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Today's Stichomancy for Ambrose Bierce

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Ion by Plato:

divine. Had he learned by rules of art, he would have known how to speak not of one theme only, but of all; and therefore God takes away the minds of poets, and uses them as his ministers, as he also uses diviners and holy prophets, in order that we who hear them may know them to be speaking not of themselves who utter these priceless words in a state of unconsciousness, but that God himself is the speaker, and that through them he is conversing with us. And Tynnichus the Chalcidian affords a striking instance of what I am saying: he wrote nothing that any one would care to remember but the famous paean which is in every one's mouth, one of the finest poems ever written, simply an invention of the Muses, as he himself says. For in this way the God would seem to indicate to us and not allow

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:

But now he throws that shallow habit by, Wherein deep policy did him disguise; And arm'd his long-hid wits advisedly, To check the tears in Collatinus' eyes. 'Thou wronged lord of Rome,' quoth he, 'arise; Let my unsounded self, suppos'd a fool, Now set thy long-experienc'd wit to school.

'Why, Collatine, is woe the cure for woe? Do wounds help wounds, or grief help grievous deeds? Is it revenge to give thyself a blow, For his foul act by whom thy fair wife bleeds?

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe:

sense, yet I suppose you are but in jest when you talk of giving such an answer as that; it may not be convenient on many accounts.'

'No, no,' says I pleasantly, 'I am not so fond of letting the secret come out without your consent.'

'But what, then, can you say to him, or to them,' says he, 'when they find you positive against a match which would be apparently so much to your advantage?' 'Why,' says I, 'should I be at a loss? First of all, I am not obliged to give me any reason at all; on the other hand, I may


Moll Flanders