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Today's Stichomancy for John D. Rockefeller

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:

Peers at the blood with a narrowed eye. See how the red wing wraps him round, See how the white youth struggles in vain! The weak arms writhe in a soundless pain; He writhes in the soft red veiny wings, But still she whispers upon him and clings. . . . This is the secret feast of love, Look well, look well, before it dies, See how the red one trembles above, See how quiet the white one lies! . . . .

Wind through the trees. . . .and a voice is heard

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Distinguished Provincial at Paris by Honore de Balzac:

secure a newspaper puff; the martyrs of glory, and all those who are condemned to the penal servitude of a life-long success, were reduced to such shifts, and stooped to depths of bribery and corruption as seem fabulous to-day. Every kind of persuasion was brought to bear on journalists--dinners, flattery, and presents. The following story will throw more light on the close connection between the critic and the publisher than any quantity of flat assertions.

There was once upon a time an editor of an important paper, a clever writer with a prospect of becoming a statesman; he was young in those days, and fond of pleasure, and he became the favorite of a well-known publishing house. One Sunday the wealthy head of the firm was

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:

being an account of the death of Mr Partridge, the almanack-maker, upon the 29th instant.

In a letter to a person of honour Written in the year 1708

My Lord,

In obedience to your Lordship's commands, as well as to satisfy my own curiosity, I have for some days past enquired constantly after Partridge the almanack-maker, of whom it was foretold in Mr. Bickerstaff's predictions, publish'd about a month ago, that he should die on the 29th instant about eleven at night of a raging fever. I had some sort of knowledge of him when I was

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 Tulip by Alexandre Dumas:

bed, with his clothes on.

It was a long and sad night for him, and the day brought no hope to the prisoner.

At eight in the morning, the door of his cell opened; but Cornelius did not even turn his head; he had heard the heavy step of Gryphus in the lobby, but this step had perfectly satisfied the prisoner that his jailer was coming alone.

Thus Cornelius did not even look at Gryphus.

And yet he would have been so glad to draw him out, and to inquire about Rosa. He even very nearly made this inquiry, strange as it would needs have appeared to her father. To


The Black Tulip