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Today's Stichomancy for Moby

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Simple Soul by Gustave Flaubert:

they saw a huge syringe. There was not a tree in the yard that did not have mushrooms growing around its foot, or a bunch of mistletoe hanging in its branches. Several of the trees had been blown down, but they had started to grow in the middle and all were laden with quantities of apples. The thatched roofs, which were of unequal thickness, looked like brown velvet and could resist the fiercest gales. But the wagon-shed was fast crumbling to ruins. Madame Aubain said that she would attend to it, and then gave orders to have the horses saddled.

It took another thirty minutes to reach Trouville. The little caravan dismounted in order to pass Les Ecores, a cliff that overhangs the


A Simple Soul
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Theaetetus by Plato:

Theaetetus is delighted with this explanation. But Socrates has no sooner found the new solution than he sinks into a fit of despondency. For an objection occurs to him:--May there not be errors where there is no confusion of mind and sense? e.g. in numbers. No one can confuse the man whom he has in his thoughts with the horse which he has in his thoughts, but he may err in the addition of five and seven. And observe that these are purely mental conceptions. Thus we are involved once more in the dilemma of saying, either that there is no such thing as false opinion, or that a man knows what he does not know.

We are at our wit's end, and may therefore be excused for making a bold diversion. All this time we have been repeating the words 'know,'

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dust by Mr. And Mrs. Haldeman-Julius:

all like a lot of hens in a backyard, scratching so many hours a day. Some scratch a little deeper than those who aren't so skilled or so strong. And when I stand off a little, it's all alike. The end is as blind and senseless as the beginning on this farm--drought and dust."

Martin closed his eyes wearily and gave a deep sigh. To his wife's quickened ears, it was charged with lingering regret for frustrated plans and palpitant with his consciousness of life's evanescence and of the futility of his own success.

She waited patiently for him to continue his instructions, but the opiates had begun to take effect and Martin lapsed into

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 Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:

into his head to send this gentleman to talk to Margaritis!"

"What in the world did you say to each other, my dear, good Monsieur?" said the wife. "Why, he's crazy!"

"He sold me two casks of wine."

"Did you buy them?"

"Yes."

"But that is his delusion; he thinks he sells his wine, and he hasn't any."

"Ha!" snorted the traveller, "then I'll go straight to Monsieur Vernier and thank him."

And Gaudissart departed, boiling over with rage, to shake the ex-dyer,