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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 An Historical Mystery by Honore de Balzac:

inspiration. At such times invincible influence seems to exhale from the head and issue from the tongue; the gesture even can inject the will of the one man into others. The three women knew that some dreadful crisis was at hand; without warning of its nature they felt it in the rapid actions of the man, whose countenance shone, whose forehead spoke, whose brilliant eyes glittered like stars; they saw it in the sweat that covered his brow to the roots of his hair, while more than once his voice vibrated with impatience and fury. Marthe obeyed passively. Armed to the teeth and with his gun over his shoulder Michu dashed into the avenue, followed by his wife. They soon reached the cross-roads where Francois was in waiting hidden among the

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

identity, as it is called, A = A, does not fulfil what its form requires. Nor does any mind ever think or form conceptions in accordance with this law, nor does any existence conform to it.' Wisdom of this sort is well parodied in Shakespeare (Twelfth Night, 'Clown: For as the old hermit of Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily said to a niece of King Gorboduc, "That that is is"...for what is "that" but "that," and "is" but "is"?'). Unless we are willing to admit that two contradictories may be true, many questions which lie at the threshold of mathematics and of morals will be insoluble puzzles to us.

The influence of opposites is felt in practical life. The understanding sees one side of a question only--the common sense of mankind joins one of

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Royalty Restored/London Under Charles II by J. Fitzgerald Molloy:

dying. And anon he slumbered, and quickly woke again in agony and prayed with zeal. Never had time moved with slower passage for him; not hours, but weeks, seemed to elapse between each stroke of the clock; and yet around him was darkness and tardy night. But after much weary waiting, morning was at hand, the time-piece struck six. "Draw the curtains," said the dying man, "that I may once more see day." The grey light of a February dawn, scarce brightened to eastward a cheerless sky; but he hailed this herald of sunrise with infinite relief and terrible regret; relief that he had lived to see another day; regret that no more morns should break for him.

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 Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson by Robert Louis Stevenson:

try to do so. Still, it strikes me as odd; and I don't understand the vogue. It should sell the thing. - Ever your affectionate son,




MY DEAR MOTHER, - You must not expect to hear much from me for the next two weeks; for I am near starting. Donkey purchased - a love - price, 65 francs and a glass of brandy. My route is all pretty well laid out; I shall go near no town till I get to Alais. Remember, Poste Restante, Alais, Gard. Greyfriars will be in October. You did not say whether you liked September; you might