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Today's Stichomancy for Pamela Colman Smith

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:

bear a known and definite misfortune than the cruel uncertainties of a fate which, from one moment to another, brings excessive hope or crushing sorrow.

"I have dreamed a dream for twenty-two years; to-day I awake with my cudgel in my hand," said Cesar, his mind turning back to the Tourangian peasant days.

Pillerault pressed his nephew in his arms as he heard the words. Birotteau saw that his wife, Anselme, and Celestin were present. The papers which the head-clerk held in his hand were significant. Cesar calmly contemplated the little group where every eye was sad but loving.

Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather:

have I. I've seen all my men, my packing is done, and I go up to Liverpool this evening. But this morning we are going to have a holiday. What do you say to a drive out to Kew and Richmond? You may not get another day like this all winter. It's like a fine April day at home. May I use your telephone? I want to order the carriage."

"Oh, how jolly! There, sit down at the desk. And while you are telephoning I'll change my dress. I shan't be long. All the morning papers are on the table."

Alexander's Bridge
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:

have no knowledge, and they are more confident after they have learned than before.

And have you not seen persons utterly ignorant, I said, of these things, and yet confident about them?

Yes, he said, I have seen such persons far too confident.

And are not these confident persons also courageous?

In that case, he replied, courage would be a base thing, for the men of whom we are speaking are surely madmen.

Then who are the courageous? Are they not the confident?

Yes, he said; to that statement I adhere.

And those, I said, who are thus confident without knowledge are really not

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 Adieu by Honore de Balzac:

lethargy, threw off her coverings and rose.

"Philippe, where are we?" she cried in a gentle voice, looking about her.

"Only five hundred feet from the bridge. We are now going to cross the Beresina, Stephanie, and once across I will not torment you any more; you shall sleep; we shall be in safety, and can reach Wilna easily.-- God grant that she may never know what her life has cost!" he thought.

"Philippe! you are wounded!"

"That is nothing."

Too late! the fatal hour had come. The Russian cannon sounded the reveille. Masters of Studzianka, they could sweep the plain, and by