|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Common Sense by Thomas Paine:
such an extent of coast, or such an internal supply of materials.
Where nature hath given the one, she has withheld the other;
to America only hath she been liberal of both. The vast empire of Russia
is almost shut out from the sea: wherefore, her boundless forests, her tar,
iron, and cordage are only articles of commerce.
In point of safety, ought we to be without a fleet? We are not the
little people now, which we were sixty years ago; at that time we might
have trusted our property in the streets, or fields rather; and slept
securely without locks or bolts to our doors or windows. The case now
is altered, and our methods of defense ought to improve with our increase
of property. A common pirate, twelve months ago, might have come up
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:
Perhaps he thought to weaken disbelief
By proof that even himself was not a slave
To Truth; though I suspect the aged knave
Had been of all her servitors the chief
Had he but known a fig's reluctant leaf
Is more than e'er she wore on land or wave.
No, David served not Naked Truth when he
Struck that sledge-hammer blow at all his race;
Nor did he hit the nail upon the head:
For reason shows that it could never be,
And the facts contradict him to his face.
The Devil's Dictionary