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Today's Stichomancy for Nellie McKay

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

the Opera, taking with him Lisbeth Fischer, who lived in the Rue du Doyenne, and who always made an excuse of the solitude of that deserted quarter to take herself off as soon as dinner was over. Parisians will all admit that the old maid's prudence was but rational.

The existence of the maze of houses under the wing of the old Louvre is one of those protests against obvious good sense which Frenchmen love, that Europe may reassure itself as to the quantum of brains they are known to have, and not be too much alarmed. Perhaps without knowing it, this reveals some profound political idea.

It will surely not be a work of supererogation to describe this part

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Blix by Frank Norris:

count nine. Condy, I'm going to take off my gloves and veil. What do you think?" "Sure, of course; and I'll have a cigarette. Do you mind if I smoke?" "Well, what's that in your hand now?" "By Jove, I have been smoking! I--I beg your pardon. I'm a regular stable boy. I'll throw it away."

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:

V. Deposit Your Money in a Forest Rather than with a Notary VI. The Two Old Men Do Everything, Each One After His Own Fashion, to Render Cosette Happy VII. The Effects of Dreams Mingled with Happiness VIII. Two Men Impossible to Find


I. The 16th of February, 1833 II. Jean Valjean Still Wears His Arm in a Sling III. The Inseparable IV. The Immortal Liver


Les Miserables
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 Voice of the City by O. Henry:

It came to pass that at eight in the evening a calm, smooth, brilliant, affable man sat at Vuyning's right hand during dinner. And when the ones who pass their lives in city streets spoke of skyscrapers or of the little Czar on his far, frozen throne, or of insig- nificant fish from inconsequential streams, this big, deep-chested man, faultlessly clothed, and eyed like an Emperor, disposed of their Lilliputian chatter with a wink of his eyelash.

And then he painted for them with hard, broad strokes a marvellous lingual panorama of the West.

The Voice of the City