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Today's Stichomancy for Harry Houdini

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

whom you shall presently behold in his den, a sight to make you shudder; and lastly, there was the Auvergnat thirsting for money, ready for anything--even for a crime--that should bring him the capital he wanted. The first part of the story serves in some sort as a prelude to this comedy in which all the actors who have hitherto occupied the stage will reappear.

The degradation of a word is one of those curious freaks of manners upon which whole volumes of explanation might be written. Write to an attorney and address him as "Lawyer So-and-so," and you insult him as surely as you would insult a wholesale colonial produce merchant by addressing your letter to "Mr. So-and-so, Grocer." There are plenty of

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen:

place on the following morning; and they were to set off very early, in order to be at home in good time. The affair thus determined, and Thorpe's approbation secured, Catherine only remained to be apprised of it. She had left them for a few minutes to speak to Miss Tilney. In that interval the plan was completed, and as soon as she came again, her agreement was demanded; but instead of the gay acquiescence expected by Isabella, Catherine looked grave, was very sorry, but could not go. The engagement which ought to have kept her from joining in the former attempt would make it impossible for her to accompany them now.


Northanger Abbey
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lay Morals by Robert Louis Stevenson:

her lonely bed! How unsatisfactory their realisation, when the forgetful child, half wondering, checks with every word and action the outpouring of her maternal love! How bitter and restless the memories that they leave behind! And for the rest, what else has she? - to watch them with eager eyes as they go to school, to sit in church where she can see them every Sunday, to be passed some day unnoticed in the street, or deliberately cut because the great man or the great woman are with friends before whom they are ashamed to recognise the old woman that loved them.

When she goes home that night, how lonely will the room

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 Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:

the officers of the gate wore a sneering smile upon their faces-- the postilions were laughing together; and this, too, in the presence of three creatures whose exquisite beauty, in different styles, agreeably to their different ages, would have caused noblemen to have fallen down and worshiped. My mother, who had never yet met with any flagrant insult on account of her national distinctions, was too much shocked to be capable of speaking. I whispered to her a few words, recalling her to her native dignity of mind, paid the money, and we drove to the prison. But the hour was past at which we could be admitted, and, as Jewesses, my mother and sisters could not be allowed to stay in the city; they were to