|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde:
of the room with your brother?
MABEL CHILTERN. Oh, I think Lady Markby brought her. Why do you
LORD GORING. I haven't seen her for years, that is all.
MABEL CHILTERN. What an absurd reason!
LORD GORING. All reasons are absurd.
MABEL CHILTERN. What sort of a woman is she?
LORD GORING. Oh! a genius in the daytime and a beauty at night!
MABEL CHILTERN. I dislike her already.
LORD GORING. That shows your admirable good taste.
VICOMTE DE NANJAC. [Approaching.] Ah, the English young lady is the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
give the reasons why I differ from so eminent an authority. Reserving the
fuller discussion of the question for another place, I will shortly defend
my opinion by the following arguments:--
(a) Because almost all epistles purporting to be of the classical age of
Greek literature are forgeries. (Compare Bentley's Works (Dyce's
Edition).) Of all documents this class are the least likely to be
preserved and the most likely to be invented. The ancient world swarmed
with them; the great libraries stimulated the demand for them; and at a
time when there was no regular publication of books, they easily crept into
(b) When one epistle out of a number is spurious, the remainder of the