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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 Tom Grogan by F. Hopkinson Smith:

while the original warp and woof of those very popular melodies were entirely unrecognizable to any but the persons interested, to them they were as gall and wormwood. This was Cully's invariable way of expressing his opinions on current affairs. He would sit on the front-board of his cart,--the Big Gray stumbling over the stones as he walked, the reins lying loose,--and fill the air with details of events passing in the village, with all the gusto of a variety actor. The impending strike at the brewery had been made the basis of a paraphrase of "Johnnie, get your gun;" and even McGaw's red head had come in for its share of abuse to the air of "Fire, boys, fire!" So for a time this new development of

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:

convent. From that time Father Sergius's fame increased. More and more visitors came to see him, other monks settled down near his cell, and a church was erected there and also a hostelry. His fame, as usual exaggerating his feats, spread ever more and more widely. People began to come to him from a distance, and began bringing invalids to him whom they declared he cured.

His first cure occurred in the eighth year of his life as a hermit. It was the healing of a fourteen-year-old boy, whose mother brought him to Father Sergius insisting that he should lay his hand on the child's head. It had never occurred to Father Sergius that he could cure the sick. He would have regarded such

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte:

would have done; for against the latter I should have been roused to speak in my own defence: now I judged it my wisest plan to subdue every resentful impulse, suppress every sensitive shrinking, and go on perseveringly, doing my best; for, irksome as my situation was, I earnestly wished to retain it. I thought, if I could struggle on with unremitting firmness and integrity, the children would in time become more humanized: every month would contribute to make them some little wiser, and, consequently, more manageable; for a child of nine or ten as frantic and ungovernable as these at six and seven would be a maniac.

I flattered myself I was benefiting my parents and sister by my


Agnes Grey
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 Muse of the Department by Honore de Balzac:

room a sort of oasis where there was a truce to provincial life. As to Monsieur de Clagny, the Public Prosecutor, his admiration for the fair Dinah kept him bound to Sancerre. The enthusiastic lawyer refused all promotion, and became a quite pious adorer of this angel of grace and beauty. He was a tall, lean man, with a minatory countenance set off by terrible eyes in deep black circles, under enormous eyebrows; and his eloquence, very unlike his love-making, could be incisive.

Monsieur Gravier was a little, round man, who in the days of the Empire had been a charming ballad-singer; it was this accomplishment that had won him the high position of Paymaster-General of the forces. Having mixed himself up in certain important matters in Spain with


The Muse of the Department