|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Virginian by Owen Wister:
stowed beneath a chair uttered a drowsy note. A much louder cry,
indeed a chorus of lament, would have been needed to reach the
ears of the parents in the room beyond, such was the noisy volume
of the dance. But in this quiet place the light sound caught Mr.
McLean's attention, and he turned to see if anything were wrong.
But both babies were sleeping peacefully.
"Them's Uncle Hughey's twins," he said.
"How do you happen to know that?" inquired the Virginian,
"Saw his wife put 'em under the chair so she could find 'em right
off when she come to go home."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
reader stop to think, or unduly attracts attention by difficulty and
peculiarity, or disturbs the effect of the surrounding language. In
general the style of one author is not appropriate to another; as in
society, so in letters, we expect every man to have 'a good coat of his
own,' and not to dress himself out in the rags of another. (a) Archaic
expressions are therefore to be avoided. Equivalents may be occasionally
drawn from Shakspere, who is the common property of us all; but they must
be used sparingly. For, like some other men of genius of the Elizabethan
and Jacobean age, he outdid the capabilities of the language, and many of
the expressions which he introduced have been laid aside and have dropped
out of use. (b) A similar principle should be observed in the employment