|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:
the blood. Some portions of the body he had burnt in the
furnace; those in the lavatory and the tea-chest he had concealed
there, until he should have had an opportunity of getting rid of
In this statement Professor Webster denied all premeditation.
Dr. Putnam asked him solemnly whether he had not, immediately
before the crime, meditated at any time on the advantages that
would accrue to him from Parkman's death. Webster replied
"Never, before God!" He had, he protested, no idea of doing
Parkman an injury until the bitter tongue of the latter provoked
him. "I am irritable and violent," he said, "a quickness 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 Adam Bede by George Eliot:
ribbon round her neck. So now she slipped it on along her chain
of dark-brown berries, and snapped the chain round her neck. It
was not a very long chain, only allowing the locket to hang a
little way below the edge of her frock. And now she had nothing
to do but to put on her long sleeves, her new white gauze
neckerchief, and her straw hat trimmed with white to-day instead
of the pink, which had become rather faded under the July sun.
That hat made the drop of bitterness in Hetty's cup to-day, for it
was not quite new--everybody would see that it was a little tanned
against the white ribbon--and Mary Burge, she felt sure, would
have a new hat or bonnet on. She looked for consolation at her
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson:
find that he reminded some critics of Barry Lyndon after all.
. . .
CHAPTER VII - PREFACE TO 'THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE' (19)
ALTHOUGH an old, consistent exile, the editor of the
following pages revisits now and again the city of which he
exults to be a native; and there are few things more strange,
more painful, or more salutary, than such revisitations.
Outside, in foreign spots, he comes by surprise and awakens
more attention than he had expected; in his own city, the
relation is reversed, and he stands amazed to be so little
recollected. Elsewhere he is refreshed to see attractive
|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 A Straight Deal by Owen Wister:
has a spotless history? Do you think that you can peer into our past,
turn over the back pages of our record, and never come upon a single
blot? Indeed you cannot. And it is better--a great deal better--that you
should be aware of these blots. Such knowledge may enlighten you, may
make you a better American. What we need is to be critics of ourselves,
and this is exactly what we have been taught not to be.
We are quite good enough to look straight at ourselves. Owing to one
thing and another we are cleaner, honester, humaner, and whiter than any
people on the continent of Europe. If any nation on the continent of
Europe has ever behaved with the generosity and magnanimity that we have
shown to Cuba, I have yet to learn of it. They jeered at us about Cuba,