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Today's Stichomancy for Wassily Kandinsky

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

train him herself, having, as she calculated, seven years to do it in. Martin Falleix felt and showed the deepest respect for Madame Baudoyer, whose superior qualities he was able to recognize. If he were fated to make millions he would always belong to her family, where he had found a home. The little Baudoyer girl was already trained to bring him his tea and to take his hat.

On the evening of which we write, Monsieur Saillard, returning from the ministry, found a game of boston in full blast; Elisabeth was advising Falleix how to play; Madame Saillard was knitting in the chimney-corner and overlooking the cards of the vicar; Monsieur Baudoyer, motionless as a mile-stone, was employing his mental

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Fisherman's Luck by Henry van Dyke:

drifting down on the shore breeze, with bloody purpose in their breasts, but baffled by the protecting smoke. In the water to the leeward plays a school of speckled trout, feeding on the minnows that hang around the sunken ledges of rock. As a larger wave than usual passes over the ledges, it lifts the fish up, and you can see the big fellows, three, and four, and even five pounds apiece, poising themselves in the clear brown water. A long cast will send the fly over one of them. Let it sink a foot. Draw it up with a fluttering motion. Now the fish sees it, and turns to catch it. There is a yellow gleam in the depth, a sudden swirl on the surface; you strike sharply, and the trout is matching his strength against

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:

strange to you, if you will consider it? (The reading is here uncertain.)

ALCIBIADES: What is that, Socrates?

SOCRATES: It may be, in short, that the possession of all the sciences, if unaccompanied by the knowledge of the best, will more often than not injure the possessor. Consider the matter thus:--Must we not, when we intend either to do or say anything, suppose that we know or ought to know that which we propose so confidently to do or say?

ALCIBIADES: Yes, in my opinion.

SOCRATES: We may take the orators for an example, who from time to time advise us about war and peace, or the building of walls and the construction of harbours, whether they understand the business in hand, or

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 Contrast by Royall Tyler:

did you hear that Sally Bloomsbury is going to be married next week to Mr. Indigo, the rich Carolinian?


Sally Bloomsbury married!--why, she is not yet in her teens.


I do not know how that is, but you may depend upon it, 'tis a done affair. I have it from the best au- thority. There is my aunt Wyerly's Hannah. You know Hannah; though a black, she is a wench that was never caught in a lie in her life. Now, Hannah