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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 Marie by H. Rider Haggard:

Oh! I have come out to tell you what I think of you. You are a stinkcat; do you hear that? A thing that no dog would bite if he could help it! You are a traitor also. You brought us to this cursed country, where you said your relatives would give us wealth and land, and then, after famine and fever attacked us, you rode away, and left us to die to save your own dirty skin. And now you come back here for help, saved by him whom you cheated in the Goose Kloof, by him whose true love you have tried to steal. Oh, mein Gott! why does the Almighty leave such fellows alive, while so many that are good and honest and innocent lie beneath the soil because of stinkcats like you?"

So she went on, striding at the side of the pack-ox, and reviling

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Hermione's Little Group of Serious Thinkers by Don Marquis:

sarcasm, don't you think?

And Papa is an Earth Person entirely. I've got his horoscope. He isn't AT ALL spiritual.

But you can image that the whole scene was FRIGHTFULLY embarrassing to me -- I will NEVER forgive Papa!

And I haven't made up my mind AT ALL about Fothy. But what I do know is this: once I get my mind made up, I WILL NOT stand for opposition form ANY source.

One must be an Individualist, or perish!


The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost:

without being in the slightest degree disconcerted, that as she had been so fortunate as to fall in with me at Amiens, she would not go into the convent until the next morning, in order to have the pleasure of meeting me at supper. Innocent as I was, I at once comprehended the meaning of this ruse; and proposed that she should lodge for the night at the house of an innkeeper, who, after being many years my father's coachman, had lately established himself at Amiens, and who was sincerely attached to me.

"I conducted her there myself, at which the old Argus appeared to grumble a little; and my friend Tiberge, who was puzzled by

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 Underdogs by Mariano Azuela:

stood against the pale clear dawn, exhibiting his well-built slender body and his officer's cape bellying in the breeze.

"Ha, I remember our coup d'etat!"

His military career had consisted of the single adven- ture when, together with other students of the Officers' School, he was involved in the treacherous revolt of Feliz Diaz and Huerta against President Madero. When- ever the slightest insubordination arose, he invariably re- called his feat at the Ciudadela.

"Lieutenant Campos," he ordered emphatically, "take a dozen men and wipe out the bandits hiding there! The

The Underdogs