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Today's Stichomancy for Ashlee Simpson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from In Darkest England and The Way Out by General William Booth:

too selfish, to spare it a thought. Only now and then, on rare occasions, when some clear voice is heard giving more articulate utterance to the miseries of the miserable men, do we pause in the regular routine of our daily duties, and shudder as we realise for one brief moment what life means to the inmates of the Slums. But one of the grimmest social problems of our time should be sternly faced, not with a view to the generation of profitless emotion, but with a view to its solution.

Is it not time? There is, it is true, an audacity in the mere suggestion that the problem is not insoluble that is enough to take away the breath. But can nothing be done? If, after full and


In Darkest England and The Way Out
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson:

than superficial observers will easily believe. Perhaps if we speak with rigorous exactness, no human mind is in its right state. There is no man whose imagination does not sometimes predominate over his reason who can regulate his attention wholly by his will, and whose ideas will come and go at his command. No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannise, and force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability. All power of fancy over reason is a degree of insanity, but while this power is such as we can control and repress it is not visible to others, nor considered as any deprivation of the mental faculties; it is not pronounced madness but when it becomes

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling:

went away to devise means for "chastening the stubborn heart of her husband." Which translated, means, in our slang, "tail-twisting."

You see, being deeply impressed with the doctrine of Original Sin, she could not believe in the face of appearances. She knew too much, and jumped to the wildest conclusions.

But it was good for her. It spoilt her life, as she had spoilt the life of the Laplaces. She had lost her faith in the Colonel, and-- here the creed-suspicion came in--he might, she argued, have erred many times, before a merciful Providence, at the hands of so unworthy an instrument as Mrs. Larkyn, had established his guilt. He was a bad, wicked, gray-haired profligate. This may sound too

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 Desert Gold by Zane Grey:

uncertainty. It was as if he had come upon something surprising. Gale wondered about the pile of stones. Had it once been a prospector's claim?

"Ugh!" grunted the Indian; and, though his exclamation expressed no satisfaction, it surely put an end to doubt. He pointed up to the roof of the sloping yellow shelf of stone. Faintly outlined there in red were the imprints of many human hands with fingers spread wide. Gale had often seen such paintings on the walls of the desert caverns. Manifestly these told Yaqui he had come to the spot for which he had aimed.

Then his actions became swift--and Yaqui seldom moved swiftly.


Desert Gold