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Today's Stichomancy for Lewis Carroll

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

"The combination of various kinds of knowledge required to understand such 'rubbish,' Cecile," he resumed, "is a science in itself, called archaeology. Archaeology comprehends architecture, sculpture, painting, goldsmiths' work, ceramics, cabinetmaking (a purely modern art), lace, tapestry--in short, human handiwork of every sort and description."

"Then Cousin Pons is learned?" said Cecile.

"Ah! by the by, why is he never to be seen nowadays?" asked the President. He spoke with the air of a man in whom thousands of forgotten and dormant impressions have suddenly begun to stir, and shaping themselves into one idea, reach consciousness with a ricochet,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:

and traitorous enemies and despoilers. So much has this been so that my life has, throughout, resembled a barque tossed by tempestuous waves, a barque driven at the mercy of the winds. Ah, I am only a man, your Highness!"

And in a moment the tears had gushed in torrents from his eyes, and he had fallen forward at the Prince's feet--fallen forward just as he was, in his smoked-grey-shot-with-flame-colour frockcoat, his velvet waistcoat, his satin tie, and his exquisitely fitting breeches, while from his neatly brushed pate, as again and again he struck his hand against his forehead, there came an odorous whiff of best-quality eau-de-Cologne.


Dead Souls
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Rig Veda:

sacrifice; A home for Indra is adorned, wide, fittest to receive the Gods.

6 Thrown open be the Doors Divine, unfailing, that assist the rite, High, purifying, much-desired, so that the Gods may enter in.

7 May Night and Morning, hymned with lauds, united, fair to look upon, Strong Mothers of the sacrifice, seat them together on the grass.

8 May the two Priests Divine, the sage, the sweet-voiced lovers of the


The Rig Veda
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 Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson:

determined I should hear and speak once more with Catriona.

The exercise of walking and the thought of my destination braced me yet more, so that I began to pluck up a kind of spirit. In the village of Dean, where it sits in the bottom of a glen beside the river, I inquired my way of a miller's man, who sent me up the hill upon the farther side by a plain path, and so to a decent-like small house in a garden of lawns and apple-trees. My heart beat high as I stepped inside the garden hedge, but it fell low indeed when I came face to face with a grim and fierce old lady, walking there in a white mutch with a man's hat strapped upon the top of it.

"What do ye come seeking here?" she asked.