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Today's Stichomancy for Umberto Eco

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:

a Corsican. In that was the only link between herself and her native land. All the rest of her person, her simplicity, the easy grace of her Lombard beauty, was so seductive that it was difficult for those who looked at her to give her pain. She inspired such keen attraction that her old father caused her, as matter of precaution, to be accompanied to and from the studio. The only defect of this truly poetic creature came from the very power of a beauty so fully developed; she looked a woman. Marriage she had refused out of love to her father and mother, feeling herself necessary to the comfort of their old age. Her taste for painting took the place of the passions and interests which usually absorb her sex.

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from 'Twixt Land & Sea by Joseph Conrad:

girl shut up there who, they say - "

"I suppose you've heard all this gossip in some eminently respectable place?" I snapped at him in a most sarcastic tone.

The shaft told, because Mr. Burns, like many other disagreeable people, was very sensitive himself. He remained as if thunderstruck, with his mouth open for some further communication, but I did not give him the chance. "And, anyhow, what the deuce do I care?" I added, retiring into my room.

And this was a natural thing to say. Yet somehow I was not indifferent. I admit it is absurd to be concerned with the morals of one's ship-chandler, if ever so well connected; but his


'Twixt Land & Sea
The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Paz by Honore de Balzac:

really suppose you were not at home. You must have made a wager to disconcert Clementine." Thaddeus continued heavy and half asleep. When the servants left the room at the end of the dessert the captain explained that his habits were diametrically opposite to those of society,--he went to bed at eight o'clock and got up very early in the morning; and he excused his dulness on the ground of being sleepy.

"My intention in taking you to the Opera was to amuse you, captain; but do as you prefer," said Clementine, rather piqued.

"I will go," said Paz.

"Duprez sings 'Guillaume Tell,'" remarked Adam. "But perhaps you would rather go to the 'Varietes'?"