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Today's Stichomancy for Ambrose Bierce

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

Wherefore Tullia never enters into explanations; she understands the sovereign woman's reason to admiration.

" 'People made a good deal of fun of Cursy,' said she; 'but, as a matter of fact, he found this house in the eighteenth century rouge- box, powder, puffs, and spangles. He would never have thought of it but for me,' she added, burying herself in the cushions in her fireside corner.

"She delivered herself thus on her return from a first night. Du Bruel's piece had succeeded, and she foresaw an avalanche of criticisms. Tullia had her At Homes. Every Monday she gave a tea- party; her society was as select as might be, and she neglected

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Finished by H. Rider Haggard:

Water to where their home will be, and I wish to attend to my affairs?"

"I do not know what I expect, Macumazahn, but I do know that never while I live will I be parted from the lady Heddana. At last I have found some one to love, and you and the other would steal her away from me."

I studied her for a while, then asked--

"Why do you not marry, Nombe, and have a husband, and children to love?"

"Marry?" she replied. "I am married to my Spirit which does not dwell beneath the sun, and my children are not of earth;

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter:

was opened, and Pigling was lifted out. He looked up, blinking, and saw an offensively ugly elderly man, grinning from ear to ear.

"This one's come of himself, whatever," said Mr. Piperson, turning Pigling's pockets inside out. He pushed the hamper into a corner, threw a sack over it to keep the hens quiet, put a pot on the fire, and unlaced his boots.

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 Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso:

That sacred virgin from the serpent old, If on thine altars I have offerings placed, And sacrificed myrrh, frankincense and gold, On this poor child thy heavenly looks down cast, With gracious eye this silly babe behold;' This said, her strength and living sprite was fled, She sighed, she groaned, she swooned in her bed.

XXIX "Weeping I took thee, in a little chest, Covered with herbs and leaves, I brought thee out So secretly, that none of all the rest