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Today's Stichomancy for Oprah Winfrey

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Street of Seven Stars by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

professors at the hospital desired English conversation at two Kronen an hour.

Peter brought the news home at noon, and that afternoon Harmony was engaged. It was little enough, but it was something. It did much more than offer her two Kronen an hour; it gave her back her self-confidence, although the immediate result was rather tragic.

The Frau Professor Bergmeister, infatuated with English and with Harmony, engaged her, and took her first two Kronen worth that afternoon. It was the day for a music-lesson. Harmony arrived five minutes late, panting, hat awry, and so full of the Frau Professor Bergmeister that she could think of nothing else.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas:

It was indeed in itself a great honour for Cornelius van Baerle to be confined in the same prison which had once received the learned master Grotius.

But on arriving at the prison he met with an honour even greater. As chance would have it, the cell formerly inhabited by the illustrious Barneveldt happened to be vacant, when the clemency of the Prince of Orange sent the tulip-fancier Van Baerle there.

The cell had a very bad character at the castle since the time when Grotius, by means of the device of his wife, made escape from it in that famous book-chest which the jailers


The Black Tulip
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Several Works by Edgar Allan Poe:

again paused, and holding the flambeaux over the mason-work, threw a few feeble rays upon the figure within.

A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated-- I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall; I replied to the yells of him who clamoured. I re-echoed-- I aided-- I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did this, and the clamourer grew still.

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 Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy:

and didn't. And at last it got too big, and now 'tis my enemy, and will be the death o' me. Little did I think, when I let that sapling stay, that a time would come when it would torment me, and dash me into my grave."

"No, no," said Winterborne and Marty, soothingly. But they thought it possible that it might hasten him into his grave, though in another way than by falling.

"I tell you what," added Winterborne, "I'll climb up this afternoon and shroud off the lower boughs, and then it won't be so heavy, and the wind won't affect it so."

"She won't allow it--a strange woman come from nobody knows where--


The Woodlanders