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Today's Stichomancy for Steve Martin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy:

Vasili Andreevich got up and lay down again some twenty times. It seemed to him that the night would never end. 'It must be getting near morning,' he thought, getting up and looking around. 'Let's have a look at my watch. It will be cold to unbutton, but if I only know that it's getting near morning I shall at any rate feel more cheerful. We could begin harnessing.'

In the depth of his heart Vasili Andreevich knew that it could not yet be near morning, but he was growing more and more afraid, and wished both to get to know and yet to deceive himself. He carefully undid the fastening of his sheepskin,


Master and Man
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:

them the face of the rector of Montegnac.

"The wretches! is this why they keep me alive?" he said, closing his eyes.

Denise, who had lately been confined in a prison, was distrustful of everything; the spy had no doubt hidden himself merely to return in a few moments. The girl flung herself on her brother, bent her tearful face to his and whispered:--

"They may be listening to us."

"Otherwise they would not have let you come here," he replied in a loud voice. "I have long asked the favor that none of my family should be admitted here."

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe:

him up very plainly one morning, and told him that I did so; that I found his estate turned to no account at this distance, compared to what it would do if he lived upon the spot, and that I found he had a mind to go and live there; and I added, that I was sensible he had been disappointed in a wife, and that finding his expectations not answered that way, I could do no less, to make him amends, than tell him that I was very willing to go over to Virginia with him and live there.

He said a thousand kind things to me upon the subject of my making such a proposal to him. He told me, that however he was disappointed in his expectations of a fortune, he was


Moll Flanders
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 Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:

have saved him, too -- I have money enough for both of us, and much more than enough -- King Solomon's Mines provided me with that; but I said, "No, let the boy earn his living, let him labour that he may enjoy rest." But the rest has come to him before the labour. Oh, my boy, my boy!

'I am like the man in the Bible who laid up much goods and builded barns -- goods for my boy and barns for him to store them in; and now his soul has been required of him, and I am left desolate. I would that it had been my soul and not my boy's!

'We buried him this afternoon under the shadow of the grey and ancient tower of the church of this village where my house is.


Allan Quatermain