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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 The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:

He shook his head.

"Take it," I urged him, whispering desperately. "No one can tell what--"

He smiled and slapped meaningly the only pocket of the sleeping jacket. It was not safe, certainly. But I produced a large old silk handkerchief of mine, and tying the three pieces of gold in a corner, pressed it on him. He was touched, I supposed, because he took it at last and tied it quickly round his waist under the jacket, on his bare skin.

Our eyes met; several seconds elapsed, till, our glances still mingled, I extended my hand and turned the lamp out. Then I passed through the cuddy, leaving the door of my room wide open.


The Secret Sharer
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Proposed Roads To Freedom by Bertrand Russell:

to be effective, must be international; the world must move as a whole in these matters, if it is to move at all. One of the most obvious necessities, if peace is to be secure, is a measure of disarmament. So long as the present vast armies and navies exist, no system can prevent the risk of war. But disarmament, if it is to serve its purpose, must be simultaneous and by mutual agreement among all the Great Powers. And it is not likely to be successful so long as hatred and suspicion rule between nations, for each nation will suspect its neighbor of not carrying out the bargain

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Silas Marner by George Eliot:

encounter an unexpected obstacle. He had been full of his own penitence and resolution to retrieve his error as far as the time was left to him; he was possessed with all-important feelings, that were to lead to a predetermined course of action which he had fixed on as the right, and he was not prepared to enter with lively appreciation into other people's feelings counteracting his virtuous resolves. The agitation with which he spoke again was not quite unmixed with anger.

"But I've a claim on you, Eppie--the strongest of all claims. It's my duty, Marner, to own Eppie as my child, and provide for her. She is my own child--her mother was my wife. I've a natural claim


Silas Marner
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 Enemies of Books by William Blades:

ravages are looked upon as both curious and rare. After quoting Dibdin, with the addition of a few flights of imagination of his own, Ringwalt states that this "paper-eating moth is supposed to have been introduced into England in hogsleather binding from Holland." He then ends with what, to anyone who has seen the ravages of the worm in hundreds of books, must be charming in its native simplicity. "There is now," he states, evidently quoting it as a great curiosity, "there is now, in a private library in Philadelphia, a book perforated by this insect." Oh! lucky Philadelphians! who can boast of possessing the oldest library in the States, but must ask leave of a private collector if they wish to see the one wormhole in the whole city!