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Today's Stichomancy for Michael York

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Island Nights' Entertainments by Robert Louis Stevenson:

A little farther on I found the best curiosity of the museum. The first I saw of it was a longish mound of earth with a twist to it. Digging off the earth with my hands, I found underneath tarpaulin stretched on boards, so that this was plainly the roof of a cellar. It stood right on the top of the hill, and the entrance was on the far side, between two rocks, like the entrance to a cave. I went as far in as the bend, and, looking round the corner, saw a shining face. It was big and ugly, like a pantomime mask, and the brightness of it waxed and dwindled, and at times it smoked.

"Oho!" says I, "luminous paint!"

And I must say I rather admired the man's ingenuity. With a box of

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:

lighted torch, which shall blot out from the remembrance of men a long train of prophecies which they have foretold against thee. I once thought not so. Once, I was blind; but now the path of life is plain before me, and my sight is clear; yet, Elfonzo, return to thy worldly occupation--take again in thy hand that chord of sweet sounds-- struggle with the civilized world and with your own heart; fly swiftly to the enchanted ground--let the night-OWL send forth its screams from the stubborn oak--let the sea sport upon the beach, and the stars sing together; but learn of these, Elfonzo, thy doom, and thy hiding-place. Our most innocent as well as our most lawful DESIRES must often be denied us, that we may learn to sacrifice them

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from An Unsocial Socialist by George Bernard Shaw:

monarch? We deny him all privacy; he may not marry whom he chooses, consort with whom he prefers, dress according to his taste, or live where he pleases. I don't believe he may even eat or drink what he likes best; a taste for tripe and onions on his part would provoke a remonstrance from the Privy Council. We dictate everything except his thoughts and dreams, and even these he must keep to himself if they are not suitable, in our opinion, to his condition. The work we impose on him has all the hardship of mere task work; it is unfruitful, incessant, monotonous, and has to be transacted for the most part with nervous bores. We make his kingdom a treadmill to him, and drive him to and fro on

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 Confessio Amantis by John Gower:

Sche cleped him and bad abide; And he his horse heved aside Tho torneth, and to hire he rod, And there he hoveth and abod, To wite what sche wolde mene. And sche began him to bemene, 1540 And seide: "Florent be thi name, Thou hast on honde such a game, That bot thou be the betre avised, Thi deth is schapen and devised, That al the world ne mai the save,


Confessio Amantis