|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:
A pale streak of light comes from one of the vans and glides over
the rails of a siding. In that van two men are sitting on an
outspread cape: one is an old man with a big gray beard, wearing
a sheepskin coat and a high lambskin hat, somewhat like a busby;
the other a beardless youth in a threadbare cloth reefer jacket
and muddy high boots. They are the owners of the goods. The old
man sits, his legs stretched out before him, musing in silence;
the young man half reclines and softly strums on a cheap
accordion. A lantern with a tallow candle in it is hanging on the
wall near them.
The van is quite full. If one glances in through the dim light of
The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
Good news, he said; nothing but good.
Delightful, I said; but what is the news? and why have you come hither at
this unearthly hour?
He drew nearer to me and said: Protagoras is come.
Yes, I replied; he came two days ago: have you only just heard of his
Yes, by the gods, he said; but not until yesterday evening.
At the same time he felt for the truckle-bed, and sat down at my feet, and
then he said: Yesterday quite late in the evening, on my return from Oenoe
whither I had gone in pursuit of my runaway slave Satyrus, as I meant to