|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:
cold and selfish disposition; he felt some doubt as to the future
development of her character.
M. Boyer left a widow, a dark handsome woman, forty years of age.
Some twenty years before his death, Marie Salat had come to live
with M. Boyer as a domestic servant. He fell in love with her,
she became his mistress, and a few months before the birth of
Marie, M. Boyer made her his wife. Madame Boyer was at heart a
woman of ardent and voluptuous passions that only wanted
opportunity to become careless in their gratification. Her
husband's long illness gave her such an opportunity. At the time
of his death she was carrying on an intrigue with a bookseller's
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 Phaedo by Plato:
very act of death, which has been a puzzle to after ages. With a sort of
irony he remembers that a trifling religious duty is still unfulfilled,
just as above he desires before he departs to compose a few verses in order
to satisfy a scruple about a dream--unless, indeed, we suppose him to mean,
that he was now restored to health, and made the customary offering to
Asclepius in token of his recovery.
1. The doctrine of the immortality of the soul has sunk deep into the
heart of the human race; and men are apt to rebel against any examination
of the nature or grounds of their belief. They do not like to acknowledge
that this, as well as the other 'eternal ideas; of man, has a history in
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain:
scribbling like mad; many people were crying "Chair, chair! Order!
order!" Burgess rapped with his gavel, and said:
"Let us not forget the proprieties due. There has evidently been a
mistake somewhere, but surely that is all. If Mr. Wilson gave me an
envelope--and I remember now that he did--I still have it."
He took one out of his pocket, opened it, glanced at it, looked
surprised and worried, and stood silent a few moments. Then he
waved his hand in a wandering and mechanical way, and made an effort
or two to say something, then gave it up, despondently. Several
voices cried out:
"Read it! read it! What is it?"
The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg
|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 Bureaucracy by Honore de Balzac:
satrap. His foot was elegant. After five o'clock in the afternoon des
Lupeaulx was always to be seen in open-worked silk stockings, low
shoes, black trousers, cashmere waistcoat, cambric handkerchief
(without perfume), gold chain, blue coat of the shade called "king's
blue," with brass buttons and a string of orders. In the morning he
wore creaking boots and gray trousers, and the short close surtout
coat of the politician. His general appearance early in the day was
that of a sharp lawyer rather than that of a ministerial officer. Eyes
glazed by the constant use of spectacles made him plainer than he
really was, if by chance he took those appendages off. To real judges
of character, as well as to upright men who are at ease only with