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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 Of The Nature of Things by Lucretius:

And earth created out of rain, and then That all, reversely, are returned from earth- The moisture first, then air thereafter heat- And that these same ne'er cease in interchange, To go their ways from heaven to earth, from earth Unto the stars of the aethereal world- Which in no wise at all the germs can do. Since an immutable somewhat still must be, Lest all things utterly be sped to naught; For change in anything from out its bounds Means instant death of that which was before.


Of The Nature of Things
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Under the Andes by Rex Stout:

understood me; he turned and disappeared without a sign--at least, without an audible one.

But the creature possessed intelligence, for I had barely had time to turn to Harry and ascertain that he was at least alive, when the patter of returning footsteps was heard. They approached; there was the clatter of stone on the ground beside us.

I stood eagerly; a platter, heaped, and a vessel, full! I think I cried out with joy.

"Come, Harry lad; eat!"

He was too weak to move; but when I tore some of the dried fish into fragments and fed it to him he devoured it ravenously.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Wheels of Chance by H. G. Wells:

"If I could only help you," she said, and left an eloquent hiatus. He became pensive again.

"It's pretty evident you don't think much of a draper," he said abruptly.

Another interval. "Hundreds of men," she said, "have come from the very lowest ranks of life. There was Burns, a ploughman; and Hugh Miller, a stonemason; and plenty of others. Dodsley was a footman--"

"But drapers! We're too sort of shabby genteel to rise. Our coats and cuffs might get crumpled--"

"Wasn't there a Clarke who wrote theology? He was a draper."

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 Rewards and Fairies by Rudyard Kipling:

of the faggot and took out a dormouse's wonderfully woven nest of grass and leaves. His blunt fingers parted it as if it had been precious lace, and tilting it toward the last of the light he showed the little, red, furry chap curled up inside, his tail between his eyes that were shut for their winter sleep.

'Let's take him home. Don't breathe on him,' said Una. 'It'll make him warm and he'll wake up and die straight off. Won't he, Hobby?'

'Dat's a heap better by my reckonin' than wakin' up and findin' himself in a cage for life. No! We'll lay him into the bottom o' this hedge. Dat's jus' right! No more trouble for him till come Spring.