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Today's Stichomancy for Butch Cassidy

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

infusion of the flowers /she/ had worn; I got out of bed at night to go and gaze at /her/ window. All my blood rushed to my heart when I inhaled the perfume she used. I was miles away from knowing that woman is a stove with a marble casing."

"Oh! spare us your terrible verdicts," cried Madame de Montcornet with a smile.

"I believe I should have crushed with my scorn the philosopher who first uttered this terrible but profoundly true thought," said de Marsay. "You are all far too keen-sighted for me to say any more on that point. These few words will remind you of your own follies.

"A great lady if ever there was one, a widow without children--oh! all

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Cruise of the Jasper B. by Don Marquis:

snuggled against Elmer's feet, but, as if a prey to frightful nightmares, the little dog twitched and whined in his sleep from time to time. These were the apparent facts, and these facts were set to a melancholy tune by the long-drawn, dismal snores of Cap'n Abernethy, which rose and fell, and rose and fell, and rose again like the sad and wailing song of some strange bird bereft of a beloved mate. They were the music for, and the commentary on, what Cleggett beheld; Cap'n Abernethy seemed to be saying, with these snores: "If you was to ask me, I'd say it ain't a cheerful ship this mornin', Mr. Cleggett, it ain't a cheerful ship."

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from An Historical Mystery by Honore de Balzac:

following day, certain of seeing them again, she showed no signs of her joy; nothing about her betrayed emotion; she was able to efface all traces of pleasure at having met them again; in fact, she was impassible. Catherine, her pretty maid, daughter of her former nurse, and Gothard, both in the secret, modelled their behavior upon hers. Catherine was nineteen years old. At that age a girl is a fanatic and would let her throat be cut before betraying a thought of one she loves. As for Gothard, merely to inhale the perfume which the countess used in her hair and among her clothes he would have born the rack without a word.


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 Man of Business by Honore de Balzac:

by a girl of eighteen when she is minded to take a header from her honest garret into a sumptuous carriage; it is a lesson that all statesmen should take to heart. At this time, de Marsay had just been employing his friend, our friend de Trailles, in the high comedy of politics. Maxime had looked high for his conquests; he had no experience of untitled women; and at fifty years he felt that he had a right to take a bite of the so-called wild fruit, much as a sportsman will halt under a peasant's apple-tree. So the Count found a reading- room for Mlle. Chocardelle, a rather smart little place to be had cheap, as usual--"

"Pooh!" said Nathan. "She did not stay in it six months. She was too