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Today's Stichomancy for Hilary Duff

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ann Veronica by H. G. Wells:

He rejoiced over this emancipation. "While that lamb was about every man of any spirit was regarded as a dangerous wolf. We wore invisible chains and invisible blinkers. Now, you and I can gossip at a gate, and {}Honi soit qui mal y pense. The change has given man one good thing he never had before," he said. "Girl friends. And I am coming to believe the best as well as the most beautiful friends a man can have are girl friends."

He paused, and went on, after a keen look at her:

"I had rather gossip to a really intelligent girl than to any man alive."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

As to-day they shine and blossom When you come so far to see us! Never was our lake so tranquil, Nor so free from rocks, and sand-bars; For your birch canoe in passing Has removed both rock and sand-bar. "Never before had our tobacco Such a sweet and pleasant flavor, Never the broad leaves of our cornfields Were so beautiful to look on, As they seem to us this morning,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson:

and it was from the maculation of sheep's blood that he had come so far to cleanse himself in the pool behind Kirk Yetton.

A trade that touches nature, one that lies at the foundations of life, in which we have all had ancestors employed, so that on a hint of it ancestral memories revive, lends itself to literary use, vocal or written. The fortune of a tale lies not alone in the skill of him that writes, but as much, perhaps, in the inherited experience of him who reads; and when I hear with a particular thrill of things that I have never done or seen, it is one of that innumerable army of my ancestors rejoicing in past deeds. Thus novels begin to touch not the fine DILETTANTI but the gross mass of

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 A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe:

constable by order of the other examiner, for there were two examiners to every district or precinct. By this means he had free egress and regress into his house again. and out of it, as he pleased, notwithstanding it was infected, till at length his stratagem was found out; and then he, with the sound part of his servants and family, made off and escaped, so they were not shut up at all.

These things made it very hard, if not impossible, as I have said, to prevent the spreading of an infection by the shutting up of houses - unless the people would think the shutting of their houses no grievance, and be so willing to have it done as that they would give notice duly and faithfully to the magistrates of their being infected as


A Journal of the Plague Year