|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gobseck by Honore de Balzac:
" 'I have no money to spare except for my own clients,' said he.
" 'So you are cross because I may have tried in other quarters to ruin
myself?' laughed the Count.
" 'Ruin yourself!' repeated Gobseck ironically.
" 'Were you about to remark that it is impossible to ruin a man who
has nothing?' inquired the dandy. 'Why, I defy you to find a better
STOCK in Paris!' he cried, swinging round on his heels.
"This half-earnest buffoonery produced not the slightest effect upon
" 'Am I not on intimate terms with the Ronquerolles, the Marsays, the
Franchessinis, the two Vandenesses, the Ajuda-Pintos,--all the most
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Republic by Plato:
and, like Adeimantus, has been distinguished at the battle of Megara (anno
456?)...The character of Adeimantus is deeper and graver, and the
profounder objections are commonly put into his mouth. Glaucon is more
demonstrative, and generally opens the game. Adeimantus pursues the
argument further. Glaucon has more of the liveliness and quick sympathy of
youth; Adeimantus has the maturer judgment of a grown-up man of the world.
In the second book, when Glaucon insists that justice and injustice shall
be considered without regard to their consequences, Adeimantus remarks that
they are regarded by mankind in general only for the sake of their
consequences; and in a similar vein of reflection he urges at the beginning
of the fourth book that Socrates fails in making his citizens happy, and is