|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Meno by Plato:
Cleophantus, son of Themistocles, was a wise or good man, as his father
ANYTUS: I have certainly never heard any one say so.
SOCRATES: And if virtue could have been taught, would his father
Themistocles have sought to train him in these minor accomplishments, and
allowed him who, as you must remember, was his own son, to be no better
than his neighbours in those qualities in which he himself excelled?
ANYTUS: Indeed, indeed, I think not.
SOCRATES: Here was a teacher of virtue whom you admit to be among the best
men of the past. Let us take another,--Aristides, the son of Lysimachus:
would you not acknowledge that he was a good man?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe:
from a series of feeble and futile struggles to overcome an
habitual trepidancy--an excessive nervous agitation. For
something of this nature I had indeed been prepared, no less by
his letter, than by reminiscences of certain boyish traits, and
by conclusions deduced from his peculiar physical conformation
and temperament. His action was alternately vivacious and
sullen. His voice varied rapidly from a tremulous indecision
(when the animal spirits seemed utterly in abeyance) to
that species of energetic concision--that abrupt, weighty,
unhurried, and hollow-sounding enunciation--that leaden, self-
balanced and perfectly modulated guttural utterance, which may be
The Fall of the House of Usher