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Today's Stichomancy for Nick Cave

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:

go on.

When the sledges had gone she went up the path in her white dogskin coat. The lawyer got out and stopped to watch her.

It was Father Sergius's sixth year as a recluse, and he was now forty-nine. His life in solitude was hard--not on account of the fasts and the prayers (they were no hardship to him) but on account of an inner conflict he had not at all anticipated. The sources of that conflict were two: doubts, and the lust of the flesh. And these two enemies always appeared together. It seemed to him that they were two foes, but in reality they were one and the same. As soon as doubt was gone so was the lustful

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain:

"For more than twenty years I have amused my compulsory leisure with collecting these curious physical signatures in this town. At my house I have hundreds upon hundreds of them. Each and every one is labeled with name and date; not labeled the next day or even the next hour, but in the very minute that the impression was taken. When I go upon the witness stand I will repeat under oath the things which I am now saying. I have the fingerprints of the court, the sheriff, and every member of the jury. There is hardly a person in this room, white or black, whose natal signature I cannot produce, and not one of them can so disguise himself that I cannot pick him out from a multitude

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

you at your time of life,--though as a general thing the Bertellieres are as sound as a roach. Hein! isn't that so?" he added after a pause. "Well, I forgive them; we got their property in the end." And he coughed.

"You are very gay this morning, monsieur," said the poor woman gravely.

"I'm always gay,--

"'Gai, gai, gai, le tonnelier, Raccommodez votre cuvier!'"

he answered, entering his wife's room fully dressed. "Yes, on my word, it is cold enough to freeze you solid. We shall have a fine breakfast,


Eugenie Grandet
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 'Twixt Land & Sea by Joseph Conrad:

engine-room busy hammering at the brass bearings to carry them off for sale on shore seems to me more authentic. Apart from this little weakness, let me tell you that Schultz is a smarter sailor than many who never took a drop of drink in their lives, and perhaps no worse morally than some men you and I know who have never stolen the value of a penny. He may not be a desirable person to have on board one's ship, but since you have no choice he may be made to do, I believe. The important thing is to understand his psychology. Don't give him any money till you have done with him. Not a cent, if he begs ever so. For as sure as Fate the moment you give him any money he will begin to steal. Just


'Twixt Land & Sea