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Today's Stichomancy for Ian McKellan

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The War in the Air by H. G. Wells:

bits, of futile soldiers in that localised battle fightingagainst hope amidst an indescribable wreckage, of flags hauled down by weeping men. And these strange nocturnal editions contained also the first brief cables from Europe of the fleet disaster, the North Atlantic fleet for which New York had always felt an especial pride and solicitude. Slowly, hour by hour, the collective consciousness woke up, the tide of patriotic astonishment and humiliation came floating in. America had come upon disaster; suddenly New York discovered herself with amazement giving place to wrath unspeakable, a conquered city under the hand of her conqueror.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte by Karl Marx:

specification. Accordingly, so long as the name of freedom was respected, and only its real enforcement was prevented in a legal way, of course the constitutional existence of freedom remained uninjured, untouched, however completely its common existence might be extinguished.

This Constitution, so ingeniously made invulnerable, was, however, like Achilles, vulnerable at one point: not in its heel, but in its head, or rather, in the two heads into which it ran out-the Legislative Assembly, on the one hand, and the President on the other. Run through the Constitution and it will be found that only those paragraphs wherein the relation of the President to the Legislative Assembly is defined, are

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Polly of the Circus by Margaret Mayo:

hills, that encircled the whole lurid picture. Jim's eyes turned absently toward the church as he sat fumbling with the lock of the little brown satchel.

He had gone from store to store in the various towns where they had played looking for something to inspire wonder in the heart of a miss, newly arrived at her sixteenth year. Only the desperation of a last moment had forced him to decide upon the imitation alligator bag, which he now held in his hand.

It looked small and mean to him as the moment of presentation approached, and he was glad that the saleswoman in the little country store had suggested the addition of ribbons and laces,

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 Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:

be uneasy. Here's imagination for you!"

"What?" said la Peyrade, angrily, "you don't believe me?"

"No, I do not believe you. Twenty-five thousand francs savings in the service of an old savant! that is about as believable as the officer of La Dame Blanche buying a chateau with his pay."

"But if I prove to you the truth of my words; if I let you put your finger upon it?"

"In that case, like Saint Thomas, I shall lower my flag before the evidence. Meanwhile you must permit me, my noble friend, to wait until you offer me that proof."

Thuillier felt really superb.