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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 Madame Firmiani by Honore de Balzac:

effort for us, and a reward to him. To say to another!--"

She did not end her sentence, but rose, bowed to the old man, and withdrew into her private apartments, the doors of which, opening and closing behind her, had a language of their own to his sagacious ears.

"Ah! the mischief!" thought he; "what a woman! she is either a sly one or an angel"; and he got into his hired coach, the horses of which were stamping on the pavement of the silent courtyard, while the coachman was asleep on his box after cursing for the hundredth time his tardy customer.

The next morning about eight o'clock the old gentleman mounted the stairs of a house in the rue de l'Observance where Octave de Camps was

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

influence, has been changed from a religous into an irreligious man; who, from being sober-minded, has become prodigal; from being a moderate drinker has become a wine-bibber and a drunkard; from being a lover of healthy honest toil has become effeminate, or under the thrall of some other wicked pleasure."

[28] Lit. "whom do you know," and so throughout.

[29] Cf. Plat. "Phaed." 66 C.

[30] Or, "so attempered and adjusted." The phrase savours of "cynic." theory.

[31] Or, "present no temptation to him"; lit. "that he stands in no further need of what belongs to his neighbours."


The Apology
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

candles. "I recall coming to myself some time after, and that a girl, a beautiful girl - "

"Ah!" said the lady in yellow, leaning forward breathlessly. Miss West was staring at me coldly, but, once started, I had to stumble on.

"That a girl was trying to rouse me, and that she told me I had been on fire twice already." A shudder went around the table.

"But surely that isn't the end of the story," Mrs. Dallas put in aggrievedly. "Why, that's the most tantalizing thing I ever heard."

"I'm afraid that's all," I said. "She went her way and I went mine. If she recalls me at all, she probably thinks of me as a weak-kneed


The Man in Lower Ten
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 End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad:

before I had been a twelvemonth in the trade I was up to that trick--and I am only an engineer. I can point to you from here where the bar is, and I could tell you besides that you are as likely as not to stick her in the mud in about five minutes from now; only you would call it interfering, I suppose. And there's that written agreement of ours, that says I mustn't interfere."

His voice stopped. Captain Whalley, without relax- ing the set severity of his features, moved his lips to ask in a quick mumble--

"How near, Serang?"


End of the Tether