|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
fetch them from school, the thought in her mind as to Joseph always
was, "What sort of state shall I find him in?" These trifles drove her
heart into the gulf of maternal preference.
No one among the very ordinary persons who made the society of the two
widows--neither old Du Bruel nor old Claparon, nor Desroches the
father, nor even the Abbe Loraux, Agathe's confessor--noticed Joseph's
faculty for observation. Absorbed in the line of his own tastes, the
future colorist paid no attention to anything that concerned himself.
During his childhood this disposition was so like torpor that his
father grew uneasy about him. The remarkable size of the head and the
width of the brow roused a fear that the child might be liable to
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rivers to the Sea by Sara Teasdale:
Out of the heaven and the earth
As from a cup.
And Mary, who was growing old,
Knew that the pottage would be cold
When he returned;
He hungered only for the night,
And westward, bending sharp and bright,
The thin moon burned.
He reached the open western gate
Where whining halt and leper wait,
And came at last