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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 Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving:

Van Tassel, his heart yearned after the damsel who was to inherit these domains, and his imagination expanded with the idea, how they might be readily turned into cash, and the money invested in immense tracts of wild land, and shingle palaces in the wilderness. Nay, his busy fancy already realized his hopes, and presented to him the blooming Katrina, with a whole family of children, mounted on the top of a wagon loaded with household trumpery, with pots and kettles dangling beneath; and he beheld himself bestriding a pacing mare, with a colt at her heels, setting out for Kentucky, Tennessee, --or the Lord knows where!

When he entered the house, the conquest of his heart was


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:

So saying, Monsieur Dorlange rose, and after making me a rather ceremonious bow and not bestowing his hand on Monsieur de l'Estorade, who, in turn, did not hold out his own, he left the room.

"What was the matter with Armand?" asked my husband, as if to avoid any other explanation.

"Never mind Armand," I said, "it is far more interesting to know what is the matter with you; for never did I see you so out of tune, so sharp and uncivil."

"What! because I told a ridiculous candidate that he would have to go into mourning for his reputation?"

"In the first place, that was not complimentary; and in any case the

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Works of Samuel Johnson by Samuel Johnson:

but when he comes into the world among men who, arguing upon dissimilar principles, have been led to different conclusions, and being placed in various situations, view the same object on many sides; he finds his darling position attacked, and himself in no condition to defend it: having thought always in one train, he is in the state of a man who having fenced always with the same master, is perplexed and amazed by a new posture of his antagonist; he is entangled in unexpected difficulties, he is harassed by sudden objections, he is unprovided with solutions

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 Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:

turns. Although he seemed to listen to the guests, he did not hear a word that they said, he was so wrapped up in the pleasure of sitting by her side, of touching her hand, of waiting on her. He was swimming in a sea of concealed joy. Despite the eloquence of divers glances they exchanged, he was amazed at La Zambinella's continued reserve toward him. She had begun, it is true, by touching his foot with hers and stimulating his passion with the mischievous pleasure of a woman who is free and in love; but she had suddenly enveloped herself in maidenly modesty, after she had heard Sarrasine relate an incident which illustrated the extreme violence of his temper. When the supper became a debauch, the guests began to sing, inspired by the Peralta