Today's Stichomancy for Michael York
|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Records of a Family of Engineers by Robert Louis Stevenson:
her only art to communicate by post second-rate sermons at
second-hand; and such, I take it, was the correspondence in
which my grandmother delighted. If I am right, that of Robert
Stevenson, with his quaint smack of the contemporary `Sandford
and Merton,' his interest in the whole page of experience, his
perpetual quest, and fine scent of all that seems romantic to
a boy, his needless pomp of language, his excellent good
sense, his unfeigned, unstained, unwearied human kindliness,
would seem to her, in a comparison, dry and trivial and
worldly. And if these letters were by an exception cherished
and preserved, it would be for one or both of two reasons -
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:
and so, with a lot of hand-bills, manuscript notes, and miscellaneous
collections of all kinds, formed over a hundred folio volumes,
now preserved in the British Museum. That they are of service as
materials in compiling a general history of printing cannot be denied,
but the destruction of many rare books was the result, and more than
counter-balanced any benefit bibliographers will ever receive from them.
When here and there throughout those volumes you meet with titles
of books now either unknown entirely, or of the greatest rarity;
when you find the Colophon from the end, or the "insigne typographi"
from the first leaf of a rare "fifteener," pasted down with dozens of others,
varying in value, you cannot bless the memory of the antiquarian shoemaker,
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:
"On the contrary, my dear, the monster has never shown the least
"Under no circumstances whatever?" asked Esther.
"The wretch always addresses me as Madame, and preserves the most
perfect coolness imaginable at moments when every man is more or less
amenable. To him love-making!--on my word, it is nothing more nor less
than shaving himself. He wipes the razor, puts it back in its case,
and looks in the glass as if he were saying, 'I have not cut myself!'
"Then he treats me with such respect as is enough to send a woman mad.
That odious Milord Potboiler amuses himself by making poor Theodore
hide in my dressing-room and stand there half the day. In short, he
|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 Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Prince takes the salary and leaves all things to go to wrack. There
will follow upon this some manifest judgment which, though I am old,
I may survive to see.'
'Good man, you are in the wrong about Gondremark,' said Fritz,
showing a greatly increased animation; 'but for all the rest, you
speak the God's truth like a good patriot. As for the Prince, if he
would take and strangle his wife, I would forgive him yet.'
'Nay, Fritz,' said the old man, 'that would be to add iniquity to
evil. For you perceive, sir,' he continued, once more addressing
himself to the unfortunate Prince, 'this Otto has himself to thank
for these disorders. He has his young wife and his principality,