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Today's Stichomancy for T. S. Eliot

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:

knocking, and said to the Comte de Granville:

"I have brought you a fair lady, my dear fellow, who did not know which way to turn; she was on the point of losing herself in our labyrinth----"

And Comte Octave led in by the hand the Comtesse de Serizy, who had been wandering about the place for the last quarter of an hour.

"What, you here, madame!" exclaimed the public prosecutor, pushing forward his own armchair, "and at this moment! This, madame, is Monsieur Camusot," he added, introducing the judge.--"Bauvan," said he to the distinguished ministerial orator of the Restoration, "wait for me in the president's chambers; he is still there, and I will join

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:

The trees are leaving and cashiers abscond.

Phela Orm

ABSENT, adj. Peculiarly exposed to the tooth of detraction; vilifed; hopelessly in the wrong; superseded in the consideration and affection of another.

To men a man is but a mind. Who cares What face he carries or what form he wears? But woman's body is the woman. O, Stay thou, my sweetheart, and do never go, But heed the warning words the sage hath said: A woman absent is a woman dead.


The Devil's Dictionary
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Twilight Land by Howard Pyle:

sound in Twilight Land), "I would like to hear our friend Sindbad the Sailor tell a story. Methinks one is fermenting in his mind."

Old Sindbad smiled until his cheeks crinkled into wrinkles.

"Aye," said every one, "will you not tell a story?"

"To be sure I will," said Sindbad. "I will tell you a good story," said he, "and it is about--

The Enchanted Island.

But it is not always the lucky one that carries away the plums; sometimes he only shakes the tree, and the wise man pockets the fruit.

Once upon a long, long time ago, and in a country far, far away,

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 Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:

And my first argument is thus: Above a thousand gentelmen having bought his almanacks for this year, merely to find what he said against me; at every line they read, they would lift up their eyes, and cry out, betwixt rage and laughter, "They were sure no man alive ever writ such damn'd stuff as this." Neither did I ever hear that opinion disputed: So that Mr. Partridge lies under a dilemma, either of disowning his almanack, or allowing himself to be "no man alive". But now if an uninformed carcase walks still about, and is pleased to call itself Partridge, Mr. Bickerstaff does not think himself any way answerable for that. Neither had the said carcase any right to beat the poor boy who