|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
as far as Romney Road and Park Place. Enormous hole in the ground
under a tree filled with smashed roots and broken branches. All
round fragments of a man's body blown to pieces. That's all. The
rest's mere newspaper gup. No doubt a wicked attempt to blow up
the Observatory, they say. H'm. That's hardly credible."
He looked at the paper for a while longer in silence, then passed
it to the other, who after gazing abstractedly at the print laid it
down without comment.
It was Ossipon who spoke first - still resentful.
"The fragments of only ONE man, you note. Ergo: blew HIMSELF up.
That spoils your day off for you - don't it? Were you expecting
The Secret Agent
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Statesman by Plato:
classification; there is nothing in which he takes greater delight than in
processes of division (compare Phaedr.); he pursues them to a length out of
proportion to his main subject, and appears to value them as a dialectical
exercise, and for their own sake. A poetical vision of some order or
hierarchy of ideas or sciences has already been floating before us in the
Symposium and the Republic. And in the Phaedrus this aspect of dialectic
is further sketched out, and the art of rhetoric is based on the division
of the characters of mankind into their several classes. The same love of
divisions is apparent in the Gorgias. But in a well-known passage of the
Philebus occurs the first criticism on the nature of classification. There
we are exhorted not to fall into the common error of passing from unity to