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Today's Stichomancy for Natalie Imbruglia

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed by Edna Ferber:

coming home from the office after a dickens of a day, and there was a smudge on the end of your nose, and he told you of it, laughing. But you didn't laugh. You rubbed it off, furiously, and you wanted to cry. Cry! You, Dawn O'Hara! Begorra! 'Tis losin' your sense av humor you're after doin'! Get to work."

After which I would fall upon the book in a furious, futile fashion, writing many incoherent, irrelevant paragraphs which I knew would be cast aside as worthless on the sane and reasoning to-morrow.

Oh, it had been easy enough to talk of love in a

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

delicate fictile vase of the Greek, with its exquisitely painted figures and the faint [Greek text which cannot be reproduced] finely traced upon its side, and behind it hangs an engraving of the 'Delphic Sibyl' of Michael Angelo, or of the 'Pastoral' of Giorgione. Here is a bit of Florentine majolica, and here a rude lamp from some old Roman tomb. On the table lies a book of Hours, 'cased in a cover of solid silver gilt, wrought with quaint devices and studded with small brilliants and rubies,' and close by it 'squats a little ugly monster, a Lar, perhaps, dug up in the sunny fields of corn-bearing Sicily.' Some dark antique bronzes contrast with the pale gleam of two noble CHRISTI CRUCIFIXI, one carved in

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum:

Daemon of Repentance to take his place.

This last personage was not so disagreeable as the others. He had gentle and refined features, and his voice was soft and pleasant in tone.

"My brother Daemons do not trust me overmuch," said he, as he entered the cavern; "but it is morning, now, and the mischief is done. You cannot visit the children again for another year."

"That is true," answered Santa Claus, almost cheerfully; "Christmas Eve is past, and for the first time in centuries I have not visited my children."

"The little ones will be greatly disappointed," murmured the Daemon of Repentance, almost regretfully; "but that cannot be helped now. Their


A Kidnapped Santa Claus
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 Little Rivers by Henry van Dyke:

better carry it back to the bookseller, and get your money again, if he will give it to you, and go your way rejoicing after your own melancholy fashion.

But if you care for plain pleasures, and informal company, and friendly observations on men and things, (and a few true fish- stories,) then perhaps you may find something here not unworthy your perusal. And so I wish that your winter fire may burn clear and bright while you read these pages; and that the summer days may be fair, and the fish may rise merrily to your fly, whenever you follow one of these little rivers.

1895.