|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Bureaucracy by Honore de Balzac:
secretary with him into retirement only to bring him back on his
return; otherwise he puts him to grass in some of the various
administrative pastures,--for instance, in the Court of Exchequer,
that wayside refuge where private secretaries wait for the storm to
blow over. The young man is not precisely a government official; he is
a political character, however; and sometimes his politics are limited
to those of one man. When we think of the number of letters it is the
private secretary's fate to open and read, besides all his other
avocations, it is very evident that under a monarchical government his
services would be well paid for. A drudge of this kind costs ten or
twenty thousand francs a year; and he enjoys, moreover, the opera-
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Wrong Box by Stevenson & Osbourne:
severe decision. 'You have behaved in the most extraordinary
manner; you pretend you are able to explain your conduct, and
instead of doing so you begin to attack me.'
'I am well aware of that,' replied Gideon. 'I--I will make a
clean breast of it. When you know all the circumstances you will
be able to excuse me.
And sitting down beside her on the deck, he poured forth his
'O, Mr Forsyth,' she cried, when he had done, 'I am--so--sorry!
wish I hadn't laughed at you--only you know you really were so
exceedingly funny. But I wish I hadn't, and I wouldn't either if