|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lysis by Plato:
We may expect a friendship almost divine, such as philosophers have
sometimes dreamed of: we find what is human. The good of it is
necessarily limited; it does not take the place of marriage; it affords
rather a solace than an arm of support. It had better not be based on
pecuniary obligations; these more often mar than make a friendship. It is
most likely to be permanent when the two friends are equal and independent,
or when they are engaged together in some common work or have some public
interest in common. It exists among the bad or inferior sort of men almost
as much as among the good; the bad and good, and 'the neither bad nor
good,' are drawn together in a strange manner by personal attachment. The
|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:
EXCESS, n. In morals, an indulgence that enforces by appropriate
penalties the law of moderation.
Hail, high Excess -- especially in wine,
To thee in worship do I bend the knee
Who preach abstemiousness unto me --
My skull thy pulpit, as my paunch thy shrine.
Precept on precept, aye, and line on line,
Could ne'er persuade so sweetly to agree
With reason as thy touch, exact and free,
Upon my forehead and along my spine.
At thy command eschewing pleasure's cup,
The Devil's Dictionary