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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 Second Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln:

contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself; and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it-- all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war--

Second Inaugural Address
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Charmides and Other Poems by Oscar Wilde:

And limb to limb in long and rapturous bliss Their passion waxed and waned, - O why essay To pipe again of love, too venturous reed! Enough, enough that Eros laughed upon that flowerless mead.

Too venturous poesy, O why essay To pipe again of passion! fold thy wings O'er daring Icarus and bid thy lay Sleep hidden in the lyre's silent strings Till thou hast found the old Castalian rill, Or from the Lesbian waters plucked drowned Sappho's golden quid!

Enough, enough that he whose life had been

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:

ahead or wheeling back, kneeling or standing, with perfect accuracy and precision, not venturing to utter a sound. Then Sun Tzu sent a messenger to the King saying: "Your soldiers, Sire, are now properly drilled and disciplined, and ready for your majesty's inspection. They can be put to any use that their sovereign may desire; bid them go through fire and water, and they will not disobey." But the King replied: "Let our general cease drilling and return to camp. As for us, We have no wish to come down and inspect the troops." Thereupon Sun Tzu said: "The King is only fond of

The Art of War
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 Purse by Honore de Balzac:

trimmed wick. Hippolyte, seeing the large mirror that decorated the chimney-piece, immediately fixed his eyes on it to admire Adelaide. Thus the girl's little stratagem only served to embarrass them both.

While talking with Madame Leseigneur, for Hippolyte called her so, on the chance of being right, he examined the room, but unobtrusively and by stealth.

The Egyptian figures on the iron fire-dogs were scarcely visible, the hearth was so heaped with cinders; two brands tried to meet in front of a sham log of fire-brick, as carefully buried as a miser's treasure could ever be. An old Aubusson carpet, very much