|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
solutions of continuity, sudden holes in space and time. A given
anarchist may be watched inch by inch and minute by minute, but a
moment always comes when somehow all sight and touch of him are
lost for a few hours, during which something (generally an
explosion) more or less deplorable does happen. But the high
official, carried away by his sense of the fitness of things, had
smiled, and now the recollection of that smile was very annoying to
Chief Inspector Heat, principal expert in anarchist procedure.
This was not the only circumstance whose recollection depressed the
usual serenity of the eminent specialist. There was another dating
back only to that very morning. The thought that when called
The Secret Agent
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:
that the prize might be great, Newman could not resist
a movement of admiration for his companion's intrepidity.
She was throwing away with one hand, whatever she might intend
to do with the other, a very handsome sum of money.
"Are you joking," he said, "or are you serious?"
"Oh, serious!" cried Mademoiselle Noemie, but with her extraordinary smile.
"I know very little about pictures or now they are painted.
If you can't do all that, of course you can't. Do what you can, then."
"It will be very bad," said Mademoiselle Noemie.
"Oh," said Newman, laughing, "if you are determined it shall be bad,
of course it will. But why do you go on painting badly?"