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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 Tour Through Eastern Counties of England by Daniel Defoe:

off some of the enemy, but not without loss also on their own side.

About this time we received by a spy the bad news of defeating the king's friends almost in all parts of England, and particularly several parties which had good wishes to our gentlemen, and intended to relieve them.

Our batteries from St. Mary's Fort and steeple, and from the north bridge, greatly annoyed them, and killed most of their gunners and firemen. One of the messengers who brought news to Lord Fairfax of the defeat of one of the parties, in Kent, and the taking of Weymer Castle, slipped into the town, and brought a letter to the Lord Goring, and listed in the regiment of the Lord Capel's horse.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom by William and Ellen Craft:

nothing of selling my poor old father, and dear aged mother, at separate times, to different persons, to be dragged off never to behold each other again, till summoned to appear before the great tribunal of heaven. But, oh! what a happy meeting it will be on that day for those faithful souls. I say a happy meeting, because I never saw persons more devoted to the service of God than they. But how will the case stand with those reckless traffickers in human flesh and blood, who plunged the poisonous dagger of separation into

Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:

The external probability therefore against them is enormous, and the internal probability is not less: for they are trivial and unmeaning, devoid of delicacy and subtlety, wanting in a single fine expression. And even if this be matter of dispute, there can be no dispute that there are found in them many plagiarisms, inappropriately borrowed, which is a common note of forgery. They imitate Plato, who never imitates either himself or any one else; reminiscences of the Republic and the Laws are continually recurring in them; they are too like him and also too unlike him, to be genuine (see especially Karsten, Commentio Critica de Platonis quae feruntur Epistolis). They are full of egotism, self-assertion, affectation, faults which of all writers Plato was most careful to avoid,

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 Off on a Comet by Jules Verne:

That deceitful steelyard had been the mainspring of his fortune. But when it had become his lot to be the purchaser instead of the vendor, his spirit had groaned within him at being compelled to reap the fruits of his own dishonesty. No one who had studied his character could be much surprised at the confession that was extorted from him, that for every supposed kilogramme that he had ever sold the true weight was only 750 grammes, or just five and twenty per cent. less than it ought to have been.

The professor, however, had ascertained all that he wanted to know. By estimating his comet at a third as much again as its proper weight,