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Today's Stichomancy for Nikola Tesla

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

losing what seemed to be a delightful opportunity, and the fear of finding a serpent amid the beautiful flowers that were offered to his grasp. Too marked a reserve, too lukewarm an eagerness, might wound the self-love of that beautiful foreigner, and quench the spring from which he seemed invited to draw. On the other hand, suppose that appearance of interest were only a snare? Suppose this kindness (ill- explained, as it seemed to him), of which he was so suddenly the object, had no other purpose than to entice him into a step which might be used to compromise him with the Thuilliers? What a blow to his reputation for shrewdness, and what a role to play!--that of the dog letting go the meat for the shadow!

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

Moreen's mustering so much philosophy for her defence - she seemed to shake it out of her agitated petticoats, which knocked over the light gilt chairs - so little did their young companion, MARKED, unmistakeably marked at the best, strike him as qualified to repudiate any advantage.

He himself was in for it at any rate. He should have Morgan on his hands again indefinitely; though indeed he saw the lad had a private theory to produce which would be intended to smooth this down. He was obliged to him for it in advance; but the suggested amendment didn't keep his heart rather from sinking, any more than it prevented him from accepting the prospect on the spot, with some

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Wife, et al by Anton Chekhov:

which must have roused in every one the grim and impressive thought, "Evidently that man will soon die."

I still, as in the past, lecture fairly well; I can still, as in the past, hold the attention of my listeners for a couple of hours. My fervour, the literary skill of my exposition, and my humour, almost efface the defects of my voice, though it is harsh, dry, and monotonous as a praying beggar's. I write poorly. That bit of my brain which presides over the faculty of authorship refuses to work. My memory has grown weak; there is a lack of sequence in my ideas, and when I put them on paper it always seems to me that

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 Melmoth Reconciled by Honore de Balzac:

uninteresting family. The number of cashiers in Paris must always be a problem for the physiologist. Has any one as yet been able to state correctly the terms of the proportion sum wherein the cashier figures as the unknown X? Where will you find the man who shall live with wealth, like a cat with a caged mouse? This man, for further qualification, shall be capable of sitting boxed in behind an iron grating for seven or eight hours a day during seven-eighths of the year, perched upon a cane-seated chair in a space as narrow as a lieutenant's cabin on board a man-of-war. Such a man must be able to defy anchylosis of the knee and thigh joints; he must have a soul above meanness, in order to live meanly; must lose all relish for