|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde:
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. Thank you.
LORD GORING. Is your carriage here, Robert?
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. No; I walked from the club.
LORD GORING. Sir Robert will take my cab, Phipps.
PHIPPS. Yes, my lord. [Exit.]
LORD GORING. Robert, you don't mind my sending you away?
SIR ROBERT CHILTERN. Arthur, you must let me stay for five minutes.
I have made up my mind what I am going to do to-night in the House.
The debate on the Argentine Canal is to begin at eleven. [A chair
falls in the drawing-room.] What is that?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Theaetetus by Plato:
by Socrates, who is never guilty of a fallacy himself, and is the great
detector of the errors and fallacies of others. But this natural
presumption is disturbed by the discovery that the Sophists are sometimes
in the right and Socrates in the wrong. Like the hero of a novel, he is
not to be supposed always to represent the sentiments of the author. There
are few modern readers who do not side with Protagoras, rather than with
Socrates, in the dialogue which is called by his name. The Cratylus
presents a similar difficulty: in his etymologies, as in the number of the
State, we cannot tell how far Socrates is serious; for the Socratic irony
will not allow him to distinguish between his real and his assumed wisdom.
No one is the superior of the invincible Socrates in argument (except in