|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:
opportunities to approach him on deck. His remarks were sometimes
weird and enigmatical.
He was doubtless an eccentric old gent. But from that to calling
his son-in-law (whom he never approached on deck) nasty names behind
his back was a long step.
And Mr. Powell marvelled . . . "
"While he was telling me all this,"--Marlow changed his tone--"I
marvelled even more. It was as if misfortune marked its victims on
the forehead for the dislike of the crowd. I am not thinking here
of numbers. Two men may behave like a crowd, three certainly will
when their emotions are engaged. It was as if the forehead of Flora
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Z. Marcas by Honore de Balzac:
of which we know not all the factors. When we start from zero to work
up to the unit, the chances are incalculable. To ambitious men Paris
is an immense roulette table, and every young man fancies he can hit
on a successful progression of numbers."
He offered us the tobacco I had brought that we might smoke with him;
the Doctor went to fetch our pipes; Marcas filled his, and then he
came to sit in our room, bringing the tobacco with him, since there
were but two chairs in his. Juste, as brisk as a squirrel, ran out,
and returned with a boy carrying three bottles of Bordeaux, some Brie
cheese, and a loaf.
"Hah!" said I to myself, "fifteen francs," and I was right to a sou.