|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The New Machiavelli by H. G. Wells:
I glanced at her, and she was regarding me with an expression of
blissful disregard for any meaning I was seeking to convey.
"You see," I said, "I'm a bad man."
She sounded a note of valiant incredulity.
Everything seemed to be slipping away from me. I pushed on to the
ugly facts that remained over from the wreck of my interpretation.
"What has held me back," I said, "is the thought that you could not
possibly understand certain things in my life. Men are not pure as
women are. I have had love affairs. I mean I have had affairs.
Passion--desire. You see, I have had a mistress, I have been
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:
which is the form in which it is used in some public libraries,
where the whole of the fumes are carried at once into the open air.
Unfortunately, I can speak from experience of the dire effect of gas
in a confined space. Some years ago when placing the shelves
round the small room, which, by a euphemism, is called my library,
I took the precaution of making two self-acting ventilators which
communicated directly with the outer air just under the ceiling.
For economy of space as well as of temper (for lamps of all kinds
are sore trials), I had a gasalier of three lights over the table.
The effect was to cause great heat in the upper regions,
and in the course of a year or two the leather valance which hung