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Today's Stichomancy for The Rock

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

possess, and it can never be acquired. Paz, great in heart only, approached in heart to the sublime; but in the sphere of sentiments, being more a man of action than of thought, he kept his thoughts to himself; and they only served therefore to eat his heart out. What, after all, is a thought unexpressed?

After Clementine's little speech, the Marquis de Ronquerolles and his sister exchanged a singular glance, embracing their niece, Comte Adam, and Paz. It was one of those rapid scenes which take place only in France and Italy,--the two regions of the world (all courts excepted) where eyes can say everything. To communicate to the eye the full power of the soul, to give it the value of speech, needs either the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Market-Place by Harold Frederic:

rasping accents. "She's a rare old boozer, she is! It's a fair curse to an honest boy like me, to 'ave--" "Go home!" she bade him, peremptorily--and frowned after him as he ducked and scuttled from the shop.

Left to herself, Mrs. Dabney did not reopen the cash- book--the wretched day, indeed, had been practically a blank in its history--but loitered about in the waning light among the shelves near the desk, altering the position of books here and there, and glancing cursorily through others. Once or twice she went to the door and looked out upon the rain-soaked street. A tradesman's assistant, opposite,


The Market-Place
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Baby Mine by Margaret Mayo:

of spirits.

"Hello, dearie," he cried as he crossed quickly to her side.

"Already?" asked Zoie faintly and she glanced uneasily toward the door, through which Jimmy and Aggie had just disappeared.

"I told you I shouldn't be long," said Alfred jovially, and he implanted a condescending kiss on her forehead. "How is the little mother, eh?" he asked, rubbing his hands together in satisfaction.

"You're all cold," pouted Zoie, edging away, "and you've been drinking."

"I had to have one or two with the boys," said Alfred, throwing

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 Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad:

skylight half senseless, as it were, and with an idiotic gaze fastened on some object near by--a rope, a cleat, a belaying pin, a ringbolt.

That young man was rather troublesome. He remained cubbish in his sufferings. He seemed to have become completely imbecile; and when the re- turn of fever drove him to his cabin below, the next thing would be that we would miss him from there. The first time it happened Ransome and I were very much alarmed. We started a quiet search and ultimately Ransome discovered him curled up


The Shadow Line