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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 Louis Lambert by Honore de Balzac:

man's mental powers.

I remember that, by one of those chances which seems like predestination, we got hold of a great Martyrology, in which the most curious narratives are given of the total abeyance of physical life which a man can attain to under the paroxysms of the inner life. By reflecting on the effects of fanaticism, Lambert was led to believe that the collected ideas to which we give the name of feelings may very possibly be the material outcome of some fluid which is generated in all men, more or less abundantly, according to the way in which their organs absorb, from the medium in which they live, the elementary atoms that produce it. We went crazy over catalepsy; and


Louis Lambert
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Turn of the Screw by Henry James:

Yet I still hear myself cry as I fairly threw myself into her arms: "They KNOW--it's too monstrous: they know, they know!"

"And what on earth--?" I felt her incredulity as she held me.

"Why, all that WE know--and heaven knows what else besides!" Then, as she released me, I made it out to her, made it out perhaps only now with full coherency even to myself. "Two hours ago, in the garden"-- I could scarce articulate--"Flora SAW!"

Mrs. Grose took it as she might have taken a blow in the stomach. "She has told you?" she panted.

"Not a word--that's the horror. She kept it to herself! The child of eight, THAT child!" Unutterable still,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland by Olive Schreiner:

more of you here in this country?"

"There are," said the stranger. Then he pointed with his hand into the darkness. "There in a cave were two women. When you blew the cave up they were left unhurt behind a fallen rock. When you took away all the grain, and burnt what you could not carry, there was one basketful that you knew nothing of. The women stayed there, for one was eighty, and one near the time of her giving birth; and they dared not set out to follow the remnant of their tribe because you were in the plains below. Every day the old woman doled grain from the basket; and at night they cooked it in their cave where you could not see their smoke; and every day the old woman gave the young one two handfuls and kept one for herself, saying, 'Because of

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 Redheaded Outfield by Zane Grey:

too, is all in the game and in the spirit of a great player.

``We're on,'' said Spears; ``now keep with him.''

By that the captain meant that Mac would go down, and Ashwell would hit with the run.

When Vane pitched, little McCall was flitting toward second. The Bison shortstop started for the bag, and Ash hit square through his tracks. A rolling cheer burst from the bleachers, and swelled till McCall overran third base and was


The Redheaded Outfield