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Today's Stichomancy for Nellie McKay

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:

them not, theyr latter owners have most shamefully abused them, and yeS covetouse merchantes have solde them away into foren nacyons for moneye."

How the imagination recoils at the idea of Caxton's translation of the Metamorphoses of Ovid, or perhaps his "Lyf of therle of Oxenforde," together with many another book from our first presses, not a fragment of which do we now possess, being used for baking "pyes."

At the Great Fire of London in 1666, the number of books burnt was enormous. Not only in private houses and Corporate and Church libraries were priceless collections reduced to cinders, but an immense stock of books removed from Paternoster Row by the Stationers for safety was burnt to ashes in the vaults

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The School For Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan:

in the catalogue of a man's good Qualities--whereas the sentimental French Plate I use instead of it makes just as good a shew--and pays no tax.


ROWLEY. Mr. Surface--your Servant: I was apprehensive of interrupting you, tho' my Business demands immediate attention-- as this Note will inform you----

SURFACE. Always Happy to see Mr. Rowley--how--Oliver--Surface!-- My Unkle arrived!

ROWLEY. He is indeed--we have just parted--quite well--after a speedy voyage--and impatient to embrace his worthy Nephew.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Travels and Researches in South Africa by Dr. David Livingstone:

formerly alight@mercury.interpath.net). To assure a high quality text, the original was typed in (manually) twice and electronically compared. [Note on text: Italicized words or phrases are CAPITALIZED. Some obvious errors have been corrected.]

Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa. Also called, Travels and Researches in South Africa; or, Journeys and Researches in South Africa. By David Livingstone [British (Scot) Missionary and Explorer--1813-1873.]

David Livingstone was born in Scotland, received his medical degree from the University of Glasgow, and was sent to South Africa by the London Missionary Society. Circumstances led him to try to meet

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 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:

"Mrs. Reed, my uncle's wife. My uncle is dead, and he left me to her care."

"Did she not, then, adopt you of her own accord?"

"No, ma'am; she was sorry to have to do it: but my uncle, as I have often heard the servants say, got her to promise before he died that she would always keep me."

"Well now, Jane, you know, or at least I will tell you, that when a criminal is accused, he is always allowed to speak in his own defence. You have been charged with falsehood; defend yourself to me as well as you can. Say whatever your memory suggests is true; but add nothing and exaggerate nothing."

Jane Eyre