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Today's Stichomancy for Eddie Murphy

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:

He is a very stout, elderly man, with a puffy and discolored face. His fatness is unpleasant, flabby-looking, and he is sallow as people are who drink too much and sleep irregularly.

"And now we might have a second glass," says Malahin. "It's cold now, it's no sin to drink. Please take some. So I can rely upon you, Mr. Guard, that there will be no hindrance or unpleasantness for the rest of the journey. For you know in moving cattle every hour is precious. To-day meat is one price; and to-morrow, look you, it will be another. If you are a day or two late and don't get your price, instead of a profit you get home -- excuse my saying it -- with out your breeches. Pray take a little. . . .


The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Herbert West: Reanimator by H. P. Lovecraft:

growing somewhat louder. When we reached the door I cautiously unbolted it and threw it open, and as the moon streamed revealingly down on the form silhouetted there, West did a peculiar thing. Despite the obvious danger of attracting notice and bringing down on our heads the dreaded police investigation -- a thing which after all was mercifully averted by the relative isolation of our cottage -- my friend suddenly, excitedly, and unnecessarily emptied all six chambers of his revolver into the nocturnal visitor.

For that visitor was neither Italian nor policeman. Looming hideously against the spectral moon was a gigantic misshapen thing not to be imagined save in nightmares -- a glassy-eyed, ink-black


Herbert West: Reanimator
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:

do you think, Winnie?" She hung back. The passionate expostulations of the big-faced cabman seemed to be squeezed out of a blocked throat. Leaning over from his box, he whispered with mysterious indignation. What was the matter now? Was it possible to treat a man so? His enormous and unwashed countenance flamed red in the muddy stretch of the street. Was it likely they would have given him a licence, he inquired desperately, if -

The police constable of the locality quieted him by a friendly glance; then addressing himself to the two women without marked consideration, said:

"He's been driving a cab for twenty years. I never knew him to


The Secret Agent
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 Lysis by Plato:

easily slips in and permeates our souls. For I affirm that the good is the beautiful. You will agree to that?

Yes.

This I say from a sort of notion that what is neither good nor evil is the friend of the beautiful and the good, and I will tell you why I am inclined to think so: I assume that there are three principles--the good, the bad, and that which is neither good nor bad. You would agree--would you not?

I agree.

And neither is the good the friend of the good, nor the evil of the evil, nor the good of the evil;--these alternatives are excluded by the previous argument; and therefore, if there be such a thing as friendship or love at


Lysis