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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 Princess by Alfred Tennyson:

With female hands and hospitality.'

Then, whether moved by this, or was it chance, She past my way. Up started from my side The old lion, glaring with his whelpless eye, Silent; but when she saw me lying stark, Dishelmed and mute, and motionlessly pale, Cold even to her, she sighed; and when she saw The haggard father's face and reverend beard Of grisly twine, all dabbled with the blood Of his own son, shuddered, a twitch of pain Tortured her mouth, and o'er her forehead past

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson:


Treasure Island
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:

above and below the line, has led even experienced printers to deny its being typography. It is, nevertheless, entirely from cast types. A copy in good condition costs about L50.

Many years since I purchased, at Messrs. Sotheby's, a large lot of MS. leaves on vellum, some being whole sections of a book, but mostly single leaves. Many were so mutilated by the excision of initials as to be worthless, but those with poor initials, or with none, were quite good, and when sorted out I found I had got large portions of nearly twenty different MSS., mostly Horae, showing twelve varieties of fifteenth century handwriting in Latin, French, Dutch, and German. I had each sort bound separately, and they now form an interesting collection.

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 Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:

your plans in opposition to your reason and wish; and afterwards your repentance and my sorrow will be terrible."

"And you would like to go home?" he asked.

"I want to leave you, and go home."

"Then it shall be so."

Though she did not look up at him, she started. There was a difference between the proposition and the covenant which she had felt only too quickly.

"I feared it would come to this," she murmured, her countenance meekly fixed. "I don't complain, Angel,


Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman