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Today's Stichomancy for Lizzie Borden

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne by Robert Louis Stevenson:

A little after, the stream that I was following fell into the Tarn at Pont de Montvert of bloody memory.

PONT DE MONTVERT

ONE of the first things I encountered in Pont de Montvert was, if I remember rightly, the Protestant temple; but this was but the type of other novelties. A subtle atmosphere distinguishes a town in England from a town in France, or even in Scotland. At Carlisle you can see you are in the one country; at Dumfries, thirty miles away, you are as sure that you are in the other. I should find it difficult to tell in what particulars Pont de Montvert differed from Monastier or Langogne, or even Bleymard; but the difference

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass:

bread is called ash cake. The surface of this peculiar bread is covered with ashes, to the depth of a sixteenth part of an inch, and the ashes, certainly, do not make it very grateful to the teeth, nor render it very palatable. The bran, or coarse part of the meal, is baked with the fine, and bright scales run through the bread. <81 THE CONTRAST>This bread, with its ashes and bran, would disgust and choke a northern man, but it is quite liked by the slaves. They eat it with avidity, and are more concerned about the quantity than about the quality. They are far too scantily provided for, and are worked too steadily, to be much concerned for the quality of their food. The few minutes allowed


My Bondage and My Freedom
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Flame and Shadow by Sara Teasdale:

When moths go to and fro, In the gray hour if the fruit has fallen, Take it, no one will know.

The Nights Remember

The days remember and the nights remember The kingly hours that once you made so great, Deep in my heart they lie, hidden in their splendor, Buried like sovereigns in their robes of state.

Let them not wake again, better to lie there, Wrapped in memories, jewelled and arrayed -- Many a ghostly king has waked from death-sleep

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 Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin:

tern, struggling against a very strong breeze, whilst, where I stood, the air was quite calm. Approaching close to the brink, where the current seemed to be deflected upwards from the face of the cliff, I stretched out my arm, and immediately felt the full force of the wind: an invisible barrier, two yards in width, separated perfectly calm air from a strong blast.

I so much enjoyed my rambles among the rocks and mountains of St. Helena, that I felt almost sorry on the morning of the 14th to descend to the town. Before noon I was on board, and the Beagle made sail.


The Voyage of the Beagle