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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 Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche:

diabolical Anglomania of "modern ideas," the AME FRANCAIS has in the end become so thin and emaciated, that at present one recalls its sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, its profound, passionate strength, its inventive excellency, almost with disbelief. One must, however, maintain this verdict of historical justice in a determined manner, and defend it against present prejudices and appearances: the European NOBLESSE--of sentiment, taste, and manners, taking the word in every high sense--is the work and invention of FRANCE; the European ignobleness, the plebeianism of modern ideas--is ENGLAND'S work and invention.

254. Even at present France is still the seat of the most


Beyond Good and Evil
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Symposium by Plato:

I not only permit, but exhort you to speak the truth.

Then I will begin at once, said Alcibiades, and if I say anything which is not true, you may interrupt me if you will, and say 'that is a lie,' though my intention is to speak the truth. But you must not wonder if I speak any how as things come into my mind; for the fluent and orderly enumeration of all your singularities is not a task which is easy to a man in my condition.

And now, my boys, I shall praise Socrates in a figure which will appear to him to be a caricature, and yet I speak, not to make fun of him, but only for the truth's sake. I say, that he is exactly like the busts of Silenus, which are set up in the statuaries' shops, holding pipes and flutes in

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Middlemarch by George Eliot:

fully informed of Mr. Farebrother's character and position."

"By his enemies," flashed out Mr. Hawley.

"I trust there is no personal hostility concerned here," said Mr. Thesiger.

"I'll swear there is, though," retorted Mr. Hawley.

"Gentlemen," said Mr. Bulstrode, in a subdued tone, "the merits of the question may be very briefly stated, and if any one present doubts that every gentleman who is about to give his vote has not been fully informed, I can now recapitulate the considerations that should weigh on either side."

"I don't see the good of that," said Mr. Hawley. "I suppose we all


Middlemarch
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 The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare:

[PETRUCHIO and KATHERINA advance.]

KATHERINA. Husband, let's follow to see the end of this ado.

PETRUCHIO. First kiss me, Kate, and we will.

KATHERINA. What! in the midst of the street?

PETRUCHIO. What! art thou ashamed of me?

KATHERINA. No, sir; God forbid; but ashamed to kiss.


The Taming of the Shrew