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Today's Stichomancy for Igor Stravinsky

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso:

XX Down by the lovers' side there pendent was A crystal mirror, bright, pure, smooth, and neat, He rose, and to his mistress held the glass, A noble page, graced with that service great; She, with glad looks, he with inflamed, alas, Beauty and love beheld, both in one seat; Yet them in sundry objects each espies, She, in the glass, he saw them in her eyes:

XXI Her, to command; to serve, it pleased the knight;

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Ruling Passion by Henry van Dyke:

if they were painted; and across the circle of smooth lawn in front of the piazza the name of the hotel was printed in alleged ornamental plants letters two feet long, immensely ugly. Hose had been elevated to the office of postmaster, and lived in a Queen Antic cottage on the main street. Little Billy Ransom had grown up into a very interesting young man, with a decided musical genius, and a tenor voice, which being discovered by an enterprising patron of genius, from Boston, Billy was sent away to Paris to learn to sing. Some day you will hear of his debut in grand opera, as Monsieur Guillaume Rancon.

But Fiddlin' Jack lived on in the little house with the curved roof,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from 'Twixt Land & Sea by Joseph Conrad:

while. But, living in a world more or less homicidal and desperately mercantile, it was plainly my duty to make the best of its opportunities.

My owners' letter had left it to me, as I have said before, to do my best for the ship, according to my own judgment. But it contained also a postscript worded somewhat as follows:

"Without meaning to interfere with your liberty of action we are writing by the outgoing mail to some of our business friends there who may be of assistance to you. We desire you particularly to call on Mr. Jacobus, a prominent merchant and charterer. Should you hit it off with him he may be able to put you in the way of


'Twixt Land & Sea
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 Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:

law and--put an end to the divisions which--appear--to exist--between yourself and Mademoiselle, your daughter,--on the subject--of--her-- marriage with Monsieur Luigi Porta."

This speech, pedantically delivered, probably seemed to Monsieur Roguin so fine that his hearer could not at once understand it. He paused, and looked at Bartolomeo with that peculiar expression of the mere business lawyer, a mixture of servility with familiarity. Accustomed to feign much interest in the persons with whom they deal, notaries have at last produced upon their features a grimace of their own, which they take on and off as an official "pallium." This mask of benevolence, the mechanism of which is so easy to perceive, irritated