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Today's Stichomancy for Claire Forlani

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Dynamiter by Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Van De Grift Stevenson:

news; a week went by, a second followed, but we heard no word of the father and husband. As smoke dissipates, as the image glides from the mirror, so in the ten or twenty minutes that I had spent in getting my horse and following upon his trail, had that strong and brave man vanished out of life. Hope, if any hope we had, fled with every hour; the worst was now certain for my father, the worst was to be dreaded for his defenceless family. Without weakness, with a desperate calm at which I marvel when I look back upon it, the widow and the orphan awaited the event. On the last day of the third week we rose in the morning to find ourselves alone in the house,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac:

with their uncle Johann, and keep house for him, instead of the upper servant, who must cost him dear, Lisbeth replied that that was the very last way she should think of marrying.

Lisbeth Fischer had the sort of strangeness in her ideas which is often noticeable in characters that have developed late, in savages, who think much and speak little. Her peasant's wit had acquired a good deal of Parisian asperity from hearing the talk of workshops and mixing with workmen and workwomen. She, whose character had a marked resemblance to that of the Corsicans, worked upon without fruition by the instincts of a strong nature, would have liked to be the protectress of a weak man; but, as a result of living in the capital,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Three Taverns by Edwin Arlington Robinson:

So they were, and so they are; and as they came are coming others, And among them are the fearless and the meek and the unborn; And a question that has held us heretofore without an answer May abide without an answer until all have ceased to mourn. For the children of the dark are more to name than are the wretched, Or the broken, or the weary, or the baffled, or the shamed: There are builders of new mansions in the Valley of the Shadow, And among them are the dying and the blinded and the maimed.

The Wandering Jew

I saw by looking in his eyes That they remembered everything;

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 Mother by Owen Wister:

if he has not, his mother can hardly be less than sixty-five, and he has probably been married for several years. He might easily have a daughter coming out, next winter, and a son at Harvard or Yale; and if their grandmother's hair is not grey, that is quite as unnatural as her speculating in monopolised eggs in this way at her age. She must be a very unladylike person.'"

"Ethel, I saw, was excited. Therefore I made no more point of her theories concerning the appearance and family circle of old Mrs. Beverly. But in justice to myself I felt obliged to remind her, first, that I was investing, not speculating, and second, that it was Mr. Beverly's advice I was following, and not that of his mother. 'Had he not spoken of her,'