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Today's Stichomancy for B. F. Skinner

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Mistress Wilding by Rafael Sabatini:

air. He rose to his feet, sinking almost to the top of his boots in the oozy slime. Foul gases were belched up to. envelop him. He seized at irregularities in the bank, and got his head above the level of the ground. He thrust forward his chin and took great greedy breaths in a very gluttony of air - and never came Muscadine sweeter to a drunkard's lips. He laughed softly to himself. He was alone and safe. Wentworth and his men had disappeared. Away in the direction of Penzoy Pound the sounds of battle swelled ever to a greater volume. Cannons were booming now, and all was uproar - flame and shouting, cheering and shrieking, the thunder of hastening multitudes, the clash of steel, the pounding of horses, all blent to make up the horrid din of carnage.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Mosses From An Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

sum in this particular stock, and a man's business was seldom very lucrative unless he knew precisely when and how to throw his hoard of conscience into the market. Yet as this stock was the only thing of permanent value, whoever parted with it was sure to find himself a loser in the long run. Several of the speculations were of a questionable character. Occasionally a member of Congress recruited his pocket by the sale of his constituents; and I was assured that public officers have often sold their country at very moderate prices. Thousands sold their happiness for a whim. Gilded chains were in great demand, and purchased with almost any sacrifice. In truth, those who desired, according

Mosses From An Old Manse
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Damaged Goods by Upton Sinclair:

"I will put you out myself!" shouted George, and seized her by the arm again.

"Oh, it's like that, is it?" retorted the nurse. "Then you really want me to tell you why I am going away?"

"Yes, tell me!" cried he.

His mother added, "Yes, yes!"

She would have spoken differently had she chanced to look behind her and seen Henriette, who at that moment appeared in the doorway. She had been about to go out, when her attention had been caught by the loud voices. She stood now, amazed, clasping her hands together, while the nurse, shaking her fist first at

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 Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Bronte Sisters:

'But why leave me?' I said. 'I can go with you: I can be ready at any time.'

'You would not take that child to town?'

'Yes; why not?'

The thing was absurd: the air of the town would be certain to disagree with him, and with me as a nurse; the late hours and London habits would not suit me under such circumstances; and altogether he assured me that it would be excessively troublesome, injurious, and unsafe. I over-ruled his objections as well as I could, for I trembled at the thoughts of his going alone, and would sacrifice almost anything for myself, much even for my child, to

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall