|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from What is Man? by Mark Twain:
he could have so gained) his remarkable knowledge of the law.
Can we then for a moment believe that, if this had been so,
tradition would have been absolutely silent on the matter?
That Dowdall's old clerk, over eighty years of age,
should have never heard of it (though he was sure enough
about the butcher's apprentice) and that all the other
ancient witnesses should be in similar ignorance!
But such are the methods of Stratfordian controversy.
Tradition is to be scouted when it is found inconvenient, but
cited as irrefragable truth when it suits the case. Shakespeare
of Stratford was the author of the Plays and Poems, but the
What is Man?
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:
History is abundantly supplied with examples, from Methuselah to Old
Parr, but some notable instances of longevity are less well known. A
Calabrian peasant named Coloni, born in 1753, lived so long that he
had what he considered a glimpse of the dawn of universal peace.
Scanavius relates that he knew an archbishop who was so old that he
could remember a time when he did not deserve hanging. In 1566 a
linen draper of Bristol, England, declared that he had lived five
hundred years, and that in all that time he had never told a lie.
There are instances of longevity (_macrobiosis_) in our own country.
Senator Chauncey Depew is old enough to know better. The editor of
_The American_, a newspaper in New York City, has a memory that goes
The Devil's Dictionary
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Margret Howth: A Story of To-day by Rebecca Harding Davis:
satisfy. It would be a trifle to you: will you grant it?--for
the sake of some old happy day, long ago?"
She put her hand up to her throat; then it fell again.
"Anything you wish, Stephen," she said, gravely.
"Yes. Come nearer, then, and let me see what I have lost. A
heart so cold and strong as yours need not fear inspection. I
have a fancy to look into it, for the last time."
She stood motionless and silent.
"Come,"--softly,--"there is no hurt in your heart that fears
She came out into the full light, and stood before him, pushing
Margret Howth: A Story of To-day
|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 Marie by H. Rider Haggard:
So I told him everything, of course leaving out all details. Even then
the tale was long, though it did not seem to be one that wearied my
"Allemachte!" said Retief when I had finished, "this is a strange story,
the strangest that ever I heard. If it is true, Hernan Pereira, you
deserve to have your back set against a tree and to be shot."
"God in heaven!" he answered, "am I to be condemned on such a tale--I,
an innocent man? Where is the evidence? This Englishman tells all this
against me for a simple reason--that he has robbed me of the love of my
cousin, to whom I was affianced. Where are his witnesses?"