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Today's Stichomancy for Benjamin Franklin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Of The Nature of Things by Lucretius:

But sunder earth's whole ocean from the lands, And hold all heaven from the lands away.


Now come, this wisdom by my sweet toil sought Look thou perceive, lest haply thou shouldst guess That the white objects shining to thine eyes Are gendered of white atoms, or the black Of a black seed; or yet believe that aught That's steeped in any hue should take its dye From bits of matter tinct with hue the same. For matter's bodies own no hue the least-

Of The Nature of Things
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Heart of the West by O. Henry:

oats at Ballinger's.

While the mules were eating from their feed bags old man Ballinger brought out the mail sack and threw it into the wagon.

Fritz Bergmann was a man of three sentiments--or to be more accurate-- four, the pair of mules deserving to be reckoned individually. Those mules were the chief interest and joy of his existence. Next came the Emperor of Germany and Lena Hildesmuller.

"Tell me," said Fritz, when he was ready to start, "contains the sack a letter to Frau Hildesmuller from the little Lena at the quarries? One came in the last mail to say that she is a little sick, already. Her mamma is very anxious to hear again."

Heart of the West
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Octopus by Frank Norris:

a little earlier than usual, found the apparently familiar figure waiting for her. All unsuspecting she gave herself to the embrace of a strange pair of arms, and Vanamee arriving but a score of moments later, stumbled over her prostrate body, inert and unconscious, in the shadow of the overspiring trees.

Who was the Other? Angele was carried to her home on the Seed ranch, delirious, all but raving, and Vanamee, with knife and revolver ready, ranged the country-side like a wolf. He was not alone. The whole county rose, raging, horror-struck. Posse after posse was formed, sent out, and returned, without so much as a clue. Upon no one could even the shadow of suspicion be

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 Lin McLean by Owen Wister:

said his name was, and to whom you owed nothing, perhaps, but a trifling poker debt. Hence it came to pass that headboards grew into a sort of directory. They were light to lift from one place to another. A single coat of white paint would wipe out the first tenant's name sufficiently to paint over it the next comer's. By this thrifty habit the original boards belonging to the soldiers could go round, keeping pace with the new civilian population; and though at first sight you might be puzzled by the layers of names still visible beneath the white paint, you could be sure that the clearest and blackest was the one to which the present tenant had answered.

So there on the hill lay the graveyard, steadily writing Drybone's