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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 A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde:

being rowed by a hundred slaves. On a carpet by his side the master of the galley was seated. He was black as ebony, and his turban was of crimson silk. Great earrings of silver dragged down the thick lobes of his ears, and in his hands he had a pair of ivory scales.

The slaves were naked, but for a ragged loin-cloth, and each man was chained to his neighbour. The hot sun beat brightly upon them, and the negroes ran up and down the gangway and lashed them with whips of hide. They stretched out their lean arms and pulled the heavy oars through the water. The salt spray flew from the blades.

At last they reached a little bay, and began to take soundings. A

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott:

strange and fearful to a Spirit of the sea."

They would not listen; and drew nearer, saying, while bright sparks showered from their lips, "We will not let you go, for you have promised to be ours if the gems you brought proved worthless; so fling away this cold white cloak, and bathe with us in the fire fountains, and help us bring back to our bosom flames the light we gave you for the child."

Then Ripple sank down on the burning floor, and felt that her life was nearly done; for she well knew the hot air of the fire-palace would be death to her. The Spirits gathered round, and began to lift her mantle off; but underneath they saw the pearl chain, shining with


Flower Fables
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac:

"There is no hope for poor Father Goriot," said Bianchon, as Rastignac came into the room. Eugene looked for a while at the sleeping man, then he turned to his friend. "Dear fellow, you are content with the modest career you have marked out for yourself; keep to it. I am in hell, and I must stay there. Believe everything that you hear said of the world, nothing is too impossibly bad. No Juvenal could paint the horrors hidden away under the covering of gems and gold."

At two o'clock in the afternoon Bianchon came to wake Rastignac, and begged him to take charge of Goriot, who had grown worse as the day wore on. The medical student was obliged to go out.


Father Goriot
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 Agesilaus by Xenophon:

[6] See Plut. "Ages." ii. (Clough, iv. p. 2): "He is said to have been a little man of a contemptible presence."

[7] See Plut. "Ages." xi. (Clough, iv. p. 14); "Parall. Min." v; Ovid. "Met." xi. 102 foll.

What construction some will put upon the story I am well aware, but for myself I am persuaded that many more people can master their enemeis than the foes we speak of.[8] Doubtless such incidents when known to but few may well be discredited by many, but here we are in the region of establishing facts, seeing that the more illustrious a man is the less can his every act escape notice. As to Agesilaus no eye-witness has ever reported any unworthy behaviour, nor, had he