|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Economist by Xenophon:
If I could find a good purchaser (he answered), I suppose the whole of
my effects, including the house in which I live, might very fairly
realise five minae (say twenty guineas). Yours, I am positively
certain, would fetch at the lowest more than a hundred times that sum.
 5 x L4:1:3. See Boeckh, "P. E. A." [Bk. i. ch. xx.], p. 109 f.
Crit. And with this estimate of our respective fortunes, can you still
maintain that you have no need of further wealth, but it is I who am
to be pitied for my poverty?
Soc. Yes, for my property is amply sufficient to meet my wants,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Deserted Woman by Honore de Balzac:
crime effaces the stain; and if such and such a noble house is proud
of its tale of heads that have fallen on the scaffold, a young and
pretty woman becomes more interesting for the dubious renown of a
happy love or a scandalous desertion, and the more she is to be
pitied, the more she excites our sympathies. We are only pitiless to
the commonplace. If, moreover, we attract all eyes, we are to all
intents and purposes great; how, indeed, are we to be seen unless we
raise ourselves above other people's heads? The common herd of
humanity feels an involuntary respect for any person who can rise
above it, and is not over-particular as to the means by which they