|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Book of Remarkable Criminals by H. B. Irving:
published. The journalist conceived the brilliant idea of
interviewing some of these gentlemen.
He succeeded in seeing four of them, but in his article which
appeared in the Matin newspaper said that he had seen twenty-
one. Nine of them, he stated, had declared themselves in favour
of Gabrielle Bompard, but in some of these he had discerned a
certain "eroticism of the pupil of the eye" to which he
attributed their leniency. A month's imprisonment was the reward
of these flights of journalistic imagination.
A further scandal in connection with the trial was caused by the
lavish distribution of tickets of admission to all sorts and
A Book of Remarkable Criminals
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells:
M'ling, with a snarl, flew at it, and was struck aside. Montgomery fired
and missed, bowed his head, threw up his arm, and turned to run.
I fired, and the Thing still came on; fired again, point-blank, into
its ugly face. I saw its features vanish in a flash: its face was
driven in. Yet it passed me, gripped Montgomery, and holding him,
fell headlong beside him and pulled him sprawling upon itself in its
I found myself alone with M'ling, the dead brute, and the prostrate man.
Montgomery raised himself slowly and stared in a muddled way at
the shattered Beast Man beside him. It more than half sobered him.
He scrambled to his feet. Then I saw the grey Thing returning cautiously
The Island of Doctor Moreau
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Soul of the Far East by Percival Lowell:
certain kinds of imaginative concepts from certain others; but it
has no real foundation in fact. Nor presumably did he mean it to
have. But it serves, not inaptly, as a text to point out an
important scientific truth, namely, that there are not two such
qualities of the mind, but only one. For otherwise we might have
supposed the fact too evident to need mention. Imagination is the
single source of the new, the one mainspring of psychical advance;
reason, like a balance-wheel, only keeping the action regular.
For reason is but the touchstone of experience, our own, inherited,
or acquired from others. It compares what we imagine with what we
know, and gives us answer in terms of the here and the now, which
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Silverado Squatters by Robert Louis Stevenson:
fair; he came far seldomer - only, indeed, when there was
business, or now and again, to pay a visit of ceremony,
brushed up for the occasion, with his wife on his arm, and a
clean clay pipe in his teeth. These visits, in our forest
state, had quite the air of an event, and turned our red
canyon into a salon.
Such was the pair who ruled in the old Silverado Hotel, among
the windy trees, on the mountain shoulder overlooking the
whole length of Napa Valley, as the man aloft looks down on
the ship's deck. There they kept house, with sundry horses
and fowls, and a family of sons, Daniel Webster, and I think