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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 Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:

"Stay here under your care?" he asked. "It would do me no good, Padre. Temptation sticks closer to me than a brother!" and he gave that laugh of his which had disarmed severer judges than his host. "By next week I should have introduced some sin or other into your beautiful Garden of Ignorance here. It will be much safer for your flock if I go and join the other serpents at San Francisco."

Soon after breakfast the Padre had his two mules saddled, and he and his guest set forth down the hills together to the shore. And, beneath the spell and confidence of pleasant, slow riding and the loveliness of everything, the young man talked freely of himself.

"And, seriously," said he, "if I missed nothing else at Santa Ysabel, I

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Cruise of the Jasper B. by Don Marquis:

consciousness. The whole affair, as far as it concerned Cleggett, had been a matter of seconds rather than minutes; it was begun and over like a hundred yard dash on the cinder track. When George and Kuroki and Cap'n Abernethy had tumbled into the hold they had been afraid to shoot for fear of hitting Cleggett; they had reached him, guided by his voice, just as he went down under his assailant's pistol. They had not subdued the youth until he had suffered severely from George's dagger. Later they learned that one of Cleggett's bullets had also found him. Cleggett listened to the end, and then he said:

"But there WERE two men in the hold. And one of them, dead or

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:

Once again the Widow seized Frau Fischer's hands. "Kathi, too, a splendid woman; but a little pale. Perhaps the young man from Nurnberg is here again this year. How you keep them all I don't know. Each year I come expecting to find you with an empty nest. It's surprising."

Frau Hartmann, in an ashamed, apologetic voice: "We are such a happy family since my dear man died."

"But these marriages--one must have courage; and after all, give them time, they all make the happy family bigger--thank God for that...Are there many people here just now?"

"Every room engaged."

Followed a detailed description in the hall, murmured on the stairs,

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 Hidden Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac:

atmospheric gradations are carefully observed, and yet in spite of your conscientious labor I cannot believe that this beautiful body has the warm breath of life. If I put my hand on that firm, round throat I shall find it cold as marble. No, no, my friend, blood does not run beneath that ivory skin; the purple tide of life does not swell those veins, nor stir those fibres which interlace like net-work below the translucent amber of the brow and breast. This part palpitates with life, but that other part is not living; life and death jostle each other in every detail. Here, you have a woman; there, a statue; here again, a dead body. Your creation is incomplete. You have breathed only a part of your soul into the well-beloved work. The torch of