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Today's Stichomancy for Nicky Hilton

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

steel mirror of the waters. The question seemed to fill the whole scene, to wait, even as the water and sky and the windless trees were waiting....

And then by imperceptible degrees there grew in Scrope's mind the persuasion that he was in the presence of the living God. This time there was no vision of angels nor stars, no snapping of bow-strings, no throbbing of the heart nor change of scene, no magic and melodramatic drawing back of the curtain from the mysteries; the water and the bridge, the ragged black trees, and a distant boat that broke the silvery calm with an arrow of black ripples, all these things were still before him. But God was

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson:

very little, but it amused Mr. Henry, who rallied me much upon our joint unpopularity. It is strange enough (for my own mother was certainly one of the salt of the earth, and my Aunt Dickson, who paid my fees at the University, a very notable woman), but I have never had much toleration for the female sex, possibly not much understanding; and being far from a bold man, I have ever shunned their company. Not only do I see no cause to regret this diffidence in myself, but have invariably remarked the most unhappy consequences follow those who were less wise. So much I thought proper to set down, lest I show myself unjust to Mrs. Henry. And, besides, the remark arose naturally, on a re-perusal of the letter

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

public square of a city; for then, by its remoteness, it melts all the petty personalities, of which it is made up, into one broad mass of existence,--one great life,--one collected body of mankind, with a vast, homogeneous spirit animating it. But, on the other hand, if an impressible person, standing alone over the brink of one of these processions, should behold it, not in its atoms, but in its aggregate,--as a mighty river of life, massive in its tide, and black with mystery, and, out of its depths, calling to the kindred depth within him,--then the contiguity would add to the effect. It might so fascinate him that he would hardly be restrained from plunging into the surging stream of human sympathies.


House of Seven Gables
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 Sons of the Soil by Honore de Balzac:

In 1595, the royal hunting-parties set forth from this magnificent pavilion, preceded by those fine dogs so dear to Rubens and to Paul Veronese; the huntsmen mounted on high-steeping steeds with stout and blue-white satiny haunches, seen no longer except in Wouverman's amazing work, followed by footmen in livery; the scene enlivened by whippers-in, wearing the high top-boots with facings and the yellow leathern breeches which have come down to the present day on the canvas of Van der Meulen. The obelisk was erected in commemoration of the visit of the Bearnais, and his hunt with the beautiful Comtesse de Moret; the date is given below the arms of Navarre. That jealous woman, whose son was afterwards legitimatized, would not allow the