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Today's Stichomancy for Jack Nicholson

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

again (a /canard/, in the language of the orchestra), neither did the dancers, nor, for that matter, did my old Italian's acolytes; for I had made up my mind that he must be Italian, and an Italian he was. There was something great, something too of the despot about this old Homer bearing within him an /Odyssey/ doomed to oblivion. The greatness was so real that it triumphed over his abject position; the despotism so much a part of him, that it rose above his poverty.

There are violent passions which drive a man to good or evil, making of him a hero or a convict; of these there was not one that had failed to leave its traces on the grandly-hewn, lividly Italian face. You trembled lest a flash of thought should suddenly light up the deep

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Crisis in Russia by Arthur Ransome:

made a speech setting out his reasons for differing with the Central Committee, and proposed an ingenious resolution, which, while expressing approval of the general position of the Committee, included four supplementary modifications

which, as a matter of fact, nullified that position altogether. It was then about ten at night, and the Conference adjourned. We drove round to the prison in sledges, and by way of supper had some more soup and potatoes, and so back to the railway station to sleep in the cars.

Next day the Conference opened about noon, when there was a long discussion of the points at issue. Workman after

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from O Pioneers! by Willa Cather:

Now, Alexandra could in a measure realize that Marie was, after all, Marie; not merely a "married woman." Sometimes, when Alex- andra thought of her, it was with an aching tenderness. The moment she had reached them in the orchard that morning, everything was clear to her. There was something about those two lying in the grass, something in the way Marie had settled her cheek on Emil's shoulder, that told her everything. She wondered then


O Pioneers!
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 Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:

"Quite," said Josephine faintly. They both hung their heads. Both of them felt certain that eye wasn't at all a peaceful eye.

"Won't you sit down?" said Josephine.

"Thank you, Miss Pinner," said Mr. Farolles gratefully. He folded his coat-tails and began to lower himself into father's arm-chair, but just as he touched it he almost sprang up and slid into the next chair instead.

He coughed. Josephine clasped her hands; Constantia looked vague.

"I want you to feel, Miss Pinner," said Mr. Farolles, "and you, Miss Constantia, that I'm trying to be helpful. I want to be helpful to you both, if you will let me. These are the times," said Mr Farolles, very simply and earnestly, "when God means us to be helpful to one another."