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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 Before Adam by Jack London:

our caves. In the chill gray light we awoke from sleep, most of us, to encounter death. The Swift One and I were aroused by a pandemonium of screeching and gibbering. Our cave was the highest of all on the cliff, and we crept to the mouth and peered down. The open space was filled with the Fire People. Their cries and yells were added to the clamor, but they had order and plan, while we Folk had none. Each one of us fought and acted for himself, and no one of us knew the extent of the calamity that was befalling us.

By the time we got to stone-throwing, the Fire People

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

of their fellows. The men before you are exceptional. They have so far exceeded all the rest of men in audacity and foul villiany that, in the very presence of the magistrates and of yourselves, who alone have the power of life and death, they have taken the law into their own hands,[5] and have slain this man. But they stand now before the bar of justice, and they must needs pay the extreme penalty; for, if you spare them, what visitor will have courage to approach the city? Nay, what will become of the city itself, if license is to be given to any one who chooses to murder those who come here, before they have even explained the object of their visit? It is our part, then, to prosecute these men as arch-villains and miscreants, whose contempt

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton:

and he felt her tremble in his arms.


At the court of the Tuileries," said Mr. Sillerton Jackson with his reminiscent smile, "such things were pretty openly tolerated."

The scene was the van der Luydens' black walnut dining-room in Madison Avenue, and the time the evening after Newland Archer's visit to the Museum of Art. Mr. and Mrs. van der Luyden had come to town for a few days from Skuytercliff, whither they had precipitately fled at the announcement of Beaufort's

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 Cavalry General by Xenophon:

Indeed I take it to be the mark of a really prudent general never to run a risk of his own choosing, except where it is plain to him beforehand, that he will get the better of his adversary. To play into the enemy's hands may more fitly be described as treason to one's fellow-combatants than true manliness. So, too, true generalship consists in attacking where the enemy is weakest, even if the point be some leagues distant. Severity of toil weighs nothing in the scale against the danger of engaging a force superior to your own.[17] Still, if on any occasion the enemy advance in any way to place himself between fortified points that are friendly to you, let him be never so superior in force, your game is to attack on whichever flank