|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad:
with a ready hand and an undaunted heart.
This the navy of the Twenty Years' War knew well how to do, and
never better than when Lord Nelson had breathed into its soul his
own passion of honour and fame. It was a fortunate navy. Its
victories were no mere smashing of helpless ships and massacres of
cowed men. It was spared that cruel favour, for which no brave
heart had ever prayed. It was fortunate in its adversaries. I say
adversaries, for on recalling such proud memories we should avoid
the word "enemies," whose hostile sound perpetuates the antagonisms
and strife of nations, so irremediable perhaps, so fateful - and
The Mirror of the Sea
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moran of the Lady Letty by Frank Norris:
a barely audible creaking of joints and panels. The oil in the
deck-tubs trembled. The vibration was so fine and rapid that it
tickled the soles of Wilbur's feet as he stood on the deck.
"I'd give two fingers to know what it all means," murmured Moran
in a low voice. "I've been to sea for--" Then suddenly she cried
aloud: "Steady all, she's lifting again!"
The schooner heaved slowly under them, this time by the stern. Up
she went, up and up, while Wilbur gripped at a stay to keep his
place, and tried to choke down his heart, that seemed to beat
against his palate.
"God!" ejaculated Moran, her eyes blazing. "This thing is--" The