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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 Philosophy 4 by Owen Wister:

yards apart, each with his back against an apple tree. Each had his notes and took his turn at questioning the other. Thus the names of the Greek philosophers with their dates and doctrines were shouted gayly in the meadow. The foreheads of the boys were damp to-day, as they had been last night, and their shirts were opened to the air; but it was the sun that made them hot now, and no lamp or gas; and already they looked twice as alive as they had looked at breakfast. There they sat, while their memories gripped the summarized list of facts essential, facts to be known accurately; the simple, solid, raw facts, which, should they happen to come on the examination paper, no skill could evade nor any imagination supply. But this study was no longer dry and dreadful to

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Under the Red Robe by Stanley Weyman:

mercilessly. 'You talked of Clon, but Clon beside you is the most spotless, the most honourable of men!'

'Madame,' I said hoarsely--and I know that my face was grey as ashes--'let us understand one another.'

'God forbid!' she cried on the instant. 'I would not soil myself!'

'Fie! Madame,' I said, trembling. But then, you are a woman. That should cost a man his life!'

She laughed bitterly.

'You say well,' she retorted. 'I am not a man--and if you are one, thank God for it. Neither am I Madame. Madame de

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry:

are wisest. They are the magi.

End of this Project Gutenberg Etext of THE GIFT OF THE MAGI.

The Gift of the Magi
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 Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:

understood that I had a mission, that the needs of my intellect were greater than his. He looked after me, he called me his boy, he lent me money to buy books, he would come in softly sometimes to watch me at work, and took a mother's care in seeing that I had wholesome and abundant food, instead of the bad and insufficient nourishment I had been condemned to. Bourgeat, a man of about forty, had a homely, mediaeval type of face, a prominent forehead, a head that a painter might have chosen as a model for that of Lycurgus. The poor man's heart was big with affections seeking an object; he had never been loved but by a poodle that had died some time since, of which he would talk to me, asking