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Today's Stichomancy for Oscar Wilde

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne by Robert Louis Stevenson:

favourable notion of my donkey's capabilities. Intending purchasers were aware of an unrivalled opportunity. Before ten I had an offer of twenty-five francs; and before noon, after a desperate engagement, I sold her, saddle and all, for five-and- thirty. The pecuniary gain is not obvious, but I had bought freedom into the bargain.

St Jean du Gard is a large place, and largely Protestant. The maire, a Protestant, asked me to help him in a small matter which is itself characteristic of the country. The young women of the Cevennes profit by the common religion and the difference of the language to go largely as governesses into England; and here was

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from At the Sign of the Cat & Racket by Honore de Balzac:

stockings and a cloak cast alternately at his signboard and into the depths of his shop. The daylight was now brighter, and enabled the stranger to discern the cashier's corner enclosed by a railing and screened by old green silk curtains, where were kept the immense ledgers, the silent oracles of the house. The too inquisitive gazer seemed to covet this little nook, and to be taking the plan of a dining-room at one side, lighted by a skylight, whence the family at meals could easily see the smallest incident that might occur at the shop-door. So much affection for his dwelling seemed suspicious to a trader who had lived long enough to remember the law of maximum prices; Monsieur Guillaume naturally thought that this sinister

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

I'll tell you I felt like a poltroon - whatever that may be - when I turned her down. She stood by the door with her face white, and told me contemptuously that I could save you from a murder charge and wouldn't do it. She made me feel like a cur. I was just as guilty as if I could have obliged her. She hinted that there were reasons and she laid my attitude to beastly motives."

"Nonsense," I said, as easily as I could. Hotchkiss had gone to the window. "She was excited. There are no 'reasons,' whatever she means."

Richey put his hand on my shoulder. "We've been together too long to let any 'reasons' or 'unreasons' come between us, old man," he


The Man in Lower Ten
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 Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:

of native wit.

Two handsome side avenues, planted with lindens, lead from the square to a circular boulevard which forms another promenade, though usually deserted, where more dirt and rubbish than promenaders may commonly be seen.

At the height of the discussion which Achille Pigoult was dramatizing with a coolness and courage worthy of a member of a real parliament, four personages were walking down one of the linden avenues which led from the Avenue of Sighs. When they reached the square, they stopped as if by common consent, and looked at the inhabitants of Arcis, who were humming before the chateau like so many bees before returning to