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Today's Stichomancy for B. F. Skinner

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:

place where there had once been a spring. 'There used to be a feeble spring of living water which flowed quietly from me and through me. That was true life, the time when she tempted me!' (He always thought with ecstasy of that night and of her who was now Mother Agnes.) She had tasted of that pure water, but since then there had not been time for it to collect before thirsty people came crowding in and pushing one another aside. And they had trampled everything down and nothing was left but mud.

So he thought in rare moments of lucidity, but his usual state of mind was one of weariness and a tender pity for himself because of that weariness.

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Poor and Proud by Oliver Optic:

My young readers may have supposed that Katy and her mother had gathered a great deal of money in the candy trade. It was not so, for as the business increased, and Katy's labors as a saleswoman were withdrawn, the expenses increased, and the profits were proportionally less. And then, neither Mrs. Redburn nor her daughter had a faculty for saving up much money; so that, though they made considerable, their prosperity permitted new demands to be made upon the purse. They hired two more rooms; they replaced the clothing and furniture which had been sacrificed under the pressure of actual want, and they lived better than they had lived before; and Mrs. Redburn had availed herself of

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain:

was out of his mind. Still, suspicion was in the air, and there was much talk.

After a day or two it was reported that Mrs. Richards's delirious deliveries were getting to be duplicates of her husband's. Suspicion flamed up into conviction, now, and the town's pride in the purity of its one undiscredited important citizen began to dim down and flicker toward extinction.

Six days passed, then came more news. The old couple were dying. Richards's mind cleared in his latest hour, and he sent for Burgess. Burgess said:

"Let the room be cleared. I think he wishes to say something in


The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg