|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:
the skirts of his overcoat. The rest of the costume was so much in
keeping with the spencer, that you would not have hesitated to call
the wearer "an Empire man," just as you call a certain kind of
furniture "Empire furniture;" yet the newcomer only symbolized the
Empire for those who had known that great and magnificent epoch at any
rate /de visu/, for a certain accuracy of memory was needed for the
full appreciation of the costume, and even now the Empire is so far
away that not every one of us can picture it in its Gallo-Grecian
The stranger's hat, for instance, tipped to the back of his head so as
to leave almost the whole forehead bare, recalled a certain jaunty
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Intentions by Oscar Wilde:
heeled shoes, dyed their hair yellow, painted and rouged their
faces, and were exactly like any silly fashionable or fallen
creature of our own day. The fact is that we look back on the ages
entirely through the medium of art, and art, very fortunately, has
never once told us the truth.
CYRIL. But modern portraits by English painters, what of them?
Surely they are like the people they pretend to represent?
VIVIAN. Quite so. They are so like them that a hundred years from
now no one will believe in them. The only portraits in which one
believes are portraits where there is very little of the sitter,
and a very great deal of the artist. Holbein's drawings of the men