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Today's Stichomancy for Toni Braxton

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Last War: A World Set Free by H. G. Wells:

Edith, 'while we have been theorising about men and women, here is science getting the power for us to end that old dispute for ever. If woman is too much for us, we'll reduce her to a minority, and if we do not like any type of men and women, we'll have no more of it. These old bodies, these old animal limitations, all this earthly inheritance of gross inevitabilities falls from the spirit of man like the shrivelled cocoon from an imago. And for my own part, when I hear of these things I feel like that--like a wet, crawling new moth that still fears to spread its wings. Because where do these things take us?'


The Last War: A World Set Free
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:

rest of the crew. A high-born damsel, with a falcon on her wrist, only spoke with her mother or with a churchman of high rank, who was evidently a relation. All these persons made a great deal of noise, and talked among themselves as though there were no one else in the boat; yet close beside them sat a man of great importance in the district, a stout burgher of Bruges, wrapped about with a vast cloak. His servant, armed to the teeth, had set down a couple of bags filled with gold at his side. Next to the burgher came a man of learning, a doctor of the University of Louvain, who was traveling with his clerk. This little group of folk, who looked contemptuously at each other, was separated from the passengers in the forward part of the boat by

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:

When my father redid the interior of the east room, he removed at the same time a board from above the doorway outside, on which had been written--it is said by Dame Alice herself--a warning upon this very subject. I happened to be present when our old housekeeper, who had been his nurse, remonstrated with him warmly upon this act; and I asked her afterwards what the board was, and why she cared about it so much. In her excitement she told me the story of those unhappy girls, repeating again and again that, if the warning were taken away, evil would come of it."

"And she was right," I said, dully. "Oh, if only your father had left it there!"

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 Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:

independence; and this proposal being met by a curt refusal from Doctor Lombard, they had withdrawn their consent to their son's marriage. The young lady's attitude had hitherto been one of passive submission; she was horribly afraid of her father, and would never venture openly to oppose him; but she had made known to Ottaviano her intention of not giving him up, of waiting patiently till events should take a more favorable turn. She seemed hardly aware, the Count said with a sigh, that the means of escape lay in her own hands; that she was of age, and had a right to sell the picture, and to marry without asking her father's consent. Meanwhile her suitor spared no pains to keep