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Today's Stichomancy for Rebecca Gayheart

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:

with a curiosity of their impulses, motives, capacities, weaknesses, when brought to the test of an inexorable physical necessity. Restraint! What possible restraint? Was it superstition, disgust, patience, fear--or some kind of primitive honour? No fear can stand up to hunger, no patience can wear it out, disgust simply does not exist where hunger is; and as to superstition, beliefs, and what you may call principles, they are less than chaff in a breeze. Don't you know the devilry of lingering starvation, its exasperating torment, its black thoughts, its sombre and brooding ferocity? Well, I do. It takes a man all his inborn strength to fight hunger properly.


Heart of Darkness
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

heaviness which had crept into his voice.

Beside that real trouble Dick's looked dim and nebulous. Other things could be set right; there was always a fighting chance. It was only death that was final.

Elizabeth went to the station to see him off, a small slim thing in a black frock, with eyes that persistently sought his face, and a determined smile. He pulled her arm through his, so he might hold her hand, and when he found that she was wearing her ring he drew her even closer, with a wave of passionate possession.

"You are mine. My little girl."

"I am yours. For ever and ever."


The Breaking Point
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Symposium by Xenophon:

[33] Or, "resolute exercise of the whole body." See Aristot. "Pol." viii. 4. 9; "Rhet." i. 5. 14.

[34] Or, "be dependent on a fellow-gymnast." "Pol. Lac." ix. 5; Plat. "Soph." 218 B; "Laws," 830 B; "Symp." 217 B, C.

[35] Or, "to strip in puiblic when my hair turns gray." Socrates was (421 B.C.) about 50, but is pictured, I think, as an oldish man.

[36] See Aristot. "H. A." ix. 45. 1; "Econ." viii. 13.

[37] Passage referred to by Diog. Laert. ii. 5. 15; Lucian, "de Salt." 25; Plut. "Praec. San." 496.

[38] "Take my exercise."

[39] Zeune cf. Max. Tyr. "Diss." vii. 9; xxxix. 5.


The Symposium
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 Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:

but you'll never know it."

"Never know it?" Boyne pulled her up. "But what in the world constitutes a ghost except the fact of its being known for one?"

"I can't say. But that's the story."

"That there's a ghost, but that nobody knows it's a ghost?"

"Well--not till afterward, at any rate."

"Till afterward?"

"Not till long, long afterward."

"But if it's once been identified as an unearthly visitant, why hasn't its signalement been handed down in the family? How has it managed to preserve its incognito?"