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Today's Stichomancy for Christian Bale

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

that it would be a difficult task to find his father's indulgence at fault. Some new-born remorse stirred the depths of his heart; he felt almost ready to forgive this father now about to die for having lived so long. He had an accession of filial piety, like a thief's return in thought to honesty at the prospect of a million adroitly stolen.

Before long Don Juan had crossed the lofty, chilly suite of rooms in which his father lived; the penetrating influences of the damp close air, the mustiness diffused by old tapestries and presses thickly covered with dust had passed into him, and now he stood in the old man's antiquated room, in the repulsive presence of

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Little Britain by Washington Irving:

vain that the daughters always spoke of him as "the old gentleman," addressed him as "papa," in tones of infinite softness, and endeavored to coax him into a dressing-gown and slippers, and other gentlemanly habits. Do what they might, there was no keeping down the butcher. His sturdy nature would break through all their glozings. He had a hearty vulgar good-humor that was irrepressible. His very jokes made his sensitive daughters shudder; and he persisted in wearing his blue cotton coat of a morning, dining at two o'clock, and having a "bit of sausage with his tea."

He was doomed, however, to share the unpopularity of his

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne by Robert Louis Stevenson:

conscience to lay my hand rudely on a female. I desisted, and looked her all over from head to foot; the poor brute's knees were trembling and her breathing was distressed; it was plain that she could go no faster on a hill. God forbid, thought I, that I should brutalise this innocent creature; let her go at her own pace, and let me patiently follow.

What that pace was, there is no word mean enough to describe; it was something as much slower than a walk as a walk is slower than a run; it kept me hanging on each foot for an incredible length of time; in five minutes it exhausted the spirit and set up a fever in all the muscles of the leg. And yet I had to keep close at hand

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 Miracle Mongers and Their Methods by Harry Houdini:

steaks. At the end of that time he came out, perspiring profusely, and with a pulse making one hundred and sixty-eight vibrations in a minute. The thermometer, when brought out of the oven, stood at three hundred and eighty degrees; within the oven he said it was above six hundred.

Although he was suspected of trickery by many, was often challenged, and had an army of rivals and imitators, all available records show that Chabert was beyond a doubt the


Miracle Mongers and Their Methods