|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:
than the stranger?
SOCRATES: And if any one gave you a choice, which of these would you
ERASISTRATUS: That which was most valuable.
SOCRATES: In which way do you think you would be the richer?
ERASISTRATUS: By choosing as I said.
SOCRATES: And he appears to you to be the richest who has goods of the
ERASISTRATUS: He does.
SOCRATES: And are not the healthy richer than the sick, since health is a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:
innumerable different impulses all repressed by hideous doubts--at
this end, and at this only, the agony of fear.
Above all these human lives stood a strong man, the skipper; no doubts
assailed him, the chief, the king, the fatalist among them. He was
trusting in himself rather than in Providence, crying, "Bail away!"
instead of "Holy Virgin," defying the storm, in fact, and struggling
with the sea like a wrestler.
But the helpless poor at the other end of the wherry! The mother
rocking on her bosom the little one who smiled at the storm; the woman
once so frivolous and gay, and now tormented with bitter remorse; the
old soldier covered with scars, a mutilated life the sole reward of