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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 An Historical Mystery by Honore de Balzac:

vehemently. When he could assist in doing harm he did it eagerly. He was openly envious; but, no matter how malignant he might be, he kept within the limits of the law,--neither beyond it nor behind it, like a parliamentary opposition. He believed his prosperity depended on the ruin of others, and that whoever was above him was an enemy against whom all weapons were good. A character like this is very common among the peasantry.

Violette's present business was to obtain from Malin an extension of the lease of his farm, which had only six years longer to run. Jealous of the bailiff's means, he watched him narrowly. The neighbors reproached him for his intimacy with "Judas"; but the sly old farmer,

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

forth like a burning flame, lit by one sole insatiable desire, written large in vigorous characters upon an arching brow scored across with as many lines as an old stone wall.

The old man was playing at random, without the slightest regard for time or tune. His fingers traveled mechanically over the worn keys of his instrument; he did not trouble himself over a false note now and again (a /canard/, in the language of the orchestra), neither did the dancers, nor, for that matter, did my old Italian's acolytes; for I had made up my mind that he must be Italian, and an Italian he was. There was something great, something too of the despot about this old Homer bearing within him an /Odyssey/ doomed to oblivion. The

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner:

like the fresh stillness of the early morning? While the atheist lay wondering and afraid, God bent down and said: "My child, here I am--I, whom you have not known; I, whom you have not believed in; I am here. I sent My messenger, the white sheet-lightning, to call you home. I am here."

Then the poor soul turned to the light--its weakness and pain were gone forever.

Have they not known, have they not heard, who it is rules?

"For a little moment have I hidden my face from thee; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy upon thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer."

We mutter on to ourselves, till some one pulls us violently by the arm to

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 Lesser Hippias by Plato:

To these two doubtful writings of Plato I have added the First Alcibiades, which, of all the disputed dialogues of Plato, has the greatest merit, and is somewhat longer than any of them, though not verified by the testimony of Aristotle, and in many respects at variance with the Symposium in the description of the relations of Socrates and Alcibiades. Like the Lesser Hippias and the Menexenus, it is to be compared to the earlier writings of Plato. The motive of the piece may, perhaps, be found in that passage of the Symposium in which Alcibiades describes himself as self-convicted by the words of Socrates. For the disparaging manner in which Schleiermacher has spoken of this dialogue there seems to be no sufficient foundation. At the same time, the lesson imparted is simple, and the irony more