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Today's Stichomancy for Fritz Lang

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

Marquis d'Esgrignon stood aloof, an upholder of the straitest sect of the Right in politics, until such time as his vast fortune should be restored to him. Nor did he so much as admit the thought of the indemnity which filled the minds of the Villele ministry, and formed a part of a design of strengthening the Crown by putting an end to those fatal distinctions of ownership which still lingered on in spite of legislation.

The miracles of the Restoration of 1814, the still greater miracle of Napoleon's return in 1815, the portents of a second flight of the Bourbons, and a second reinstatement (that almost fabulous phase of contemporary history), all these things took the Marquis by surprise

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Margret Howth: A Story of To-day by Rebecca Harding Davis:

hands as stage-coachmen do, and drew in long draughts of air, as if there were keen life and promise in every breath. They came up at last, the cart empty, and drying for the day's work after its morning's scrubbing, Lois's pock-marked face all in a glow with trying to keep Barney awake. She grew quite red with pleasure at seeing Holmes, but went on quickly as the men began to talk. Tige followed her, of course; but when she had gone a little way across the prairie, they saw her stop, and presently the dog came back with something in his mouth, which he laid down beside his master, and bolted off. It was only a rough wicker-basket which she had filled with damp plushy moss, and


Margret Howth: A Story of To-day
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

sentinel at every corner, and a court of guard before the town house, a loyal gentleman may venture to walk abroad. What to me is the outcry of a mob, in this remote province of the realm? The king is my master, and England is my country! Upheld by their armed strength, I set my foot upon the rabble, and defy them!"

He snatched a pen, and was about to affix his signature to the paper that lay on the table, when the Captain of Castle William placed his hand upon his shoulder. The freedom of the action, so contrary to the ceremonious respect which was then considered due to rank and dignity, awakened general surprise, and in none more than in the Lieutenant-Governor himself. Looking angrily up, he


Twice Told Tales
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 Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas:

country." These words were spoken in French, and with a purity of accent that bespoke not only a Frenchman, but a Frenchman from the vicinity of Tours.

"And what part of England have you resided in, monsieur?"

"In my youth, London, my lord, then, about 1635, I made a pleasure trip to Scotland; and lastly, in 1648, I lived for some time at Newcastle, particularly in the convent, the gardens of which are now occupied by your army."

"Excuse me, monsieur, but you must comprehend that these questions are necessary on my part -- do you not?"

"It would astonish me, my lord, if they were not asked."


Ten Years Later