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Today's Stichomancy for Edgar Allan Poe

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling:

longer to burn, and smell stinky. Let alone the smell of the room by itself. No business can get on if they try that sort of thing. The Joss doesn't like it. I can see that. Late at night, sometimes, he turns all sorts of queer colors--blue and green and red--just as he used to do when old Fung-Tching was alive; and he rolls his eyes and stamps his feet like a devil.

I don't know why I don't leave the place and smoke quietly in a little room of my own in the bazar. Most like, Tsin-ling would kill me if I went away--he draws my sixty rupees now--and besides, it's so much trouble, and I've grown to be very fond of the Gate. It's not much to look at. Not what it was in the old man's time, but I

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Damaged Goods by Upton Sinclair:

"All of that is no use--" interposed the mother.

But the doctor said to George, "You will be able to convince yourself. The parents have been forced once or twice to pay the nurse a regular income, and at other times they have had to pay her an indemnity, of which the figure has varied between three and eight thousand francs."

Madame Dupont was ready with a reply to this. "Never fear, sir! If there should be a suit, we should have a good lawyer. We shall be able to pay and choose the best--and he would demand, without doubt, which of the two, the nurse or the child, has given the disease to the other."

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy:

silent and meditative.

"What are you thinking of, little woman?" he asked curiously.

"Oh I can't tell clearly! I have thought that we have been selfish, careless, even impious, in our courses, you and I. Our life has been a vain attempt at self-delight. But self-abnegation is the higher road. We should mortify the flesh--the terrible flesh--the curse of Adam!"

"Sue!" he murmured. "What has come over you?"

"We ought to be continually sacrificing ourselves on the altar of duty! But I have always striven to do what has pleased me. I well deserved the scourging I have got! I wish something would take the evil right out of me, and all my monstrous errors, and all my sinful ways!"


Jude the Obscure
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 Sons of the Soil by Honore de Balzac:

land does not cost enough to make one sparing of it. The landscape on such free lines covers a great deal of ground. Nothing is smoothed off; rakes are unknown, ruts and ditches are full of water, frogs are tranquilly delivered of their tadpoles, the woodland flowers bloom, and the heather is as beautiful as that I have seen on your mantle- shelf in January in the elegant beau-pot sent by Florine. This mystery is intoxicating, it inspires vague desires. The forest odors, beloved of souls that are epicures of poesy, who delight in the tiny mosses, the noxious fungi, the moist mould, the willows, the balsams, the wild thyme, the green waters of a pond, the golden star of the yellow water-lily,--the breath of all such vigorous propagations came to my