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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 Altar of the Dead by Henry James:

memories had greatly multiplied. There were other ghosts in his life than the ghost of Mary Antrim. He had perhaps not had more losses than most men, but he had counted his losses more; he hadn't seen death more closely, but had in a manner felt it more deeply. He had formed little by little the habit of numbering his Dead: it had come to him early in life that there was something one had to do for them. They were there in their simplified intensified essence, their conscious absence and expressive patience, as personally there as if they had only been stricken dumb. When all sense of them failed, all sound of them ceased, it was as if their purgatory were really still on earth: they asked so little that

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

"Spare me!" cried Circe. "Spare me, royal and wise Ulysses. For now I know that thou art he of whom Quicksilver forewarned me, the most prudent of mortals, against whom no enchantments can prevail. Thou only couldst have conquered Circe. Spare me, wisest of men. I will show thee true hospitality, and even give myself to be thy slave, and this magnificent palace to be henceforth thy home."

The four nymphs, meanwhile, were making a most piteous ado; and especially the ocean nymph, with the sea-green hair, wept a great deal of salt water, and the fountain nymph, besides scattering dewdrops from her fingers' ends, nearly melted away


Tanglewood Tales
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from An Open Letter on Translating by Dr. Martin Luther:

still obscure and uncertain. Now if that is good German why do they not come out and make us a fine, new German testament and let Luther's testament be? I think that would really bring out their talents. But a German would say "Ut quid, etc.." as "Why this waste?" or "Why this extravagance?" Even "it is a shame about the ointment" - these are good German, in which one can understand that Magdalene had wasted the salve she poured out and had done wrong. That was what Judas meant as he thought he could have used it better.

Now when the angel greets Mary, he says: "Greetings to you, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you." well up to this point, this

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 Eve and David by Honore de Balzac:

will be stolen from under your feet. An inventor and a simpleton often live in the same skin. Your mind runs so much on your secrets that you cannot think of everything. People will begin to have their suspicions at last, and the place is full of paper manufacturers. So many manufacturers, so many enemies for you! You are like a beaver with the hunters about you; do not give them your skin----"

"Thank you, dear fellow, I have told myself all this," exclaimed Sechard, "but I am obliged to you for showing so much concern for me and for your forethought. It does not really matter to me myself. An income of twelve hundred francs would be enough for me, and my father ought by rights to leave me three times as much some day. Love and