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Today's Stichomancy for Ray Bradbury

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Out of Time's Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

thus most of us reason; not by what might be possible; but by what has fallen within the range of our experience.

What he heard them say was to the effect that having covered half the distance the burden would now be transferred from one to the other. Bradley wondered how the exchange was to be accomplished. He knew that those giant wings would not permit the creatures to approach one another closely enough to effect the transfer in this manner; but he was soon to discover that they had other means of doing it.

He felt the thing that carried him rise to a greater altitude, and below he glimpsed momentarily the second white-robed figure;


Out of Time's Abyss
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:

forehead, from which his long, dark hair was combed straight back, falling behind his ears to the collar of his well fitting frock coat. He wore a moustache and pointed beard, but no whiskers; his eyes were large and dark gray, and had a kindly expression which one would hardly have expected in one whose neck was in the hemp. Evidently this was no vulgar assassin. The liberal military code makes provision for hanging many kinds of persons, and gentlemen are not excluded.

The preparations being complete, the two private soldiers stepped aside and each drew away the plank upon which he had


An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Damaged Goods by Upton Sinclair:

as good as he should have been; he said that her purity and sweetness had awakened in him new ideals; so that he felt his old life had been full of blunders. Henriette, of course, had but the vaguest of ideas as to what the blunders of a tender and generous young man like George might be. So she only loved him the more for his humility, and was flattered to have such a fine effect upon him, to awaken in him such moods of exaltation. When he told her that all men were bad, and that no man was worthy of such a beautiful love, she was quite ravished, and wiped away tears from her eyes.

It would have been a shame to spoil such a heavenly mood by

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 Essays & Lectures by Oscar Wilde:

and here the progression stops.

For Aristotle, like all Greek thinkers, found his ideal within the walls of the [Greek text which cannot be reproduced], yet perhaps in his remark that a united Greece would rule the world we may discern some anticipation of that 'federal union of free states into one consolidated empire' which, more than the [Greek text which cannot be reproduced], is to our eyes the ultimately perfect polity.

How far Aristotle was justified in regarding the family as the ultimate unit, with the materials afforded to him by Greek literature, I have already noticed. Besides, Aristotle, I may