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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 The Black Dwarf by Walter Scott:

since the auld riding days!"

"Very true, billies, and my blood was e'en boiling at it; but the sight o' Grace Armstrong has settled it brawly."

"But the stocking, Hobbie'" said John Elliot; "we're utterly ruined. Harry and I hae been to gather what was on the outby land, and there's scarce a cloot left. I kenna how we're to carry on--We maun a' gang to the wars, I think. Westburnflat hasna the means, e'en if he had the will, to make up our loss; there's nae mends to be got out o' him, but what ye take out o' his banes. He hasna a four-footed creature but the vicious blood thing he rides on, and that's sair trash'd wi' his night wark.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Polity of Athenians and Lacedaemonians by Xenophon:

[2] See Lucian, "Anacharsis," 38; Muller, "Dorians," (vol. ii. 309, Eng. tr.)

[3] The {khoroi}, e.g. of the Gymnopaedia. See Muller, op. cit. iv. 6, 4 (vol. ii. 334, Eng. tr.)

[4] {tes anandrias}, cf. Plut. "Ages." 30; or, {tes anandreias}, "they must bear the reproach of his cowardice."

[5] Omitting {ou}, or translate, "that is an evil not to be disregarded." See Dindorf, ad loc.; Sturz, "Lex. Xen." {Estia}.

[6] See Plut. "Ages." 30 (Clough, iv. 36); "Hell." VI. iv. 16.


That too was a happy enactment, in my opinion, by which Lycurgus

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

be well born, her black eyes sparkled, and she danced with all the pleasure that comes of dancing in the presence of the being we love. The couple had never understood each other as well as at this moment; more than once they felt their finger tips thrill and tremble as they were married in the figures of the dance.

The early autumn had come to the handsome pair, in the midst of country festivities and pleasures; they had abandoned themselves softly to the tide of the sweetest sentiment in life, strengthening it by a thousand little incidents which any one can imagine; for love is in some respects always the same. They studied each other through it all, as much as lovers can.

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 Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy:

she looked round her helplessly, and, bending down quite close to her, she saw through the mist, which seemed to gather round her, a pair of keen, malicious eyes, which appeared to her excited brain to have a weird, supernatural green light in them. She lay in the shadow of a great boulder; Chauvelin could not see her features, but he passed his thin, white fingers over her face.

"A woman!" he whispered, "by all the Saints in the calendar."

"We cannot let her loose, that's certain," he muttered to himself. "I wonder now. . ."

Suddenly he paused, after a few moment of deadly silence, he gave forth a long, low, curious chuckle, while once again Marguerite felt, with a

The Scarlet Pimpernel