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Today's Stichomancy for John Wilkes Booth

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:


"You know them well," said Minard; "they are sycophants. That man's whole life for the last ten years is explained by this bit of red ribbon," added the mayor, pointing to his own buttonhole.

"Take care!" said the lawyer, "his son is in love with Celeste, and he's fairly in the heart of the family."

"Yes, but my son has twelve thousand a year in his own right."

"Oh!" said Theodose, with a start, "Mademoiselle Brigitte was saying the other day that she wanted at least as much as that in Celeste's suitor. Moreover, six months hence you'll probably hear that Thuillier has a property worth forty thousand francs a year."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Alcibiades I by Plato:

ALCIBIADES: It would be the concern of the pilot.

SOCRATES: Then you are not perplexed about what you do not know, if you know that you do not know it?

ALCIBIADES: I imagine not.

SOCRATES: Do you not see, then, that mistakes in life and practice are likewise to be attributed to the ignorance which has conceit of knowledge?

ALCIBIADES: Once more, what do you mean?

SOCRATES: I suppose that we begin to act when we think that we know what we are doing?


SOCRATES: But when people think that they do not know, they entrust their

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Voice of the City by O. Henry:

pering softheartedness and gushing egoism. All the art that Pettit had acquired was gone. A pe- rusal of its buttery phrases would have made a cynic of a sighing chambermaid.

In the morning Pettit came to my room. I read him his doom mercilessly. He laughed idiotically.

"All right, Old Hoss," he said, cheerily, "make cigar-lighters of it. What's the difference? I'm going to take her to lunch at Claremont to-day."

There was about a month of it. And then Pettit came to me bearing an invisible mitten, with the forti-

The Voice of the City
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 Golden Threshold by Sarojini Naidu:

Queen Gulnaar sat on her ivory bed, Decking with jewels her exquisite head;

And still she gazed in her mirror and sighed: "O King, my heart is unsatisfied."

Queen Gulnsar's daughter two spring times old, In blue robes bordered with tassels of gold,

Ran to her knee like a wildwood fay, And plucked from her hand the mirror away.

Quickly she set on her own light curls Her mother's fillet with fringes of pearls;

Quickly she turned with a child's caprice