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Today's Stichomancy for Chris Rock

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane:

ears from hearing the first words of the new battle.

Of a sudden the guns on the slope roared out a message of warning. A spluttering sound had begun in the woods. It swelled with amazing speed to a profound clamor that involved the earth in noises. The splitting crashes swept along the lines until an interminable roar was developed. To those in the midst of it it became a din fitted to the universe. It was the whirring and thumping of gigantic machinery, complica-


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

At that period, great and small, priests and laymen, all trembled before the idea of any supernatural power. The word "magic" was as powerful as leprosy to root up feelings, break social ties, and freeze piety in the most generous soul. It suddenly struck the constable's wife that she had never, in fact, seen either of her lodgers exercising any human function. Though the younger man's voice was as sweet and melodious as the tones of a flute, she so rarely heard it that she was tempted to think his silence the result of a spell. As she recalled the strange beauty of that pink-and-white face, and saw in memory the fine hair and moist brilliancy of those eyes, she believed that they were indeed the artifices of the Devil. She

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne:

months after.

It seems he usually took his stand near the iron gates which lead up to the palace, and as his croix had caught the eyes of numbers, numbers had made the same enquiry which I had done. - He had told them the same story, and always with so much modesty and good sense, that it had reach'd at last the king's ears; - who, hearing the Chevalier had been a gallant officer, and respected by the whole regiment as a man of honour and integrity, - he broke up his little trade by a pension of fifteen hundred livres a year.

As I have told this to please the reader, I beg he will allow me to relate another, out of its order, to please myself: - the two

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 House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

her eyes from the page to Clifford's face, Phoebe would be made aware, by the light breaking through it, that a more delicate intelligence than her own had caught a lambent flame from what she read. One glow of this kind, however, was often the precursor of gloom for many hours afterward; because, when the glow left him, he seemed conscious of a missing sense and power, and groped about for them, as if a blind man should go seeking his lost eyesight.

It pleased him more, and was better for his inward welfare, that Phoebe should talk, and make passing occurrences vivid to his mind by her accompanying description and remarks. The life of


House of Seven Gables