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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 Mansfield Park by Jane Austen:

not be so scrupulous as _I_ might feel necessary. I am sure she would argue so. No; you must excuse me; I cannot retract my consent; it is too far settled, everybody would be so disappointed, Tom would be quite angry; and if we are so very nice, we shall never act anything."

"I was just going to say the very same thing," said Mrs. Norris. "If every play is to be objected to, you will act nothing, and the preparations will be all so much money thrown away, and I am sure _that_ would be a discredit to us all. I do not know the play; but, as Maria says, if there is anything a little too warm (and it is so with most


Mansfield Park
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Return of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

stairway at the head of which they stood. There was a sudden cry from one of the searchers. They had been discovered. Quickly the crowd rushed for the stairway. The foremost assailant leaped quickly upward, but at the top he met the sudden sword that he had not expected--the quarry had been unarmed before.

With a cry, the man toppled back upon those behind him. Like tenpins they rolled down the stairs. The ancient and rickety structure could not withstand the strain of this unwonted weight and jarring. With a creaking and rending of breaking wood it collapsed beneath the Arabs, leaving


The Return of Tarzan
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Unseen World and Other Essays by John Fiske:

clutches, gratuitously went through the horrid farce of burning some one else in her stead; and that, after having thus inexplicably behaved, they further stultified themselves by letting her go scot-free, that their foolishness might be duly exposed and confuted. Such a theory is childish. If Jeanne d'Arc ever survived the 30th May, 1431, it was because she escaped from prison and succeeded in hiding herself until safer times. When could she have done this? In a sortie from Compiegne, May 24, 1430, she was thrown from her horse by a Picard archer and taken prisoner by the Bastard of Vendome, who sold her to John of Luxembourg. John kept her in close custody at Beaulieu until


The Unseen World and Other Essays
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 Another Study of Woman by Honore de Balzac:

The Commission in Lunacy Lost Illusions A Distinguished Provincial at Paris A Bachelor's Establishment The Secrets of a Princess The Government Clerks Pierrette A Study of Woman Scenes from a Courtesan's Life Honorine The Seamy Side of History