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Today's Stichomancy for Ulysses S. Grant

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson:

actions first exhibited in romance, that has since renewed and vivified history. For art precedes philosophy and even science. People must have noticed things and interested themselves in them before they begin to debate upon their causes or influence. And it is in this way that art is the pioneer of knowledge; those predilections of the artist he knows not why, those irrational acceptations and recognitions, reclaim, out of the world that we have not yet realised, ever another and another corner; and after the facts have been thus vividly brought before us and have had time to settle and arrange themselves in our minds, some day

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle:

unnatural if you consider that he stood beside the dead body of his father, and that there is no doubt that he had that very day so far forgotten his filial duty as to bandy words with him, and even, according to the little girl whose evidence is so important, to raise his hand as if to strike him. The self-reproach and contrition which are displayed in his remark appear to me to be the signs of a healthy mind rather than of a guilty on."

I shook my head. "Many men have been hanged on far slighter evidence," I remarked.

"So they have. And many men have been wrongfully hanged."


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Danny's Own Story by Don Marquis:

want to do it without that doctor says to go ahead."

"They ain't his'n no longer," says Jake.

"I dunno," says I, "as you got any right to make me do it, Jake. It don't look to me like it's no harm to beat a couple of fellers like them out of their medicine. And I DID want to go fishing this afternoon."

But Jake was that careful and stingy he'd try to skin a hoss twicet if it died. He's bound to get that job done, now.

"Danny," he says, "you gotto do that work.

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 The Elixir of Life by Honore de Balzac:

fresh, fragrant lips of a woman with kisses, for like Death, he devoured everything without scruple as he passed; he would have full fruition; he was an Oriental lover, seeking prolonged pleasures easily obtained. He sought nothing but a woman in women, and cultivated cynicism, until it became with him a habit of mind. When his mistress, from the couch on which she lay, soared and was lost in regions of ecstatic bliss, Don Juan followed suit, earnest, expansive, serious as any German student. But he said I, while she, in the transports of intoxication, said We. He understood to admiration the art of abandoning himself to the influence of a woman; he was always clever enough to make her