|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gorgias by Plato:
happier than the lives of those who are more in the public eye. They have
the promise of the future, though they are regarded as dreamers and
visionaries by their own contemporaries. And when they are no longer here,
those who would have been ashamed of them during their lives claim kindred
with them, and are proud to be called by their names. (Compare Thucyd.)
Who is the true poet?
Plato expels the poets from his Republic because they are allied to sense;
because they stimulate the emotions; because they are thrice removed from
the ideal truth. And in a similar spirit he declares in the Gorgias that
the stately muse of tragedy is a votary of pleasure and not of truth. In
modern times we almost ridicule the idea of poetry admitting of a moral.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:
When Jane and Elizabeth were alone, the former, who had been
cautious in her praise of Mr. Bingley before, expressed to her
sister just how very much she admired him.
"He is just what a young man ought to be," said she, "sensible,
good-humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!--
so much ease, with such perfect good breeding!"
"He is also handsome," replied Elizabeth, "which a young man
ought likewise to be, if he possibly can. His character is thereby
"I was very much flattered by his asking me to dance a second
Pride and Prejudice