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Today's Stichomancy for Michael Jackson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:

This inertness veiled skilful manoeuvres. Hamilcar seduced the heads of the villages by all sorts of artifices; and the Mercenaries were hunted, repulsed, and enclosed like wild beasts. As soon as they entered a wood, the trees caught fire around them; when they drank of a spring it was poisoned; the caves in which they hid in order to sleep were walled up. Their old accomplices, the populations who had hitherto defended them, now pursued them; and they continually recognised Carthaginian armour in these bands.

Many had their faces consumed with red tetters; this, they thought, had come to them through touching Hanno. Others imagined that it was because they had eaten Salammbo's fishes, and far from repenting of


Salammbo
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Oscar Wilde Miscellaneous by Oscar Wilde:

That will for all time and in everything Make me your debtor. Ay! from this time forth My house, with everything my house contains Is yours, and only yours.

A hundred thousand! My brain is dazed. I shall be richer far Than all the other merchants. I will buy Vineyards and lands and gardens. Every loom From Milan down to Sicily shall be mine, And mine the pearls that the Arabian seas Store in their silent caverns.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Straight Deal by Owen Wister:

of condensed and hoarded understanding lie far apart, are never confluent, and also differ in their details; while the whole of England is confluent, and the details have been slowly worked out through centuries of getting on together, and are accepted and observed exactly like the rules of a game.

In America, if the American didn't know, he would have answered, "I don't know. I think you'll have to ask the conductor," or at any rate, his reply would have been longer than the Englishman's. But I am not going to accept the idea that the Englishman didn't know and said so in his brief usual way. It's equally possible that he did know. Then, you naturally ask, why in the name of common civility did he give such an answer to the

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 Baby Mine by Margaret Mayo:

things to the laundress. I wanted them to be nice and fresh. And now the horrid old creature hasn't brought them back yet."

"You get into your OWN things," commanded Aggie.

"Where's my dressing gown?" asked Zoie, her elation revived by the thought of her fine raiment, and with that she flew to the foot of the bed and snatched up two of the prettiest negligees ever imported from Paris. "Which do you like better?" she asked, as she held them both aloft, "the pink or the blue?"

"It doesn't matter," answered Aggie wearily. "Get into SOMETHING, that's all."

"Then unhook me," commanded Zoie gaily, as she turned her back to