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Today's Stichomancy for Ricky Martin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Seraphita by Honore de Balzac:

generations made as many and as vain efforts to deny Matter as the materialist generations have made to deny Spirit. Why such discussions? Does not man himself offer irrefragable proof of both systems? Do we not find in him material things and spiritual things? None but a madman can refuse to see in the human body a fragment of Matter; your natural sciences, when they decompose it, find little difference between its elements and those of other animals. On the other hand, the idea produced in man by the comparison of many objects has never seemed to any one to belong to the domain of Matter. As to this, I offer no opinion. I am now concerned with your doubts, not with my certainties. To you, as to the majority of thinkers, the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Children of the Night by Edwin Arlington Robinson:

Horace to Leuconoe

I pray you not, Leuconoe, to pore With unpermitted eyes on what may be Appointed by the gods for you and me, Nor on Chaldean figures any more. 'T were infinitely better to implore The present only: -- whether Jove decree More winters yet to come, or whether he Make even this, whose hard, wave-eaten shore Shatters the Tuscan seas to-day, the last -- Be wise withal, and rack your wine, nor fill

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Complete Angler by Izaak Walton:

not now subsist. How does it not only furnish us with food and physick for the bodies, but with such observations for the mind as ingenious persons would not want!

How ignorant had we been of the beauty of Florence, of the monuments, urns, and rarities that yet remain in and near unto old and new Rome, so many as it is said will take up a year's time to view, and afford to each of them but a convenient consideration! And therefore it is not to be wondered at, that so learned and devout a father as St. Jerome, after his wish to have seen Christ in the flesh, and to have heard St. Paul preach, makes his third wish, to have seen Rome in her glory; and that glory is not yet all lost, for what pleasure is it to see the

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 On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:

observations it seemed to me probable that a careful study of domesticated animals and of cultivated plants would offer the best chance of making out this obscure problem. Nor have I been disappointed; in this and in all other perplexing cases I have invariably found that our knowledge, imperfect though it be, of variation under domestication, afforded the best and safest clue. I may venture to express my conviction of the high value of such studies, although they have been very commonly neglected by naturalists.

From these considerations, I shall devote the first chapter of this Abstract to Variation under Domestication. We shall thus see that a large amount of hereditary modification is at least possible, and, what is

On the Origin of Species