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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 In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:

"No, it is I... can I come in?"

"Of course. Why, what a Santa Claus! Hang your coat on the landing and shake yourself over the banisters. Had a good time?"

The room was full of light and warmth. Elsa, in a white velvet tea-gown, lay curled up on the sofa--a book of fashions on her lap, a box of creams beside her.

The curtains were not yet drawn before the windows and a blue light shone through, and the white boughs of the trees sprayed across.

A woman's room--full of flowers and photographs and silk pillows--the floor smothered in rugs--an immense tiger-skin under the piano--just the head protruding--sleepily savage.

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom by William and Ellen Craft:

difficulties, we shall be able to succeed. There- fore, if you will purchase the disguise, I will try to carry out the plan."

But after I concluded to purchase the disguise, I was afraid to go to any one to ask him to sell me the articles. It is unlawful in Georgia for a white man to trade with slaves without the master's con- sent. But, notwithstanding this, many persons will sell a slave any article that he can get the money to buy. Not that they sympathize with the slave, but merely because his testimony is not admitted


Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom
The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:

tongue! Intrepid mariner, he plunges in, armed with a few phrases, to catch five or six thousand francs in the frozen seas, in the domain of the red Indians who inhabit the interior of France. The provincial fish will not rise to harpoons and torches; it can only be taken with seines and nets and gentlest persuasions. The traveller's business is to extract the gold in country caches by a purely intellectual operation, and to extract it pleasantly and without pain. Can you think without a shudder of the flood of phrases which, day by day, renewed each dawn, leaps in cascades the length and breadth of sunny France?

You know the species; let us now take a look at the individual.