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Today's Stichomancy for Dr. Phil

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Marriage Contract by Honore de Balzac:

her investment in the Five-per-cents at once, and she can sell this house. I can get three hundred thousand francs for it by cutting the land into small lots. Out of that sum she can give you one hundred and fifty thousand francs. In this way she pays down nine hundred thousand of her daughter's patrimony, immediately. That, to be sure, is not all that she owes her daughter, but where will you find, in France, a better dowry?"

"Very good," said Maitre Mathias; "but what, then, becomes of madame?"

At this question, which appeared to imply consent, Solonet said, softly, to himself, "Well done, old fox! I've caught you!"

"Madame," he replied, aloud, "will keep the hundred and fifty thousand

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dream Life and Real Life by Olive Schreiner:

thought she was walking in a beautiful place, holding her father's hand, and they both had crowns on their heads, crowns of wild asparagus. The people whom they passed smiled and kissed her; some gave her flowers, and some gave her food, and the sunlight was everywhere. She dreamed the same dream over and over, and it grew more and more beautiful; till, suddenly, it seemed as though she were standing quite alone. She looked up: on one side of her was the high precipice, on the other was the river, with the willow trees, drooping their branches into the water; and the moonlight was over all. Up, against the night sky the pointed leaves of the kippersol trees were clearly marked, and the rocks and the willow trees cast dark shadows.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:

craftsman. Some time before the rebellion of the men of Ghent, Van Huysum, grown rich himself, had secretly carved for his friend a wall- decoration in ebony, representing the chief scenes in the life of Van Artevelde,--that brewer of Ghent who, for a brief hour, was King of Flanders. This wall-covering, of which there were no less than sixty panels, contained about fourteen hundred principal figures, and was held to be Van Huysum's masterpiece. The officer appointed to guard the burghers whom Charles V. determined to hang when he re-entered his native town, proposed, it is said, to Van Claes to let him escape if he would give him Van Huysum's great work; but the weaver had already despatched it to Douai.

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 Herbert West: Reanimator by H. P. Lovecraft:

which nothing could rouse it. West said it was not fresh enough -- the hot summer air does not favour corpses. That time we were almost caught before we incinerated the thing, and West doubted the advisability of repeating his daring misuse of the college laboratory. The peak of the epidemic was reached in August. West and I were almost dead, and Dr. Halsey did die on the 14th. The students all attended the hasty funeral on the 15th, and bought an impressive wreath, though the latter was quite overshadowed by the tributes sent by wealthy Arkham citizens and by the municipality itself. It was almost a public affair, for the dean had surely


Herbert West: Reanimator