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Today's Stichomancy for Umberto Eco

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Red Seal by Natalie Sumner Lincoln:

"No, I cannot," and observing Parker's blank expression, she added, "why don't you ask Mr. Rochester?"

"Because I can't locate him; he seems to have vanished off the face of the globe." The reporter rose. "You can't tell me where's he's gone, I suppose?"

"I haven't the faintest idea," answered Barbara truthfully. "I was at his office this -" she stopped abruptly on finding that Mrs. Brewster was standing just behind her. Had the widow by chance overheard her remark? If so, her father would probably learn of her visit to the office of Rochester and Kent that morning.

"Do I understand that Philip Rochester is out of town?" inquired Mrs.


The Red Seal
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Domestic Peace by Honore de Balzac:

glittering as the gem.

"Wear it," he said, "in memory of this hour, and for the love of----"

She was looking at him with such rapture that he did not end the sentence; he kissed her hand.

"You give it me?" she said, looking much astonished.

"I wish I had the whole world to offer you!"

"You are not joking?" she went on, in a voice husky with too great satisfaction.

"Will you accept only my diamond?"

"You will never take it back?" she insisted.

"Never."

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:

which the old man almost always deferred; and he would disappear, led, or I might better say carried away, by her. If Madame de Lanty were not present, the Count would employ a thousand ruses to reach his side; but it always seemed as if he found difficulty in inducing him to listen, and he treated him like a spoiled child, whose mother gratifies his whims and at the same time suspects mutiny. Some prying persons having ventured to question the Comte de Lanty indiscreetly, that cold and reserved individual seemed not to understand their questions. And so, after many attempts, which the circumspection of all the members of the family rendered fruitless, no one sought to discover a secret so well guarded. Society spies, triflers, and

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 Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde:

CHASUBLE. I am grieved to hear such sentiments from you, Mr. Worthing. They savour of the heretical views of the Anabaptists, views that I have completely refuted in four of my unpublished sermons. However, as your present mood seems to be one peculiarly secular, I will return to the church at once. Indeed, I have just been informed by the pew-opener that for the last hour and a half Miss Prism has been waiting for me in the vestry.

LADY BRACKNELL. [Starting.] Miss Prism! Did I bear you mention a Miss Prism?

CHASUBLE. Yes, Lady Bracknell. I am on my way to join her.

LADY BRACKNELL. Pray allow me to detain you for a moment. This