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Today's Stichomancy for Simon Cowell

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ursula by Honore de Balzac:

dream to the force of his own imagination; and owing to the fatigues of the night, which he had spent, according to his custom, in the trenches, he fell asleep once more without any sense of dread. But the same voice disturbed him again, and the phantom obliged him to wake up and listen to the same words it had said as it first passed. The duke then recollected that he had heard the philosopher Pitrat discourse on the possibility of the separation of the soul from the body, and that he and the marquis had agreed that the first who died should bid adieu to the other. On which, not being able to restrain his fears as to the truth of this warning, he sent a servant to the marquis's quarters, which

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gorgias by Plato:

medicine. And in politics there is a legislative part, which answers to gymnastic, as justice does to medicine; and the two parts run into one another, justice having to do with the same subject as legislation, and medicine with the same subject as gymnastic, but with a difference. Now, seeing that there are these four arts, two attending on the body and two on the soul for their highest good; flattery knowing, or rather guessing their natures, has distributed herself into four shams or simulations of them; she puts on the likeness of some one or other of them, and pretends to be that which she simulates, and having no regard for men's highest interests, is ever making pleasure the bait of the unwary, and deceiving them into the belief that she is of the highest value to them. Cookery simulates the

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Reminiscences of Tolstoy by Leo Tolstoy:

would get up oftener. Each of us would have his spoils in the saddle-straps now, and we would begin to hope for a fox. Not many foxes would turn up. If they did, it was generally Tumashka, who was old and staid, who distinguished himself. He was sick of hares, and made no great effort to run after them; but with a fox he would gallop at full speed, and it was almost always he who killed. It would be late, often dark, when we got back home.


I REMEMBER my father writing his alphabet and reading-book in 1871 and 1872, but I cannot at all remember his beginning "Anna

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 Light of Western Stars by Zane Grey:

-an end. Madeline thought she saw that Link's bulging cheek and jaw were gray, that his tight-shut lips were white, that the smile was gone. Then he really was human--not a demon. She felt a strange sense of brotherhood. He understood a woman's soul as Monty Price had understood it. Link was the lightning-forged automaton, the driving, relentless, unconquerable instrument of a woman's will. He was a man whose force was directed by a woman's passion. He reached up to her height, felt her love, understood the nature of her agony. These made him heroic. But it was the hard life, the wild years of danger on the desert, the companionship of ruthless men, the elemental, that made possible

The Light of Western Stars