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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 Nana, Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille by Emile Zola:

young woman, without seeming to notice her presence, applied the rice powder, taking extreme pains as she did so, to avoid putting any on the upper part of her cheeks. But when the prince remarked that if she were to come and sing in London all England would want to applaud her, she laughed amiably and turned round for a moment with her left cheek looking very white amid a perfect cloud of powder. Then she became suddenly serious, for she had come to the operation of rouging. And with her face once more close to the mirror, she dipped her finger in a jar and began applying the rouge below her eyes and gently spreading it back toward her temples. The gentlemen maintained a respectful silence.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Voyage to Abyssinia by Father Lobo:

sent some messengers with his compliments, and five mules for the chief of our company. Our road lay through a wood, where we found the ground covered over with young locusts, a plague intolerably afflictive in a country so barren of itself. We arrived at length at the bank of a small river, near which the King usually keeps his residence, and found his palace at the foot of a little mountain. It consisted of about six tents and twenty cabins, erected amongst some thorns and wild trees, which afforded a shelter from the heat of the weather. He received us the first time in a cabin about a musket shot distant from the rest, furnished out with a throne in the middle built of clay and stones, and covered with tapestry and

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

the well-builded chamber and sat him on the bed and took off his soft doublet, and put it in the wise old woman's hands. So she folded the doublet and smoothed it, and hung it on a pin by the jointed bedstead, and went forth on her way from the room, and pulled to the door with the silver handle, and drew home the bar with the thong. There, all night through, wrapped in a fleece of wool, he meditated in his heart upon the journey that Athene had showed him.

Book II

Telemachus complains in vain, and borrowing a ship, goes secretly to Pylos by night. And how he was there received.

The Odyssey
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 Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson:

In the town, however, the Lancastrians were far from being in so good a posture. It was as Dick had said. The night-guard had already doffed their harness; the rest were still hanging - unlatched, unbraced, all unprepared for battle - about their quarters; and in the whole of Shoreby there were not, perhaps, fifty men full armed, or fifty chargers ready to be mounted.

The beating of the bells, the terrifying summons of men who ran about the streets crying and beating upon the doors, aroused in an incredibly short space at least two score out of that half hundred. These got speedily to horse, and, the alarm still flying wild and contrary, galloped in different directions.