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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 The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:

had spoken to Madame Margaritis of Doctors Dubuisson, Esquirol, Blanche, and others, she would have preferred, with noble indignation, to keep her thousands and take care of the "good-man" at home.

As the incomprehensible whims of this lunatic are connected with the current of our story, we are compelled to exhibit the most striking of them. Margaritis went out as soon as it rained, and walked about bare- headed in his vineyard. At home he made incessant inquiries for newspapers; to satisfy him his wife and the maid-servant used to give him an old journal called the "Indre-et-Loire," and for seven years he had never yet perceived that he was reading the same number over and over again. Perhaps a doctor would have observed with interest the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Ruling Passion by Henry van Dyke:

of the music from start to finish, when he said:

"By Jolly! that old maloney may be chock full o' relijun and po'try; but it ain't got no DANCE into it, no more 'n a saw-mill."

This was the situation of affairs inside of Moody's tavern on New Year's Eve. But outside of the house the snow lay two feet deep on the level, and shoulder-high in the drifts. The sky was at last swept clean of clouds. The shivering stars and the shrunken moon looked infinitely remote in the black vault of heaven. The frozen lake, on which the ice was three feet thick and solid as rock, was like a vast, smooth bed, covered with a white counterpane. The cruel wind still poured out of the northwest, driving the dry snow

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Cavalry General by Xenophon:

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 you can best conceal your advance, or, still better, on both flanks simultaneously; since, while one detachment is retiring after delivering its attack, a charge pressed home from the opposite quarter cannot fail to throw the enemy into confusion and to give safety to your friends.

[17] N.B. Throughout this treatise the author has to meet the case of a small force of cavalry acting on the defensive.

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 Dreams by Olive Schreiner:

I said, "Are they not afraid they themselves may bite where another has bitten?"

God said, "They are afraid. In Hell all men fear."

He called me further. And the water of the lake seemed less blue.

Then, to the right among the trees were men working. And I said to God, "I should like to go and work with them. Hell must be a very fruitful place, the grass is so green."

God said, "Nothing grows in the garden they are making."

We stood looking; and I saw them working among the bushes, digging holes, but in them they set nothing; and when they had covered them with sticks and earth each went a way off and sat behind the bushes watching; and I