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Today's Stichomancy for Jon Stewart

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

Pierrette's gesture, he was horrified by the change he saw in his little friend. He could scarcely recognize the voice, the eyes, the gestures that were once so lively, gay, and withal so tender. When he had gained some distance from the house his legs began to tremble under him; hot flushes ran down his back. He had seen the shadow of Pierrette, but not Pierrette herself! The lad climbed to the Upper town till he found a spot from which he could see the square and the house where Pierrette lived. He gazed at it mournfully, lost in many thoughts, as though he were entering some grief of which he could not see the end. Pierrette was ill; she was not happy; she pined for Brittany--what was the matter with her? All these questions passed and

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:

strange crotchets, converse with the essence of occult things, and mumble to themselves discourses concerning matters not under consideration; so that, from reverence and great respect for the secret meditations of the canon, he went and sat down at a distance, and waited the termination of these dreams; noticing, silently the length of the good man's nails, which looked like cobbler's awls, and looking attentively at the feet of his uncle, he was astonished to see the flesh of his legs so crimson, that it reddened his breeches and seemed all on fire through his hose.

He is dead, thought Chiquon. At this moment the door of the room opened, and he still saw the canon, who, his nose frozen, came back


Droll Stories, V. 1
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Forged Coupon by Leo Tolstoy:

with demands for money. Then she resolved to apply to an old man, known to be a saint by his life, and to give him her money to dispose of in the way he thought best. Her father got angry with her when he heard about it. During a vio- lent altercation he called her mad, a raving luna- tic, and said he would take measures to prevent her from doing injury to herself.

Her father's irritation proved contagious. Losing all control over herself, and sobbing with rage, she behaved with the greatest impertinence


The Forged Coupon
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 'Twixt Land & Sea by Joseph Conrad:

ever confronted by such clear issues. But at the time it was pure intuition on my part. A mysterious communication was established already between us two - in the face of that silent, darkened tropical sea. I was young, too; young enough to make no comment. The man in the water began suddenly to climb up the ladder, and I hastened away from the rail to fetch some clothes.

Before entering the cabin I stood still, listening in the lobby at the foot of the stairs. A faint snore came through the closed door of the chief mate's room. The second mate's door was on the hook, but the darkness in there was absolutely soundless. He, too, was young and could sleep like a stone. Remained the steward, but he


'Twixt Land & Sea