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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 Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin:

the Christian Church, under their most sacred symbols, become literally subordinate to the praise, and are only to be understood by the aid, of one dear Florentine maiden.

I tell you truly that, as I strive more with this strange lethargy and trance in myself, and awake to the meaning and power of life, it seems daily more amazing to me that men such as these should dare to play with the most precious truths, (or the most deadly untruths,) by which the whole human race listening to them could be informed, or deceived;--all the world their audiences for ever, with pleased ear, and passionate heart;--and yet, to this submissive infinitude of souls, and evermore succeeding and succeeding multitude, hungry

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Edingburgh Picturesque Notes by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Two generations back they still stood dark and empty; people avoided them as they passed by; the boldest schoolboy only shouted through the keyhole and made off; for within, it was supposed, the plague lay ambushed like a basilisk, ready to flow forth and spread blain and pustule through the city. What a terrible next-door neighbour for superstitious citizens! A rat scampering within would send a shudder through the stoutest heart. Here, if you like, was a sanitary parable, addressed by our uncleanly forefathers to their own neglect.

And then we have Major Weir; for although even his

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:

These walls whose windows gap against the sky, Atom by atom of flesh and brain and marble Will build a glittering tower before we die . . .

The young boy whistles, hurrying down the street, The young girl hums beneath her breath. One goes out to beauty, and does not know it. And one goes out to death.

X. SUDDEN DEATH

'Number four--the girl who died on the table-- The girl with golden hair--' The purpling body lies on the polished marble.

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 Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:

delicate feast with which she would welcome him; perhaps at that very moment she was bathing, perfuming herself, robing herself in velvet, fastening her necklace and her jeweled clasps; and the perverse Bishop, so far from thinking of the power of Holy Church, of his duty to comfort Christians and exhort them to trust in God, mingled worldly regrets and lover's sighs with the holy words of the breviary. By the dim light that shone on the pale faces of the company, it was possible to see their differing expressions as the boat was lifted high in air by a wave, to be cast back into the dark depths; the shallop quivered like a fragile leaf, the plaything of the north wind in the autumn; the hull creaked, it seemed ready to go to pieces. Fearful shrieks