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Today's Stichomancy for Ricky Martin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne:

the air, which increased as they mounted higher. With these different noises rose the shouts of the iemschik, some- times scolding, sometimes coaxing his poor beasts, who were suffering more from the oppression of the air than the roughness of the roads. Even the bells on the shafts could no longer rouse them, and they stumbled every instant.

"At what time shall we reach the top of the ridge?" asked Michael of the iemschik.

"At one o'clock in the morning if we ever get there at all," replied he, with a shake of his head.

"Why, my friend, this will not be your first storm in

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Recruit by Honore de Balzac:

prepared for her son. "Here alone I can breathe, I can live! A few minutes more and he MUST be here; for I know he is living. I am certain of it, my heart says so. Don't you hear something, Brigitte? I would give the rest of my life to know at this moment whether he were still in prison, or out in the free country. Oh! I wish I could stop thinking--"

She again examined the room to see if all were in order. A good fire burned on the hearth, the shutters were carefully closed, the furniture shone with rubbing; even the manner in which the bed was made showed that the countess had assisted Brigitte in every detail; her hopes were uttered in the delicate care given to that room where

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Pagan and Christian Creeds by Edward Carpenter:

of some kind to the great Life around him. Action and reaction are equal and opposite. Whatever he may have felt before, it became clear to him now that beings more or less like himself--though doubtless vaster and more powerful--moved behind the veil of the visible world. From that moment the belief in Magic and Demons and Gods arose or slowly developed itself; and in the midst of this turmoil of perilous and conflicting powers, he perceived himself an alien and an exile, stricken with Fear, stricken with the sense of Sin. If before, he had experienced fear--in the kind of automatic way of self-preservation

Pagan and Christian Creeds
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 Laches by Plato:

general interest in military studies, and greatly adding to the appearance of the soldier in the field. Laches, the blunt warrior, is of opinion that such an art is not knowledge, and cannot be of any value, because the Lacedaemonians, those great masters of arms, neglect it. His own experience in actual service has taught him that these pretenders are useless and ridiculous. This man Stesilaus has been seen by him on board ship making a very sorry exhibition of himself. The possession of the art will make the coward rash, and subject the courageous, if he chance to make a slip, to invidious remarks. And now let Socrates be taken into counsel. As they differ he must decide.

Socrates would rather not decide the question by a plurality of votes: in