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Today's Stichomancy for Oprah Winfrey

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:

his pocket for change for the taxi-man. And he saw the kiddies handing the boxes round--they were awfully generous little chaps--while Isabel's precious friends didn't hesitate to help themselves...

What about fruit? William hovered before a stall just inside the station. What about a melon each? Would they have to share that, too? Or a pineapple, for Pad, and a melon for Johnny? Isabel's friends could hardly go sneaking up to the nursery at the children's meal-times. All the same, as he bought the melon William had a horrible vision of one of Isabel's young poets lapping up a slice, for some reason, behind the nursery door.

With his two very awkward parcels he strode off to his train. The platform was crowded, the train was in. Doors banged open and shut. There came

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Divine Comedy (translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) by Dante Alighieri:

Nor for a tongue that cries Mamma and Babbo.

But may those Ladies help this verse of mine, Who helped Amphion in enclosing Thebes, That from the fact the word be not diverse.

O rabble ill-begotten above all, Who're in the place to speak of which is hard, 'Twere better ye had here been sheep or goats!

When we were down within the darksome well, Beneath the giant's feet, but lower far, And I was scanning still the lofty wall,

I heard it said to me: "Look how thou steppest!

The Divine Comedy (translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moby Dick by Herman Melville:

his stretched arm towards it, exclaimed,--"Look ye, for yourselves, if Ahab be not lord of the level loadstone! The sun is East, and that compass swears it!"

One after another they peered in, for nothing but their own eyes could persuade such ignorance as theirs, and one after another they slunk away.

In his fiery eyes of scorn and triumph, you then saw Ahab in all his fatal pride.


The Log and Line.

While now the fated Pequod had been so long afloat this voyage, the

Moby Dick
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 Essays of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:

you were rooked and beaten. You must enter a hotel with military precautions; for the least you had to apprehend was to awake next morning without money or baggage, or necessary raiment, a lone forked radish in a bed; and if the worst befell, you would instantly and mysteriously disappear from the ranks of mankind.

I have usually found such stories correspond to the least modicum of fact. Thus I was warned, I remember, against the roadside inns of the Cevennes, and that by a learned professor; and when I reached Pradelles the warning was explained - it was but the far-away rumour and reduplication of a single terrifying story already half a century old, and half forgotten in the theatre of the events. So I was