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Today's Stichomancy for Mark Twain

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from King Lear by William Shakespeare:

Lear. Dost thou call me fool, boy? Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with. Kent. This is not altogether fool, my lord. Fool. No, faith; lords and great men will not let me. If I had a monopoly out, they would have part on't. And ladies too, they will not let me have all the fool to myself; they'll be snatching. Give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two crowns.


King Lear
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from War and the Future by H. G. Wells:

ever-ready notebook.

There is a beauty about all these women, there is extraordinary grace in their finely adjusted movements. I have come from an after-lunch coffee upon the boulevards and from watching the ugly fashion of our time; it is a relief to be reminded that most women can after all be beautiful--if only they would not "dress." these women wear simple overalls and caps. In the cap is a rosette. Each shed has its own colour of rosette.

"There is much esprit de corps here," says M. Citroen.

"And also," he adds, showing obverse as well as reverse of the world's problem of employment and discipline, "we can see at once

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:

pale and wan, but its hues changed, and the surface took all the colors of steel. The sky was almost overspread with livid gray, but down in the west there were long narrow bars like streaks of blood; while lines of bright light in the eastern sky, sharp and clean as if drawn by the tip of a brush, were separated by folds of cloud, like the wrinkles on an old man's brow. The whole scene made a background of ashen grays and half-tints, in strong contrast to the bale-fires of the sunset. If written language might borrow of spoken language some of the bold figures of speech invented by the people, it might be said with the soldier that "the weather has been routed," or, as the peasant would say, "the sky glowered like an executioner." Suddenly a

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 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

it be otherwise? Why should a wretched man -- guilty, we will say, of murder -- prefer to keep the dead corpse buried in his own heart, rather than fling it forth at once, and let the universe take care of it!" "Yet some men bury their secrets thus," observed the calm physician. "True; there are such men," answered Mr. Dimmesdale. "But not to suggest more obvious reasons, it may be that they are kept silent by the very constitution of their nature. Or -- can we


The Scarlet Letter