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Today's Stichomancy for Ashton Kutcher

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

"I should never have thought that of madame," replied the other, quite surprised.

That evening Madame de Listomere went to a party at the Marquis de Beauseant's, where Rastignac would probably betake himself. It was Saturday. The Marquis de Beauseant was in some way a connection of Monsieur de Rastignac, and the young man was not likely to miss coming. By two in the morning Madame de Listomere, who had gone there solely for the purpose of crushing Eugene by her coldness, discovered that she was waiting in vain. A brilliant man--Stendhal--has given the fantastic name of "crystallization" to the process which Madame de Listomere's thoughts went through before, during, and after this

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad:

of her tried and experienced sisters already familiar with all the violences of the ocean and the exacting love of men. They had had more long voyages to make their names in than she had known weeks of carefully tended life, for a new ship receives as much attention as if she were a young bride. Even crabbed old dock-masters look at her with benevolent eyes. In her shyness at the threshold of a laborious and uncertain life, where so much is expected of a ship, she could not have been better heartened and comforted, had she only been able to hear and understand, than by the tone of deep conviction in which my elderly, respectable seaman repeated the first part of his saying, "Ships are all right . . ."


The Mirror of the Sea
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain:

gesturing, and shouted:

"Lo, I command the fell spirit that possesses the holy fountain to now disgorge into the skies all the infernal fires that still remain in him, and straightway dissolve his spell and flee hence to the pit, there to lie bound a thousand years. By his own dread name I command it -- BGWJJILLIGKKK!"

Then I touched off the hogshead of rockets, and a vast fountain of dazzling lances of fire vomited itself toward the zenith with a hissing rush, and burst in mid-sky into a storm of flashing jewels! One mighty


A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
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 Letters from England by Elizabeth Davis Bancroft:

shortest day. This was all arranged to music and each made little speeches, introducing themselves. The OLD YEAR, after introducing his successors, and after much pathos, is "going, going--gone," and falls covered with his drapery, upon removing which, instead of the lifeless body of the OLD YEAR, is discovered a sweet little flower- crowned girl of five or six, as the NEW YEAR. It was charming, and I was so pleased that, instead of taking Louisa away at nine o'clock as I intended, I left her to see "Sir Roger de Coverly," in the dress of his time.

Last night at Mr. Putnam's, I met William and Mary Howitt, and some of the lesser lights. I have put down my pen to answer a note, just