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Today's Stichomancy for Neil Gaiman

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

well, plays wonderfully at billiards, at chess, and at backgammon; he handles the foils, and rides a horse like the late Chevalier de Saint- Georges. He has a thorough knowledge of all our vintages. He is as good an arithmetician as Bareme, draws, dances, and sings well. The devil's in it! what more do you want? If that is not a perfect gentleman, find me a bourgeois who knows all this, or any man who lives more nobly than he does. Does he do anything, I ask you? Does he compromise his dignity by hanging about an office, bowing down before the upstarts you call Directors-General? He walks upright. He is a man.--However, I have just found in my waistcoat pocket the card he gave me when he fancied I wanted to cut his throat, poor innocent.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass:

this looked exceedingly strange. From the wharves I strolled around and over the town, gazing with won- der and admiration at the splendid churches, beauti- ful dwellings, and finely-cultivated gardens; evincing an amount of wealth, comfort, taste, and refinement, such as I had never seen in any part of slaveholding Maryland. Every thing looked clean, new, and beautiful. I saw few or no dilapidated houses, with poverty- stricken inmates; no half-naked children and bare-


The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne:

by the axles to the body of the tarantass, were joined one to the other by a crossbar, fixed by means of pins and screws.

Nadia resumed her place in the cart, and Michael took his seat beside her. Before the lowered hood hung two leathern curtains, which would in some degree protect the travelers against the wind and rain. Two great lanterns, suspended from the iemschik's seat, threw a pale glimmer scarcely sufficient to light the way, but serving as warning lights to prevent any other carriage from running into them.

It was well that all these precautions were taken, in ex- pectation of a rough night. The road led them up towards

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 Prufrock/Other Observations by T. S. Eliot:

And turning toward the window, should say: "That is not it at all, That is not what I meant, at all."

* * * *

No I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; Am an attendant lord, one that will do To swell a progress, start a scene or two, Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, Deferential, glad to be of use, Politic, cautious, and meticulous; Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;


Prufrock/Other Observations