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Today's Stichomancy for Isaac Asimov

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain:

"Nonsense!" she exclaimed.

"He is not a bad man. I know. The whole of his unpopularity had its foundation in that one thing--the thing that made so much noise."

"That 'one thing,' indeed! As if that 'one thing' wasn't enough, all by itself."

"Plenty. Plenty. Only he wasn't guilty of it."

"How you talk! Not guilty of it! Everybody knows he WAS guilty."

"Mary, I give you my word--he was innocent."

"I can't believe it and I don't. How do you know?"

"It is a confession. I am ashamed, but I will make it. I was the


The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H. P. Lovecraft:

than he knew before, for the miners were timid and evasive about the cold desert to the north and the quarry that no man visits. They had fears of fabled emissaries from around the mountains where Leng is said to lie, and of evil presences and nameless sentinels far north among the scattered rocks. And they whispered also that the rumoured Shantak-birds are no wholesome things; it being. indeed for the best that no man has ever truly seen one (for that fabled father of Shantaks in the king's dome is fed in the dark). The next day, saying that he wished to look over all the various mines for himself and to visit the scattered


The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Vision Splendid by William MacLeod Raine:

"Maybe I've got something to say to youse, Mr. Killen."

Jeff passed out smiling. "Well, I'll not interrupt you. See you to-morrow, Sam."

Big Tim sat down heavily in a chair and pulled from his vest pocket a fat black cigar.

"Smoke, Killen?"

"No, thanks." The legislator spoke with stiff dignity.

Big Tim looked at the other man and his paunch shook with the merriment that appeared to convulse him.

"What's the matter?" snapped the mill man.

"I'm laughin' at the things I see, Killen. Man, but you're an easy

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 Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche:

number,"--no! the happiness of ENGLAND, will be best served thereby. They would like, by all means, to convince themselves that the striving after English happiness, I mean after COMFORT and FASHION (and in the highest instance, a seat in Parliament), is at the same time the true path of virtue; in fact, that in so far as there has been virtue in the world hitherto, it has just consisted in such striving. Not one of those ponderous, conscience-stricken herding-animals (who undertake to advocate the cause of egoism as conducive to the general welfare) wants to have any knowledge or inkling of the facts that the "general welfare" is no ideal, no goal, no notion that can be at all


Beyond Good and Evil