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Today's Stichomancy for W. C. Fields

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:

She did you the honor to think for a while that you might be such a chance. You were not; so she gathered up her patience and waited a while longer. At last her occasion came along, and she made her move with her eyes wide open. I am very sure she had no innocence to lose, but she had all her respectability. Dubious little damsel as you thought her, she had kept a firm hold of that; nothing could be proved against her, and she was determined not to let her reputation go till she had got her equivalent. About her equivalent she had high ideas. Apparently her ideal has been satisfied. It is fifty years old, bald-headed, and deaf, but it is very easy about money."

"And where in the world," asked Newman, "did you pick up

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Study of a Woman by Honore de Balzac:

Here I must pause to put before all ignorant persons an explanation of that word, derived from a very distinguished etymologist who wishes his name kept secret.

"Burgundian" is the name given, since the reign of Charles VI., to those noisy detonations, the result of which is to fling upon the carpet or the clothes a little coal or ember, the trifling nucleus of a conflagration. Heat or fire releases, they say, a bubble of air left in the heart of the wood by a gnawing worm. "Inde amor, inde burgundus." We tremble when we see the structure we had so carefully erected between the logs rolling down like an avalanche. Oh! to build and stir and play with fire when we love is the material development

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from When the World Shook by H. Rider Haggard:

that he seemed to be much changed. For instance, he wore a different coloured dress, or rather robe; this time it was dark blue, which caused me to wonder where on earth it came from. Also, his tremendous beard had been trimmed and dressed, and on his head there was a simple black cap, strangely quilted, which looked as though it were made of velvet. Moreover, his face had plumped out. He still looked ancient, it is true, and unutterably wise, but now he resembled an antique youth, so great were his energy and vigour. Also, his dark and glowing eyes shone with a fearful intensity. In short, he seemed impressive and terrible almost beyond imagining.


When the World Shook