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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 Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:

In the midst, however, of the tempests which the father was fond of exciting, a look, a word of tenderness, sufficed to pacify their angry souls, and often they were never so near to a kiss as when they were threatening each other vehemently.

Nevertheless, for the last five years, Ginevra, grown wiser than her father, avoided such scenes. Her faithfulness, her devotion, the love which filled her every thought, and her admirable good sense had got the better of her temper. And yet, for all that, a very great evil had resulted from her training; Ginevra lived with her father and mother on the footing of an equality which is always dangerous.

Piombo and his wife, persons without education, had allowed Ginevra to

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

ones as she could. The consequence was the Man soon found himself entirely bald.

Yield to all and you will soon have nothing to yield.

The Nurse and the Wolf

"Be quiet now," said an old Nurse to a child sitting on her lap. "If you make that noise again I will throw you to the Wolf."

Now it chanced that a Wolf was passing close under the window as this was said. So he crouched down by the side of the house and waited. "I am in good luck to-day," thought he. "It is sure to cry soon, and a daintier morsel I haven't had for many a long day." So he waited, and he waited, and he waited, till at last


Aesop's Fables
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Copy-Cat & Other Stories by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:

dered, as she had wondered many times before, if she could possibly be in the wrong, if she were spoil- ing Benny, if she said and did things without know- ing that she did so, or the contrary. Then suddenly she tightened her mouth. She knew. This sweet- tempered, anxious-to-please Annie was entirely sane, she had unusual self-poise. She KNEW that she knew what she did and said, and what she did not do or say, and a strange comprehension of her family over- whelmed her. Her sisters were truthful; she would not admit anything else, even to herself; but they

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 Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw:

the family, so to speak. Ask your mother whether she'd like to have to explain all her affairs to a perfect stranger.

VIVIE. I see no difficulty, since I understand that the business is wound up, and the money invested.

CROFTS [stopping short, amazed] Wound up! Wind up a business thats paying 35 per cent in the worst years! Not likely. Who told you that?

VIVIE [her color quite gone] Do you mean that it is still--? [She stops abruptly, and puts her hand on the sundial to support herself. Then she gets quickly to the iron chair and sits down].

What business are you talking about?