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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 Lily of the Valley by Honore de Balzac:

You ought to have deceived me; later I should have thanked you. Is it possible that you have never understood the special virtue of lovers? Can you not feel how generous they are in swearing that they have never loved before, and love at last for the first time?

No, your programme cannot be carried out. To attempt to be both Madame de Mortsauf and Lady Dudley,--why, my dear friend, it would be trying to unite fire and water within me! Is it possible that you don't know women? Believe me, they are what they are, and they have therefore the defects of their virtues. You met Lady Dudley too early in life to appreciate her, and the harm you say of her seems to me the revenge of your wounded vanity. You understood


The Lily of the Valley
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tom Sawyer Abroad by Mark Twain:

he had an idea of visiting among savages. There was money, too. Yes, the professor was well enough fixed.

After breakfast Tom learned me and Jim how to steer, and divided us all up into four-hour watches, turn and turn about; and when his watch was out I took his place, and he got out the professor's papers and pens and wrote a letter home to his aunt Polly, tell- ing her everything that had happened to us, and dated it "IN THE WELKIN, APPROACHING ENGLAND," and folded it together and stuck it fast with a red wafer, and directed it, and wrote above the direction, in big

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy:

that he remembered hearing a sort of splashing in the stream at the back, but he had taken no notice, thinking some ducks had come down the river from above.

"She must have walked through the river!" said a mistress.

"Or drownded herself," said the porter.

The mind of the matron was horrified--not so much at the possible death of Sue as at the possible half-column detailing that event in all the newspapers, which, added to the scandal of the year before, would give the college an unenviable notoriety for many months to come.

More lanterns were procured, and the river examined; and then,


Jude the Obscure
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 Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche:

the immeasurable. Like the rider on his forward panting horse, we let the reins fall before the infinite, we modern men, we semi- barbarians--and are only in OUR highest bliss when we--ARE IN MOST DANGER.

225. Whether it be hedonism, pessimism, utilitarianism, or eudaemonism, all those modes of thinking which measure the worth of things according to PLEASURE and PAIN, that is, according to accompanying circumstances and secondary considerations, are plausible modes of thought and naivetes, which every one conscious of CREATIVE powers and an artist's conscience will look down upon with scorn, though not without sympathy. Sympathy for


Beyond Good and Evil