|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Euthydemus by Plato:
And do you know with what you know, or with something else?
With what I know; and I suppose that you mean with my soul?
Are you not ashamed, Socrates, of asking a question when you are asked one?
Well, I said; but then what am I to do? for I will do whatever you bid;
when I do not know what you are asking, you tell me to answer nevertheless,
and not to ask again.
Why, you surely have some notion of my meaning, he said.
Yes, I replied.
Well, then, answer according to your notion of my meaning.
Yes, I said; but if the question which you ask in one sense is understood
and answered by me in another, will that please you--if I answer what is
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan by Honore de Balzac:
the country, where she economized as old duchesses alone know how to
economize; for Harpagon is a mere novice compared to them. The
princess still retained some of her past relations with the exiled
royal family; and it was in her house that the marshal to whom we owe
the conquest of Africa had conferences, at the time of "Madame's"
attempt in La Vendee, with the principal leaders of legitimist
opinion,--so great was the obscurity in which the princess lived, and
so little distrust did the government feel for her in her present
Beholding the approach of that terrible fortieth year, the bankruptcy
of love, beyond which there is so little for a woman as woman, the