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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 The Three Taverns by Edwin Arlington Robinson:

Than you are sorry, you may call it yours, And hang it in the dark of your remembrance, Where Norcross never sees. How can he see That has no eyes to see? And as for music, He paid with empty wonder for the pangs Of his infrequent forced endurance of it; And having had no pleasure, paid no more For needless immolation, or for the sight Of those who heard what he was never to hear. To see them listening was itself enough To make him suffer; and to watch worn eyes,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Coxon Fund by Henry James:

much better. Then Mr. Anvoy suddenly began to totter, and now he seems quite on his back. I'm afraid he's really in for some big reverse. Lady Coxon's worse again, awfully upset by the news from America, and she sends me word that she MUST have Ruth. How can I supply her with Ruth? I haven't got Ruth myself!"

"Surely you haven't lost her?" I returned.

"She's everything to her wretched father. She writes me every post--telling me to smooth her aunt's pillow. I've other things to smooth; but the old lady, save for her servants, is really alone. She won't receive her Coxon relations--she's angry at so much of her money going to them. Besides, she's hopelessly mad," said

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Dynamiter by Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Van De Grift Stevenson:

through the swamp by the path which I shall presently show you; thence, across the highlands of the isle, a track is blazed, which shall conduct us to the haven on the north; and close by the yacht is riding. Should my pursuers come before the hour at which I look to see them, they will still arrive too late; a trusty man attends on the mainland; as soon as they appear, we shall behold, if it be dark, the redness of a fire, if it be day, a pillar of smoke, on the opposing headland; and thus warned, we shall have time to put the swamp between ourselves and danger. Meantime, I would conceal this bag; I would, before all things, be seen to

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 Second Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln:

Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just


Second Inaugural Address