|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:
comparative. The faculties of the mind, like the dexterity of the
limbs, need exercise. The dancer's strength is in his feet; the
blacksmith's in his arms; the market porter is trained to carry loads;
the singer works his larynx; and the pianist hardens his wrist. A
banker is practised in business matters; he studies and plans them,
and pulls the wires of various interests, just as a playwright trains
his intelligence in combining situations, studying his actors, giving
life to his dramatic figures.
We should no more look for powers of conversation in the Baron de
Nucingen than for the imagery of a poet in the brain of a
mathematician. How many poets occur in an age, who are either good
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland by Olive Schreiner:
tell you she worked. She made a garden, and she and the other girl worked
in it; I tell you I didn't need to buy a sixpence of food for them in six
months, and I used to sell green mealies and pumpkins to all the fellows
about. There weren't many flies on her, I tell you. She picked up English
quicker than I picked up her lingo, and took to wearing a dress and shawl."
The stranger still sat motionless, looking into the fire.
Peter Halket reseated himself more comfortably before the fire. "Well, I
came home to the huts one day, rather suddenly, you know, to fetch
something; and what did I find? She, talking at the hut door with a nigger
man. Now it was my strict orders they were neither to speak a word to a
nigger man at all; so I asked what it was. And she answers, as cool as can