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Today's Stichomancy for Voltaire

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

to consider as one of their residences; there was to them an inexplicable attraction in this clean, neat, pretty, and artistic abode. Abyssus abyssum, the commonplace attracts the commonplace. Toward the end of the sitting the stairway shook, the door was violently thrust open by Joseph Bridau; he came like a whirlwind, his hair flying. He showed his grand haggard face as he looked about him, casting everywhere the lightning of his glance; then he walked round the whole studio, and returned abruptly to Grassou, pulling his coat together over the gastric region, and endeavouring, but in vain, to button it, the button mould having escaped from its capsule of cloth.

"Wood is dear," he said to Grassou.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Hidden Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac:

line, I have not dryly outlined my figures, nor brought out superstitiously minute anatomical details; for, let me tell you, the human body does not end off with a line. In that respect sculptors get nearer to the truth of nature than we do. Nature is all curves, each wrapping or overlapping another. To speak rigorously, there is no such thing as drawing. Do not laugh, young man; no matter how strange that saying seems to you, you will understand the reasons for it one of these days. A line is a means by which man explains to himself the effect of light upon a given object; but there is no such thing as a line in nature, where all things are rounded and full. It is only in modelling that we really draw,--in other words, that we detach things

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Complete Angler by Izaak Walton:

informed, to be almost two feet long; for an honest informer told me, such a one was not long since taken by Sir Abraham Williams, a gentleman of worth, and a brother of the angle, that yet lives, and I wish he may: this was a deep-bodied fish, and doubtless durst have devoured a Pike of half his own length. For I have told you, he is a bold fish; such a one as but for extreme hunger the Pike will not devour. For to affright the Pike, and save himself, the Perch will set up his fins, much like as a turkey-cock will sometimes set up his tail.

But, my scholar, the Perch is not only valiant to defend himself, but he is, as I said, a bold-biting fish: yet he will not bite at all seasons of the year; he is very abstemious in winter, yet will bite then in the midst of

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 Pathology of Lying, Etc. by William and Mary Healy:

which have been handed in to us of experiences with her in other localities, we do not presume to know a tithe of the places Inez has been to or lived in during the last eight years. It is more than likely that she herself would find it difficult to give any accurate account of her rovings. At the time we first saw Inez her parents had not heard from her for about three years. Shortly after this we found that she had renewed correspondence with them and had sent them money as if she were now prosperous. Her family have all along, in spite of her stories, been poor. At one period she visited several cities in the southeastern states and was at a hospital in one of them. In Charleston there