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Today's Stichomancy for Sean Astin

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

spending a fortnight in the city, he had not been able to hold out against the desire to see her, and he had walked from Saturday night to Monday morning. He intended to return to Paris; but the moving sight of his little friend nailed him to Provins. A wonderful magnetism (still denied in spite of many proofs) acted upon him without his knowledge. Tears rolled from his eyes when they rose in hers. If to her he was Brittany and her happy childhood, to him she was life itself.

At sixteen years of age Brigaut did not yet know how to draw or to model a cornice; he was ignorant of much, but he had earned, by piece- work done in the leisure of his apprenticeship, some four or five

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Psychology of Revolution by Gustave le Bon:

to the evidence, that ``all men are equal by nature.''

It would seem that in many of the men of the Revolution the ardent desire for equality merely concealed an intense need of inequalities. Napoleon was obliged to re-establish titles of nobility and decorations for their benefit. Having shown that it was among the most rabid revolutionists that he found the most docile instruments of domination, Taine continues:--

``Suddenly, through all their preaching of liberty and equality, appeared their authoritative instincts, their need of commanding, even as subordinates, and also, in most cases, an appetite for money or for pleasure. Between the delegate of the Committee of

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lay Morals by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Certainly I, too, was shipwrecked,' he continued, plucking at the grass. 'There was never a more desperate castaway - to fall from polite life, fortune, a shrine of honour, a grateful conscience, duties willingly taken up and faithfully discharged; and to fall to this - idleness, poverty, inutility, remorse.' He seemed to have forgotten her presence, but here he remembered her again. 'Nance,' said he, 'would you have a man sit down and suffer or rise up and strive?'

'Nay,' she said. 'I would always rather see him doing.'

'Ha!' said Mr. Archer, 'but yet you speak from an imperfect

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 Wrong Box by Stevenson & Osbourne:

intellectual effort, he stood there silent. Here was a last injustice; he had been robbed while he was an orphan at school, he had been lashed to a decadent leather business, he had been saddled with Miss Hazeltine, his cousin had been defrauding him of the tontine, and he had borne all this, we might almost say, with dignity, and now they had gone and killed his uncle!

'Here!' he said suddenly, 'take his heels, we must get him into the woods. I'm not going to have anybody find this.'

'O, fudge!' said John, 'where's the use?'

'Do what I tell you,' spirted Morris, as he took the corpse by the shoulders. 'Am I to carry him myself?'