|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:
the chamber with the caution of a thief, glided like a shadow over the
carpet, saw no one, and bethought her that she should surely surprise
the queen-mother in that magnificent dressing-room which comes between
the bedroom and the oratory. The arrangement of this oratory, to which
the manners of that period gave a role in private life like that of
the boudoirs of our day, can still be traced.
By an almost inexplicable chance, when we consider the state of
dilapidation into which the Crown has allowed the chateau of Blois to
fall, the admirable woodwork of Catherine's cabinet still exists; and
in those delicately carved panels, persons interested in such things
may still see traces of Italian splendor, and discover the secret
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Paradise Lost by John Milton:
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven.
O, then, at last relent: Is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame