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Today's Stichomancy for George Orwell

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Damaged Goods by Upton Sinclair:

the consequences of an act whose culpability you understand! No, don't protest! Many of those who come here think and act as you think, and as you wish to act; but the marriage made against my will has generally been the source of such calamities that now I am always afraid of not having been persuasive enough, and it even seems to me that I am a little to blame for these misfortunes. I should have been able to prevent them; they would not have happened if those who are the authors of them knew what I know and had seen what I have seen. Swear to me, sir, that you are going to break off that marriage!"

George was greatly embarrassed, and unwilling to reply. "I

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

but the more sincere the lover, the more timid he became; and besides, the lady inspired awe, and it was a difficult matter to find enough courage to speak to her. Finally, if a few of the bolder sort wrote to her, their letters must have been burned unread. It was Mme. Willemsens' practice to throw all the letters which she received into the fire, as if she meant that the time spent in Touraine should be untroubled by any outside cares even of the slightest. She might have come to the enchanting retreat to give herself up wholly to the joy of living.

The three masters whose presence was allowed at La Grenadiere spoke with something like admiring reverence of the touching picture that

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from At the Sign of the Cat & Racket by Honore de Balzac:

simple families. She wondered whether Joseph or Virginie were the taller, to ask them to compare their height. This preliminary fooling brought a cloud to the master's brow, and he even made such a point of decorum that he desired Augustine to take the assistant's arm on their way to Saint-Leu. Madame Guillaume, surprised at this manly delicacy, honored her husband with a nod of approval. So the procession left the house in such order as to suggest no suspicious meaning to the neighbors.

"Does it not seem to you, Mademoiselle Augustine," said the assistant, and he trembled, "that the wife of a merchant whose credit is as good as Monsieur Guillaume's, for instance, might enjoy herself a little

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 Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin:

Every-night club, the general opinion was that it must fail, there being already two printers in the place, Keimer and Bradford; but Dr. Baird (whom you and I saw many years after at his native place, St. Andrew's in Scotland) gave a contrary opinion: "For the industry of that Franklin," says he, "is superior to any thing I ever saw of the kind; I see him still at work when I go home from club, and he is at work again before his neighbors are out of bed." This struck the rest, and we soon after had offers from one of them to supply us with stationery; but as yet we did not chuse to engage in shop business.

I mention this industry the more particularly and the more freely,


The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin