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Today's Stichomancy for Will Smith

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from De Profundis by Oscar Wilde:

that it teaches one, is my new world.

I used to live entirely for pleasure. I shunned suffering and sorrow of every kind. I hated both. I resolved to ignore them as far as possible: to treat them, that is to say, as modes of imperfection. They were not part of my scheme of life. They had no place in my philosophy. My mother, who knew life as a whole, used often to quote to me Goethe's lines - written by Carlyle in a book he had given her years ago, and translated by him, I fancy, also:-

'Who never ate his bread in sorrow, Who never spent the midnight hours

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Gobseck by Honore de Balzac:

" 'The second bill, bearing the signature "Fanny Malvaut," came to me from a linen-draper on the highway to bankruptcy. Now, no creature who has any credit with a bank comes to ME. The first step to my door means that a man is desperately hard up; that the news of his failure will soon come out: and, most of all, it means that he has been everywhere else first. The stag is always at bay when I see him, and a pack of creditors are hard upon his track. The Countess lived in the Rue du Helder, and my Fanny in the Rue Montmartre. How many conjectures I made as I set out this morning! If these two women were not able to pay, they would show me more respect than they would show their own fathers. What tricks and grimaces would not the Countess try

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

out, calling to the dog. Jim came in whistling, looked in and said: "Hello, Les," and disappeared. He sat in the growing twilight and cursed himself for a fool. After all, where had he been heading? A man couldn't eat his cake and have it. But he was resentful, too; he stressed rather hard his own innocence, and chose to ignore the less innocent impulse that lay behind it.

After a half hour or so he heard some one descending and Dick Livingstone appeared in the hall. He called to him, and Dick entered the room. Before he sat down he lighted a cigarette and in the flare of the match Leslie got an impression of fatigue and of something new, of trouble. But his own anxieties obsessed him.

The Breaking Point
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 Mountains by Stewart Edward White:

failed. He actually did not know enough to take care of himself; and could not learn. Finally, when about two months out, we traded him at a cow-camp for a little buckskin called Monache.

So much for the saddle-horses. The pack-animals were four.

A study of Dinkey's character and an experience of her characteristics always left me with mingled feelings. At times I was inclined to think her perfection: at other times thirty cents would have been esteemed by me as a liberal offer for her. To enumerate