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Today's Stichomancy for Fiona Apple

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

Macaire; but his heart is ossified in the matter of real dead men. Dead men are ciphers, numbers, to him; it is his business to organize death. Yet he does meet, three times in a century, perhaps, with an occasion when his part becomes sublime, and then he /is/ sublime through every hour of his day,--in times of pestilence.

When Jacquet approached him this absolute monarch was evidently out of temper.

"I told you," he was saying, "to water the flowers from the rue Massena to the place Regnault de Saint-Jean-d'Angely. You paid no attention to me! /Sac-a-papier/! suppose the relations should take it into their heads to come here to-day because the weather is fine, what


Ferragus
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Statesman by Plato:

example. We may compare the state to a web, and I will show you how the different threads are drawn into one. You would admit--would you not?-- that there are parts of virtue (although this position is sometimes assailed by Eristics), and one part of virtue is temperance, and another courage. These are two principles which are in a manner antagonistic to one another; and they pervade all nature; the whole class of the good and beautiful is included under them. The beautiful may be subdivided into two lesser classes: one of these is described by us in terms expressive of motion or energy, and the other in terms expressive of rest and quietness. We say, how manly! how vigorous! how ready! and we say also, how calm! how temperate! how dignified! This opposition of terms is extended by us to


Statesman
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy:

coming next.

"Once more--be in time to-morrow morning. You see what's to be done, and you hear what I say, and you know I'm not going to be trifled with any longer."

"Yes, sir." Then Abel Whittle left, and Henchard and Farfrae; and Elizabeth saw no more of them.

Now there was good reason for this command on Henchard's part. Poor Abel, as he was called, had an inveterate habit of over-sleeping himself and coming late to his work. His anxious will was to be among the earliest; but if his comrades omitted to pull the string that he always tied


The Mayor of Casterbridge
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 Door in the Wall, et. al. by H. G. Wells:

reflections of the brooding trees upon the bank. He waded until he swam, and so he crossed the pond and came out upon the other side, trailing, as it seemed to him, not duckweed, but very silver in long, clinging, dripping masses. And up he went through the transfigured tangles of the willow-herb and the uncut seeding grass of the farther bank. And so he came glad and breathless into the highroad. "I am glad," he said, "beyond measure, that I had clothes that fitted this occasion."

The highroad ran straight as an arrow flies, straight into the deep blue pit of sky beneath the moon, a white and shining road between the singing nightingales, and along it he went, running now