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Today's Stichomancy for Ridley Scott

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey:

he slipped them round so that his coat hid them. Then he fell to swift action. Jane Withersteen watched him, fascinated but uncomprehending and she saw him rapidly saddle Black Star and Night. Then he drew her into the light of the huge windows, standing over her, gripping her arm with fingers like cold steel.

"Yes, Jane, it's ended--but you're not goin' to Dyer!...I'm goin' instead!"

Looking at him--he was so terrible of aspect--she could not comprehend his words. Who was this man with the face gray as death, with eyes that would have made her shriek had she the strength, with the strange, ruthlessly bitter lips? Where was the


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

before? A convict of Collin's stamp, whom you see before you, is a man less weak-kneed than others; he lifts up his voice against the colossal fraud of the Social Contract, as Jean Jacques did, whose pupil he is proud to declare himself. In short, I stand here single-handed against a Government and a whole subsidized machinery of tribunals and police, and I am a match for them all."

"Ye gods!" cried the painter, "what a magnificent sketch one might make of him!"

"Look here, you gentlemen-in-waiting to his highness the gibbet, master of ceremonies to the widow" (a nickname full of sombre


Father Goriot
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Caesar's Commentaries in Latin by Julius Caesar:

hominem honestissimum provinciae Galliae, suum familiarem et hospitem, ereptum ex manibus hostium sibi restitutum videbat neque eius calamitate de tanta voluptate et gratulatione quicquam fortuna deminuerat. Is se praesente de se ter sortibus consultum dicebat, utrum igni statim necaretur an in aliud tempus reservaretur: sortium beneficio se esse incolumem. Item M. Metius repertus et ad eum reductus est.

Hoc proelio trans Rhenum nuntiato, Suebi, qui ad ripas Rheni venerant, domum reverti coeperunt; quos ubi qui proximi Rhenum incolunt perterritos senserunt, insecuti magnum ex iis numerum occiderunt. Caesar una aestate duobus maximis bellis confectis maturius paulo quam tempus anni postulabat in hiberna in Sequanos exercitum deduxit; hibernis Labienum praeposuit;

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 Forged Coupon by Leo Tolstoy:

sea, whose sullen quiescence is broken from time to time by terrific storms which spend themselves in unavailing fury. Reaction follows upon every forward motion, and the advance made by each succeeding generation is barely perceptible.

But in the period of peace following upon the close of the Crimean War the soul of the Russian people was deeply stirred by the spirit of Prog- ress, and hope rose high on the accession of Alex- ander II.

The emancipation of the serfs was only one


The Forged Coupon