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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 Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain:

You couldn't ever feel her rudder. It wasn't any more labor to steer her than it is to count the Republican vote in a South Carolina election. One morning, just at daybreak, the last trip she ever made, they took her rudder aboard to mend it; I didn't know anything about it; I backed her out from the wood-yard and went a-weaving down the river all serene. When I had gone about twenty-three miles, and made four horribly crooked crossings----'

'Without any rudder?'

'Yes--old Capt. Tom appeared on the roof and began to find fault with me for running such a dark night--'

'Such a DARK NIGHT ?--Why, you said----'

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf:

or her husband's, or Rachel's had penetrated and stung. She was half-moved to cry, "Stop, William; explain!" and would have returned to the subject at luncheon if William had not shown himself inscrutable and chill, lifting fragments of salad on the point of his fork, with the gesture of a man pronging seaweed, detecting gravel, suspecting germs.

"If you all die of typhoid I won't be responsible!" he snapped.

"If you die of dulness, neither will I," Helen echoed in her heart.

She reflected that she had never yet asked him whether he had been in love. They had got further and further from that subject instead of drawing nearer to it, and she could not help feeling it a relief

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Persuasion by Jane Austen:

Their being in the back ground was a support to Anne; she knew nothing of their looks, and felt equal to everything which she believed right to be done.

While they were speaking, a whispering between her father and Elizabeth caught her ear. She could not distinguish, but she must guess the subject; and on Captain Wentworth's making a distant bow, she comprehended that her father had judged so well as to give him that simple acknowledgement of acquaintance, and she was just in time by a side glance to see a slight curtsey from Elizabeth herself. This, though late, and reluctant, and ungracious, was yet better than nothing, and her spirits improved.


Persuasion
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 Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:

surgeon and the three officers went down suspecting mischief. The stranger could only say, 'Be on your guard--' when she dropped down dead. It was the waiting-woman, who, finding she had been poisoned, had hoped to arrive in time to warn her lover.

" 'Devil take it!' cried Captain Falcon, 'that is what I call love! No woman on earth but a Spaniard can run about with a dose of poison in her inside!'

"Bega remained strangely pensive. To drown the dark presentiments that haunted him, he sat down to table again, and with his companions drank immoderately. The whole party went early to bed, half drunk.

"In the middle of the night the hapless Bega was aroused by the sharp


The Muse of the Department