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Today's Stichomancy for Chris Elliott

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

abdicate his rule and die in retirement to consolidate his work. A magnificent sextette (B flat major). He takes leave of all (solo in F natural). His two fathers-in-law, constituted his vicars or Khalifs, appeal to the people. A great triumphal march, and a prayer by all the Arabs kneeling before the sacred house, the Kasbah, from which a pigeon is seen to fly away (the same key). This prayer, sung by sixty voices and led by the women (in B flat), crowns the stupendous work expressive of the life of nations and of man. Here you have every emotion, human and divine."

Andrea gazed at Gambara in blank amazement. Though at first he had been struck by the terrible irony of the situation,--this man

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:

up, and the fight was at an end. The regimental commander and Major Ekonomov had stopped beside a bridge, letting the retreating companies pass by them, when a soldier came up and took hold of the commander's stirrup, almost leaning against him. The man was wearing a bluish coat of broadcloth, he had no knapsack or cap, his head was bandaged, and over his shoulder a French munition pouch was slung. He had an officer's sword in his hand. The soldier was pale, his blue eyes looked impudently into the commander's face, and his lips were smiling. Though the commander was occupied in giving instructions to Major Ekonomov, he could not help taking notice of the soldier.

"Your excellency, here are two trophies," said Dolokhov, pointing to

War and Peace
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Charmides and Other Poems by Oscar Wilde:

Ready for death he stood, but lo! the air Grew silent, and the horses ceased to neigh, And off his brow he tossed the clustering hair, And from his limbs he throw the cloak away; For whom would not such love make desperate? And nigher came, and touched her throat, and with hands violate

Undid the cuirass, and the crocus gown, And bared the breasts of polished ivory, Till from the waist the peplos falling down Left visible the secret mystery Which to no lover will Athena show,

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 Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:

O how are they wrapp'd in with infamies That from their own misdeeds askaunce their eyes!

'To thee, to thee, my heav'd-up hands appeal, Not to seducing lust, thy rash relier; I sue for exil'd majesty's repeal; Let him return, and flattering thoughts retire: His true respect will 'prison false desire, And wipe the dim mist from thy doting eyne, That thou shalt see thy state, and pity mine.'

'Have done,' quoth he: 'my uncontrolled tide Turns not, but swells the higher by this let.