|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The King of the Golden River by John Ruskin:
again on his ear. It was singing now, very merrily, "Lala-lira-
la"--no words, only a soft, running, effervescent melody, something
like that of a kettle on the boil. Gluck looked out of the window;
no, it was certainly in the house. Upstairs and downstairs; no, it
was certainly in that very room, coming in quicker time and clearer
notes every moment: "Lala-lira-la." All at once it struck Gluck
that it sounded louder near the furnace. He ran to the opening and
looked in. Yes, he saw right; it seemed to be coming not only out
of the furnace but out of the pot. He uncovered it, and ran back in
a great fright, for the pot was certainly singing! He stood in the
farthest corner of the room, with his hands up and his mouth open,
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dracula by Bram Stoker:
Oh, my friend John, but it was butcher work. Had I not been
nerved by thoughts of other dead, and of the living over
whom hung such a pall of fear, I could not have gone on.
I tremble and tremble even yet, though till all was over,
God be thanked, my nerve did stand. Had I not seen the repose
in the first place, and the gladness that stole over it just
ere the final dissolution came, as realization that the soul
had been won, I could not have gone further with my butchery.
I could not have endured the horrid screeching as the stake
drove home, the plunging of writhing form, and lips of bloody foam.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Book of Remarkable Criminals by H. B. Irving:
and then, instead of calling in a policeman and telling him what
he had done, made clumsy and ineffectual efforts to conceal his
crime. Medical opinion was divided as to his mental condition.
Those doctors called for the prosecution could find no trace of
insanity about him, those called for the defence said that he was
suffering from melancholia. The unhappy man would appear hardly
to have realised the gravity of his situation. To a friend who
visited him in prison he said: "Here's a man who can write
Latin, which the Bishop of Winchester would commend, shut up in a
place like this." Coming from a man who had spent all his life
buried in books and knowing little of the world the remark is not
A Book of Remarkable Criminals
|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 My Antonia by Willa Cather:
`Maybe he did,' said Jake grimly. `There's something mighty
queer about it.'
`Now what do you mean, Jake?' grandmother asked sharply.
`Well, ma'm, I found Krajiek's axe under the manger, and I
picks it up and carries it over to the corpse, and I take my
oath it just fit the gash in the front of the old man's face.
That there Krajiek had been sneakin' round, pale and quiet,
and when he seen me examinin' the axe, he begun whimperin',
"My God, man, don't do that!" "I reckon I'm a-goin'
to look into this," says I. Then he begun to squeal like a rat
and run about wringin' his hands. "They'll hang me!" says he.