|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
temperate or well-ordered state. How is this riddle to be explained?
Critias, who takes the place of Charmides, distinguishes in his answer
between 'making' and 'doing,' and with the help of a misapplied quotation
from Hesiod assigns to the words 'doing' and 'work' an exclusively good
sense: Temperance is doing one's own business;--(4) is doing good.
Still an element of knowledge is wanting which Critias is readily induced
to admit at the suggestion of Socrates; and, in the spirit of Socrates and
of Greek life generally, proposes as a fifth definition, (5) Temperance is
self-knowledge. But all sciences have a subject: number is the subject of
arithmetic, health of medicine--what is the subject of temperance or
wisdom? The answer is that (6) Temperance is the knowledge of what a man
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:
man! Do you dare to talk to me of your children? Do you suppose I am
going to stand that sort of thing?"
"Oh, what a goose you are, my Jenny! That's only a figure of speech in
"A fine business, then!"
"Well, but listen; if you talk all the time you'll always be in the
"I mean to be. Upon my word, you take things easy!"
"You don't let me finish. I have taken under my protection a
superlative idea,--a journal, a newspaper, written for children. In
our profession, when travellers have caught, let us suppose, ten