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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 Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen:

reverse of all that she had been before.

For two days Mrs. Morland allowed it to pass even without a hint; but when a third night's rest had neither restored her cheerfulness, improved her in useful activity, nor given her a greater inclination for needlework, she could no longer refrain from the gentle reproof of, "My dear Catherine, I am afraid you are growing quite a fine lady. I do not know when poor Richard's cravats would be done, if he had no friend but you. Your head runs too much upon Bath; but there is a time for everything--a time for balls and plays, and a time for work.


Northanger Abbey
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne:

The two days gained between London and Bombay had been lost, as has been seen, in the journey across India. But it is not to be supposed that Phileas Fogg regretted them.

Chapter XV

IN WHICH THE BAG OF BANKNOTES DISGORGES SOME THOUSANDS OF POUNDS MORE

The train entered the station, and Passepartout jumping out first, was followed by Mr. Fogg, who assisted his fair companion to descend. Phileas Fogg intended to proceed at once to the Hong Kong steamer, in order to get Aouda comfortably settled for the voyage. He was unwilling to leave her while they were still on dangerous ground.


Around the World in 80 Days
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Tapestried Chamber by Walter Scott:

sort with very considerable effect--much greater, indeed, than any one would be apt to guess from the style of her written performances. There are hours and moods when most people are not displeased to listen to such things; and I have heard some of the greatest and wisest of my contemporaries take their share in telling them.

AUGUST 1831

*

THE TAPESTRIED CHAMBER;

OR,

THE LADY IN THE SACQUE.

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 Bureaucracy by Honore de Balzac:

secretary to the minister. His apartment was connected by a secret door with the private office of his Excellency. A private secretary is to the minister himself what des Lupeaulx was to the ministry at large. The same difference existed between young La Briere and des Lupeaulx that there is between an aide-de-camp and a chief of staff. This ministerial apprentice decamps when his protector leaves office, returning sometimes when he returns. If the minister enjoys the royal favor when he falls, or still has parliamentary hopes, he takes his secretary with him into retirement only to bring him back on his return; otherwise he puts him to grass in some of the various administrative pastures,--for instance, in the Court of Exchequer,