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Today's Stichomancy for Billy Joel

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith:

country. We only want a robbery to make a complete night on't.

TONY. Don't be afraid, mamma, don't be afraid. Two of the five that kept here are hanged, and the other three may not find us. Don't be afraid.--Is that a man that's galloping behind us? No; it's only a tree.--Don't be afraid.

MRS. HARDCASTLE. The fright will certainly kill me.

TONY. Do you see anything like a black hat moving behind the thicket?


TONY. No; it's only a cow. Don't be afraid, mamma; don't he afraid.

MRS. HARDCASTLE. As I'm alive, Tony, I see a man coming towards us. Ah! I'm sure on't. If he perceives us, we are undone.

She Stoops to Conquer
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay:

light merged into obscurity. At their back a great rocky wall extended on either hand; but it was not square like a wall, but full of bays and promontories like an indented line of sea cliffs. The roof of this huge underworld was out of sight. Here and there a mighty shaft of naked rock, fantastically weathered, towered aloft into the gloom, doubtless serving to support the roof. There were no colours - every detail of the landscape was black, white, or grey. The scene appeared so still, so solemn and religious, that all his feelings quieted down to absolute tranquillity.

Leehallfae fell back suddenly. Maskull dropped on his knees, and helplessly watched the last flickerings of aer spirit, going out like

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moon-Face and Other Stories by Jack London:

with her eyes. She was thrilling with unexpressed love for the mother she had never seen, and this written speech from the grave seemed to give more tangibility to her having ever existed, than did the vision of her.

"This IS remarkable," Mrs. Grantly was reiterating. "There was never anything like it. Think of it, my dear, both your father and mother here with us tonight."

Lute shivered. The lassitude was gone, and she was her natural self again, vibrant with the instinctive fear of things unseen. And it was offensive to her mind that, real or illusion, the presence or the memorized existences of her father and mother should he touched by these two persons who were practically strangers--Mrs. Grantly, unhealthy and morbid, and Mr. Barton,

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 The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring by George Bernard Shaw:

most likely to be lacking in the conventional Englishman's equipment. I came by them myself much as Wagner did, having learnt more about music than about anything else in my youth, and sown my political wild oats subsequently in the revolutionary school. This combination is not common in England; and as I seem, so far, to be the only publicly articulate result of it, I venture to add my commentary to what has already been written by musicians who are no revolutionists, and revolutionists who are no musicians. G. B. S.

Preliminary Encouragements The Ring of the Niblungs