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Today's Stichomancy for Nellie McKay

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens:

wish to be made acquainted with the cage, dost thee--the cage, the stocks, and the whipping-post? Where dost come from?'

She told him in a timid manner,--for he was very loud, hoarse, and red-faced,--and besought him not to be angry, for they meant no harm, and would go upon their way that moment.

'Don't he too sure of that,' replied the gentleman, 'we don't allow vagrants to roam about this place. I know what thou want'st--- stray linen drying on hedges, and stray poultry, eh? What hast got in that basket, lazy hound?'

'Grip, Grip, Grip--Grip the clever, Grip the wicked, Grip the knowing--Grip, Grip, Grip,' cried the raven, whom Barnaby had shut

Barnaby Rudge
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Phaedrus by Plato:

beloved also with love. And thus he loves, but he knows not what; he does not understand and cannot explain his own state; he appears to have caught the infection of blindness from another; the lover is his mirror in whom he is beholding himself, but he is not aware of this. When he is with the lover, both cease from their pain, but when he is away then he longs as he is longed for, and has love's image, love for love (Anteros) lodging in his breast, which he calls and believes to be not love but friendship only, and his desire is as the desire of the other, but weaker; he wants to see him, touch him, kiss him, embrace him, and probably not long afterwards his desire is accomplished. When they meet, the wanton steed of the lover has a word to say to the charioteer; he would like to have a little pleasure in

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Purse by Honore de Balzac:

for the first time with the Baroness, who, greatly overcome, and drowned in tears, must needs embrace him.

In the evening the old emigre, the Baron de Rouville's old comrade, paid the ladies a visit to announce that he had just been promoted to the rank of vice-admiral. His voyages by land over Germany and Russia had been counted as naval campaigns. On seeing the portrait he cordially shook the painter's hand, and exclaimed, "By Gad! though my old hulk does not deserve to be perpetuated, I would gladly give five hundred pistoles to see myself as like as that is to my dear old Rouville."

At this hint the Baroness looked at her young friend and smiled,

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 Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton:

neither do I--in that form, at any rate. "

He considered. "I believe in trying for it--even if the trying's the best of it."

"Well, I've tried, and failed. And I'm twenty-two, and I never was young. I suppose I haven't enough imagination." She drew a deep breath. "Now I want something different." She appeared to search for the word. "I want to be--prominent," she declared.


She reddened swarthily. "Oh, you smile--you think it's ridiculous: it doesn't seem worth while to you. That's because you've always had all those things. But I haven't. I know what