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Today's Stichomancy for Rene Magritte

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:

within the limits of the law,--neither beyond it nor behind it, like a parliamentary opposition. He believed his prosperity depended on the ruin of others, and that whoever was above him was an enemy against whom all weapons were good. A character like this is very common among the peasantry.

Violette's present business was to obtain from Malin an extension of the lease of his farm, which had only six years longer to run. Jealous of the bailiff's means, he watched him narrowly. The neighbors reproached him for his intimacy with "Judas"; but the sly old farmer, wishing to obtain a twelve years' lease, was really lying in wait for an opportunity to serve either the government or Malin, who distrusted

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:

the Board of Trade, takes nothing for granted in the granting of its learned degrees. By its regulations issued under the first Merchant Shipping Act, the very word SOBER must be written, or a whole sackful, a ton, a mountain of the most enthusiastic appreciation will avail you nothing. The door of the examination rooms shall remain closed to your tears and entreaties. The most fanatical advocate of temperance could not be more pitilessly fierce in his rectitude than the Marine Department of the Board of Trade. As I have been face to face at various times with all the examiners of the Port of London in my generation, there can be no doubt as to the force and the continuity of my

A Personal Record
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Emma by Jane Austen:

brother and sister had failed her, that the two parties should unite, and go together; and that as Mrs. Elton had very readily acceded to it, so it was to be, if she had no objection. Now, as her objection was nothing but her very great dislike of Mrs. Elton, of which Mr. Weston must already be perfectly aware, it was not worth bringing forward again:--it could not be done without a reproof to him, which would be giving pain to his wife; and she found herself therefore obliged to consent to an arrangement which she would have done a great deal to avoid; an arrangement which would probably expose her even to the degradation of being said to be of Mrs. Elton's party! Every feeling was offended; and the forbearance

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 Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:

Fougeres glanced at Magus and said: "There's fat in it!" using a slang term then much in vogue in the studios.

Hearing those words Monsieur Vervelle frowned. The worthy bourgeois drew after him another complication of vegetables in the persons of his wife and daughter. The wife had a fine veneer of mahogany on her face, and in figure she resembled a cocoa-nut, surmounted by a head and tied in around the waist. She pivoted on her legs, which were tap- rooted, and her gown was yellow with black stripes. She proudly exhibited unutterable mittens on a puffy pair of hands; the plumes of a first-class funeral floated on an over-flowing bonnet; laces adorned her shoulders, as round behind as they were before; consequently, the