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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 Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton:

"May I assist you off with your coat, Mr. Ramy?" Evelina interposed. She could never trust Ann Eliza to remember these opening ceremonies.

"Thank you, ma'am," he replied, and taking his thread-bare over-coat and shabby hat she laid them on a chair with the gesture she imagined the lady with the puffed sleeves might make use of on similar occasions. Ann Eliza's social sense was roused, and she felt that the next act of hospitality must be hers. "Won't you suit yourself to a seat?" she suggested. "My sister will reach down the clock; but I'm sure she's all right again. She's went beautiful ever since you fixed her."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lemorne Versus Huell by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard:

"I shall say neither 'No' or 'Yes.'"

He rode on at a quick pace, and I walked homeward forgetting the sense of liberty I had started with, and proceeded straightway to Aunt Eliza.

"I have not been to church, aunt, but to walk beyond the town; it was not so nominated in the bond, but I went. The taste of freedom was so pleasant that I warn you there is danger of my 'striking.' When will you have done with Newport?"

"I am pleased with Newport now," she answered, with a curious intonation. "I like it."

"I do also."

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The King of the Golden River by John Ruskin:

and cattle, and left in their stead a waste of red sand and gray mud. The two brothers crept shivering and horror-struck into the kitchen. The water had gutted the whole first floor; corn, money, almost every movable thing, had been swept away, and there was left only a small white card on the kitchen table. On it, in large, breezy, long-legged letters, were engraved the words:

SOUTH WEST WIND, ESQUIRE

CHAPTER II

OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE THREE BROTHERS AFTER THE VISIT OF SOUTHWEST WIND, ESQUIRE; AND HOW LITTLE GLUCK HAD AN INTERVIEW

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 Margret Howth: A Story of To-day by Rebecca Harding Davis:

who came and listened sometimes, bringing a basket of undarned stockings: the doctor told him one day how fearless and skilful she was, every summer going to New Orleans when the yellow fever came. She died there the next June: but Holmes never, somehow, could realize a martyr in the cheery, freckled-faced woman whom he always remembered darning stockings in the quiet fire-light. It was very quiet; the voices about him were pleasant and low. If he had drifted from any shock of pain into a sleep like death, some of the stillness hung about him yet; but the outer life was homely and fresh and natural.

The doctor used to talk to him a little; and sometimes one or two


Margret Howth: A Story of To-day