|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Statesman by Plato:
YOUNG SOCRATES: Certainly.
STRANGER: Are not examples formed in this manner? We take a thing and
compare it with another distinct instance of the same thing, of which we
have a right conception, and out of the comparison there arises one true
notion, which includes both of them.
YOUNG SOCRATES: Exactly.
STRANGER: Can we wonder, then, that the soul has the same uncertainty
about the alphabet of things, and sometimes and in some cases is firmly
fixed by the truth in each particular, and then, again, in other cases is
altogether at sea; having somehow or other a correct notion of
combinations; but when the elements are transferred into the long and
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Bureaucracy by Honore de Balzac:
clothes for over three years. As he owed Antoine more than thirty
francs for his breakfasts, he lowered his eyes every time he passed
him; and yet he never failed at midday to ask the man to buy him a
After trying to get a few reasonable ideas into this foolish head,
Rabourdin had finally given up the attempt as hopeless. Adolphe (his
family name was Adolphe) had lately economized on dinners and lived
entirely on bread and water, to buy a pair of spurs and a riding-whip.
Jokes at the expense of this starving Amadis were made only in the
spirit of mischievous fun which creates vaudevilles, for he was really
a kind-hearted fellow and a good comrade, who harmed no one but