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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 The Symposium by Xenophon:

with injustice, right and wrong cannot commingle.[7]

[6] See "Mem." IV. ii. 33.

[7] i.e. "the one excludes the other."

Well then (proceeded Callias), as soon[8] as every one has stated his peculiar merit,[9] I will make no bones of letting you into my secret. You shall learn the art by which I consummate my noble end.[10] So now, Niceratus, suppose you tell us on what knowledge you most pride yourself.

[8] Reading {emon}. Al. {umon}, "when you others."

[9] Lit. "what he has for which to claim utility."

[10] Or, "give the work completeness." Cf. Plat. "Charm." 173 A;


The Symposium
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe:

The man took the bundle carefully, and was soon lost in the crowd that went up the wharf.

When the boat, creaking, and groaning, and puffing, had loosed from the wharf, and was beginning slowly to strain herself along, the woman returned to her old seat. The trader was sitting there,--the child was gone!

"Why, why,--where?" she began, in bewildered surprise.

"Lucy," said the trader, "your child's gone; you may as well know it first as last. You see, I know'd you couldn't take him down south; and I got a chance to sell him to a first-rate family, that'll raise him better than you can."


Uncle Tom's Cabin
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Underground City by Jules Verne:

So long as the soundings had not been pushed to the granite of the primary formation, the Fords were agreed that the search, unsuccessful to-day, might succeed to-morrow, and that it ought to be resumed. They spent their whole life in endeavoring to bring Aberfoyle back to its former prosperity. If the father died before the hour of success, the son was to go on with the task alone.

It was during these excursions that Harry was more particularly struck by certain phenomena, which he vainly sought to explain. Several times, while walking along some narrow cross-alley, he seemed to hear sounds similar to those which would be produced by violent blows of a pickax against the wall.

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 What is Man? by Mark Twain:

O.M. The impulse to CONTENT HIS OWN SPIRIT--the NECESSITY of contenting his own spirit and WINNING ITS APPROVAL.

Y.M. Oh, come, that won't do!

O.M. Why won't it?

Y.M. Because it puts him in the attitude of always looking out for his own comfort and advantage; whereas an unselfish man often does a thing solely for another person's good when it is a positive disadvantage to himself.

O.M. It is a mistake. The act must do HIM good, FIRST; otherwise he will not do it. He may THINK he is doing it solely for the other person's sake, but it is not so; he is contenting


What is Man?