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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 Poor and Proud by Oliver Optic:

timidity, and would not have feared to accost the governor, if she had met him, and request him to purchase a cent's worth of molasses candy.

"Buy some candy?" said she to the first person who passed near her.

"No!" was the prompt and emphatic answer of the gentleman addressed.

"It is very nice," suggested Katy.

"Get out of my may," growled the gentleman, and the little candy merchant deemed it prudent to heed the command.

She was nettled by this rude reception, and would have been

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Baby Mine by Margaret Mayo:

Jimmy was in no frame of mind to consider his young friend's assets, he was thinking of his own difficulties.

"I'm a laughing stock," shouted Alfred. "I know it. A 'good thing' who gives his wife everything she asks for, while she is running around with--with my best friend, for all I know."

"Oh, no, no," protested Jimmy nervously. "I wouldn't say that."

"Even if she weren't running around," continued Alfred excitedly, without heeding his friend's interruption, "what have we to look forward to? What have we to look backward to?"

Again Jimmy's face was a blank.

Alfred answered his own question by lifting his arms tragically

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:

had put up, and Tess waited in the entry while Angel went to see the horse and gig brought to the door. The general sitting-room was full of guests, who were continually going in and out. As the door opened and shut each time for the passage of these, the light within the parlour fell full upon Tess's face. Two men came out and passed by her among the rest. One of them had stared her up and down in surprise, and she fancied he was a Trantridge man, though that village lay so many miles off that Trantridge folk were rarities here.

"A comely maid that," said the other.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman
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 Mistress Wilding by Rafael Sabatini:

for this affair," he chid her peevishly.

"What are you saying?" she cried, and it occurred to her at last that Richard was afraid. He was a coward! She felt as she would faint.

"I am saying," said he, hunching his shoulders, and shivering as he spoke, yet, his glance unable to meet hers, "that it is your fault that I am like to get my throat cut before sunset."

"My fault?" she murmured. The slope of lawn seemed to wave and swim about her. "My fault?"

"The fault of your wanton ways," he accused her harshly. "You have so played fast and loose with this fellow Wilding that he makes free of your name in my very presence, and puts upon me the need to get myself