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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 Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:

grasp of iron which he could not shake off.

"You young cockerel, hatched in Mother Vauquer's coop--you, whose heart failed you to clutch old Taillefer's millions when the hardest part of the business was done--let me tell you, for your personal safety, that if you do not treat Lucien like the brother you love, you are in our power, while we are not in yours. Silence and submission! or I shall join your game and upset the skittles. Lucien de Rubempre is under the protection of the strongest power of the day--the Church. Choose between life and death--Answer."

Rastignac felt giddy, like a man who has slept in a forest and wakes to see by his side a famishing lioness. He was frightened, and there

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Antonia by Willa Cather:

All about us the snow was crusted in shallow terraces, with tracings like ripple-marks at the edges, curly waves that were the actual impression of the stinging lash in the wind.

The girls had on cotton dresses under their shawls; they kept shivering beneath the buffalo robes and hugging each other for warmth. But they were so glad to get away from their ugly cave and their mother's scolding that they begged me to go on and on, as far as Russian Peter's house. The great fresh open, after the stupefying warmth indoors, made them behave like wild things. They laughed and shouted, and said they never wanted to go home again. Couldn't we settle down and live in Russian Peter's house, Yulka asked,

My Antonia
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Richard III by William Shakespeare:

Which now the loving haste of these our friends, Something against our meanings, have prevented- Because, my lord, I would have had you heard The traitor speak, and timorously confess The manner and the purpose of his treasons: That you might well have signified the same Unto the citizens, who haply may Misconster us in him and wail his death. MAYOR. But, my good lord, your Grace's words shall serve As well as I had seen and heard him speak; And do not doubt, right noble Princes both,

Richard III
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 American by Henry James:

in his eyes and the mottled tones of his refined complexion. He stood before Newman a moment, breathing quickly and softly, and shaking his forefinger curtly as his host pointed to a chair.

"What I have come to say is soon said," he declared "and can only be said without ceremony."

"I am good for as much or for as little as you desire," said Newman.

The marquis looked round the room a moment, and then, "On what terms will you part with your scrap of paper?"

"On none!" And while Newman, with his head on one side and his hands behind him sounded the marquis's turbid gaze with his own, he added, "Certainly, that is not worth sitting down about."