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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Vonnegut

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen:

"A great and increasing one," replied the other, in a low voice. "I was only thirteen when it happened; and though I felt my loss perhaps as strongly as one so young could feel it, I did not, I could not, then know what a loss it was." She stopped for a moment, and then added, with great firmness, "I have no sister, you know--and though Henry--though my brothers are very affectionate, and Henry is a great deal here, which I am most thankful for, it is impossible for me not to be often solitary."

"To be sure you must miss him very much."


Northanger Abbey
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honore de Balzac:

desire. And what could one think of a woman, having no lover, who should have known how to resist a young man armed with beauty which is the intelligence of the body, with intelligence which is a grace of the soul, armed with moral force and fortune, which are the only two real powers? Yet, in triumphing with such ease, De Marsay was bound to grow weary of his triumphs; thus, for about two years he had grown very weary indeed. And diving deep into the sea of pleasures he brought back more grit than pearls. Thus had he come, like potentates, to implore of Chance some obstacle to surmount, some enterprise which should ask the employment of his dormant moral and physical strength. Although Paquita Valdes presented him with a marvelous concentration


The Girl with the Golden Eyes
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Rescue by Joseph Conrad:

followed Mrs. Travers into her cabin.

It was pitch dark in there. He could see absolutely nothing and was oppressed by the profound stillness unstirred even by the sound of breathing.

"I am going on shore," he began, breaking the black and deathlike silence enclosing him and the invisible woman. "I wanted to say good-bye."

"You are going on shore," repeated Mrs. Travers. Her voice was emotionless, blank, unringing.

"Yes, for a few hours, or for life," Lingard said in measured tones. "I may have to die with them or to die maybe for others.


The Rescue
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 Enchanted Island of Yew by L. Frank Baum:

Among the wonderful things that the Red Rogue's former master, the wise scholar and magician, had made were two large enchanted mirrors, which were set on each side of the great hallway of the castle. Heavy curtains were drawn over the surfaces of these mirrors, because they both possessed a dreadful magical power. For whenever any one looked into one of them his reflection was instantly caught and imprisoned in the mirror, and his body at the same time became invisible to all earthly eyes, only the mirror retaining his form.

While considering a way to prevent the prince from freeing the Lady Seseley, the Red Rogue happened to think of these mirrors, which had never yet been used. So he went stealthily into the great hall and


The Enchanted Island of Yew