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Today's Stichomancy for John Carpenter

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Where There's A Will by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

asleep, face down on the hearth-rug in front of the fire. His candle was lighted on the floor beside him and near it lay a newspaper cutting crumpled in a ball. I picked it up. It was a list of the bridal party for Miss Patty's wedding.

I dropped it where I found it and went out and knocked again loudly. He wakened after a minute and came to the door with the candle in his hand.

"Oh, it's you, Minnie. Come in!"

I went in and put my candle on the table.

"I've got to talk to you," I said. "I don't mind admitting things have been going pretty well, but--they won't stand for the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Montezuma's Daughter by H. Rider Haggard:

and it was known that Cholula also had been given to massacre, and that the holy, or rather the unholy gods, had been torn from their shrines. Marvellous tales were told of the Spaniards, of their courage and their might, of the armour that they wore, the thunder that their weapons made in battle, and the fierce beasts which they bestrode. Once two heads of white men taken in a skirmish were sent to Montezuma, fierce-looking heads, great and hairy, and with them the head of a horse. When Montezuma saw these ghastly relics he almost fainted with fear, still he caused them to be set up on pinnacles of the great temple and proclamation to be made that this fate awaited every invader of the land.


Montezuma's Daughter
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Economist by Xenophon:

[2] Lit. "so that you might know not only where to put," etc.

[3] Or, "order and arrangement." So Cic. ap. Col. xii. 2, 4, "dispositione atque ordine."

"For instance, what is a chorus?--a band composed of human beings, who dance and sing; but suppose the company proceed to act as each may chance--confusion follows; the spectacle has lost its charm. How different when each and all together act and recite[4] with orderly precision, the limbs and voices keeping time and tune. Then, indeed, these same performers are worth seeing and worth hearing.

[4] Or, "declaim," {phtheggontai}, properly of the "recitative" of the chorus. Cf. Plat. "Phaedr." 238 D.

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 Modeste Mignon by Honore de Balzac:

Pray for her.

This inscription is to the young girl whom it covered what many another epitaph has been for the dead lying beneath them,--a table of contents to a hidden book. Here is the book, in its dreadful brevity; and it will explain the oath exacted and taken when the colonel and the lieutenant bade each other farewell.

A young man of charming appearance, named Charles d'Estourny, came to Havre for the commonplace purpose of being near the sea, and there he saw Bettina Mignon. A "soi-disant" fashionable Parisian is never without introductions, and he was invited at the instance of a friend of the Mignons to a fete given at Ingouville. He fell in love with


Modeste Mignon