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Today's Stichomancy for Meyer Lansky

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane:

responsibility came to their ears. Stories of disaster were borne into their minds with many proofs. This din of musketry on the right, grow- ing like a released genie of sound, expressed and emphasized the army's plight.

The men were disheartened and began to mutter. They made gestures expressive of the sentence: "Ah, what more can we do?" And it could always be seen that they were bewildered by the alleged news and could not fully compre- hend a defeat.


The Red Badge of Courage
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad:

making, in the words of the immortal Mr. Mantalini, "a demnition damp, unpleasant corpse of him."

"He wants to be a locksmith!" burst out Cervoni. "To learn how to pick locks, I suppose," he added with sardonic bitterness.

"Why not let him be a locksmith?" I ventured.

"Who would teach him?" he cried. "Where could I leave him?" he asked, with a drop in his voice; and I had my first glimpse of genuine despair. "He steals, you know, alas! PAR TA MADONNE! I believe he would put poison in your food and mine - the viper!"

He raised his face and both his clenched fists slowly to heaven. However, Cesar never dropped poison into our cups. One cannot be


The Mirror of the Sea
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Ursula by Honore de Balzac:

into the pious and mystical young girl whose character rose above all vicissitudes, and whose heart was enabled to conquer adversity. Then began a secret struggle between the old man wedded to unbelief and the young girl full of faith,--long unsuspected by her who incited it,-- the result of which had now stirred the whole town, and was destined to have great influence on Ursula's future by rousing against her the antagonism of the doctor's heirs.

During the first six months of the year 1824 Ursula spent all her mornings at the parsonage. The old doctor guessed the abbe's secret hope. He meant to make Ursula an unanswerable argument against him. The old unbeliever, loved by his godchild as though she were his own

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 Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:

A brow unbent, that seem'd to welcome woe; Cheeks neither red nor pale, but mingled so That blushing red no guilty instance gave, Nor ashy pale the fear that false hearts have.

But, like a constant and confirmed devil, He entertain'd a show so seeming just, And therein so ensconc'd his secret evil, That jealousy itself cold not mistrust False-creeping craft and perjury should thrust Into so bright a day such black-fac'd storms, Or blot with hell-born sin such saint-like forms.