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Today's Stichomancy for Mark Twain

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Songs of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:

- See, rather, London, on thy bridge The pale battalions trample by, Resolved to slay, resigned to die. Count, rather, all the maimed and dead In the unbrotherly war of bread. See, rather, under sultrier skies What vegetable Londons rise,

And teem, and suffer without sound: Or in your tranquil garden ground, Contented, in the falling gloom, Saunter and see the roses bloom.

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

to the mainland, was no other than a foot-path. It straggled onward into the mystery of the primeval forest. This hemmed it in so narrowly, and stood so black and dense on either side, and disclosed such imperfect glimpses of the sky above, that, to Hester's mind, it imaged not amiss the moral wilderness in which she had so long been wandering. The day was chill and sombre. Overhead was a gray expanse of cloud, slightly stirred, however, by a breeze; so that a gleam of flickering sunshine might now and then be seen at its solitary play along the path. This flitting cheerfulness was always at the further extremity of some long vista through the forest. The sportive sunlight -- feebly


The Scarlet Letter
The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy:

white waste, and hearing only the whistle of the wind about the horse's ears and his coat collar.

Suddenly a dark patch showed up in front of him. His heart beat with joy, and he rode towards the object, already seeing in imagination the walls of village houses. But the dark patch was not stationary, it kept moving; and it was not a village but some tall stalks of wormwood sticking up through the snow on the boundary between two fields, and desperately tossing about under the pressure of the wind which beat it all to one side and whistled through it. The sight of that wormwood tormented by the pitiless wind made Vasili Andreevich shudder,


Master and Man