to work, he was
"If I went with you, you would not lose your time," he said.
"Don't talk about Venice to our Doge," put in the fiddle, "or you will
start him off, and he has stowed away a couple of bottles as it is--
has the prince!"
"Come, strike up, Daddy Canard!" added the flageolet, and the three
began to play. But while they executed the four figures of a square
dance, the Venetian was scenting my thoughts; he guessed the great
interest I felt in him. The dreary, dispirited look died out of his
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from What is Man? by Mark Twain:
reverie. The Machiavelli whom he depicts does not cease to be
politically a republican and socially a just man because he holds
up an atrocious despot like Caesar Borgia as a mirror for rulers.
What Machiavelli beheld round him in Italy was a civic disorder
in which there was oppression without statecraft, and revolt
without patriotism. When a miscreant like Borgia appeared upon
the scene and reduced both tyrants and rebels to an apparent
quiescence, he might very well seem to such a dreamer the savior
of society whom a certain sort of dreamers are always looking
for. Machiavelli was no less honest when he honored the
diabolical force than Carlyle was when at different times he
What is Man?