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Today's Stichomancy for Alec Guinness

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Pierrette by Honore de Balzac:

the smell of the mud in the markets made them long for the fragrance of the Provins roses. They were the victims of a genuine nostalgia, and also of a monomania, frustrated at present by the necessity of selling their tapes and bobbins before they could leave Paris. The promised land of the valley of Provins attracted these Hebrews all the more because they had really suffered, and for a long time, as they crossed breathlessly the sandy wastes of a mercer's business.

The Lorrains' letter reached them in the midst of meditations inspired by this glorious future. They knew scarcely anything about their cousin, Pierrette Lorrain. Their father got possession of the Auffray property after they left home, and the old man said little to any one

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe:

was first the deed or sentence of divorce from his wife, and the full evidence of her playing the whore; then there were the certificates of the minister and churchwardens of the parish where she lived, proving that she was buried, and intimating the manner of her death; the copy of the coroner's warrant for a jury to sit upon her, and the verdict of the jury, who brought it in Non compos mentis. All this was indeed to the purpose, and to give me satisfaction, though, by the way, I was not so scrupulous, had he known all, but that I might have taken him without it. However, I looked them all over as well as I could, and told him that this was all very clear indeed, but that he


Moll Flanders
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Touchstone by Edith Wharton:

prettier she would have had emotions instead of ideas. She was in fact even then what she had always remained: a genius capable of the acutest generalizations, but curiously undiscerning where her personal susceptibilities were concerned. Her psychology failed her just where it serves most women and one felt that her brains would never be a guide to her heart. Of all this, however, Glennard thought little in the first year of their acquaintance. He was at an age when all the gifts and graces are but so much undiscriminated food to the ravening egoism of youth. In seeking Mrs. Aubyn's company he was prompted by an intuitive taste for the best as a pledge of his own superiority. The sympathy of the

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 Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini:

Columbine, who likes cajolers to be at least attractive and to pay a due deference to her own very piquant charms, the fierce humpbacked scoundrel passes on to threats of the terrible vengeance he will wreak upon her if she betrays him or neglects to obey him implicitly; failing here, likewise, he finally has recourse to bribery, and after he has bled himself freely to the very expectant Columbine, he succeeds by these means in obtaining her consent to spy upon Climene, and to report to him upon her lady's conduct.

The pair played the scene well together, stimulated, perhaps, by their very nervousness at finding themselves before so imposing an audience. Polichinelle was everything that is fierce, contemptuous,