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Today's Stichomancy for Robert De Niro

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Witch, et. al by Anton Chekhov:

the edges of the road. On the grass hung dingy, unfriendly tears. They were not the tears of soft joy such as the earth weeps at welcoming the summer sun and parting from it, and such as she gives to drink at dawn to the corncrakes, quails, and graceful, long-beaked crested snipes. The travellers' feet stuck in the heavy, clinging mud. Every step cost an effort.

Andrey Ptaha was somewhat excited. He kept looking round at the tramp and trying to understand how a live, sober man could fail to remember his name.

"You are an orthodox Christian, aren't you?" he asked.

"Yes," the tramp answered mildly.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Beauty and The Beast by Bayard Taylor:

by Priscilla Wakefield,--the only source of Asenath's knowledge,-- and entered, with her, upon the text-book of Gray, a copy of which he procured from Philadelphia. Yet, though he had overtaken her in his knowledge of the technicalities of the science, her practical acquaintance with plants and their habits left her still his superior. Day by day, exploring the meadows, the woods, and the clearings, he brought home his discoveries to enjoy her aid in classifying and assigning them to their true places. Asenath had generally an hour or two of leisure from domestic duties in the afternoons, or after the early supper of summer was over; and sometimes, on "Seventh-days," she would be his guide to some

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:

having once more to associate with men who set no store by the decencies of life. Yet, though he braced himself to the task, this period of adversity told upon his health, and he even grew a trifle shabby. More than once, on happening to catch sight of himself in the mirror, he could not forbear exclaiming: "Holy Mother of God, but what a nasty-looking brute I have become!" and for a long while afterwards could not with anything like sang-froid contemplate his reflection. Yet throughout he bore up stoutly and patiently--and ended by being transferred to the Customs Department. It may be said that the department had long constituted the secret goal of his ambition, for he had noted the foreign elegancies with which its officials always


Dead Souls
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 White Moll by Frank L. Packard:

are other ways! She's had her fling at our expense; it's her turn to pay now." He laughed again - and in the laugh now there was something both brutal in its menace, and sinister in its suggestion of gloating triumph.

"What do you mean?" demanded Rhoda Gray quickly. "What are you going to do?"

"Get her!" said Danglar. The man's passion flamed up suddenly; he spoke through his closed teeth. "Get her! I made her a little promise. I'm going to keep it! Understand?"

"You've been saying that for quite a long time," retorted Rhoda Gray coolly. "But the 'getting' has been all the other way so far.