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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 Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell:

"I don't know exactly what he'll do but he said he was goin' up North. He's got a Yankee friend in New York who wrote him about workin' in a bank up there."

"Oh, no!" cried Scarlett from the bottom of her heart and, at the cry, Will gave her the same look as before.

"Maybe 'twould be better all 'round if he did go North."

"No! No! I don't think so."

Her mind was working feverishly. Ashley couldn't go North! She might never see him again. Even though she had not seen him in months, had not spoken to him alone since that fateful scene in the orchard, there had not been a day when she had not thought of him,


Gone With the Wind
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Underground City by Jules Verne:

In fact, carburetted hydrogen is not completely scentless, and the engineer, whose sense of smell was very keen, was astonished that it had not revealed the presence of the explosive gas. At any rate, if the gas had mingled at all with the surrounding air, it could only be in a very small stream. There was no danger of an explosion, and they might without fear open the safety lamp to try the experiment, just as the old miner had done before.

What troubled James Starr was, not lest too much gas

mingled with the air, but lest there should be little or none.

"Could they have been mistaken?" he murmured. "No: these men know what they are about. And yet--"

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Vicar of Tours by Honore de Balzac:

beginning to weary of the monotony of a country-house, were keenly interested in a plot so thoroughly in keeping with the life of the provinces. They all took sides with the abbe against the old maid.

"Don't you see, my dear friend," said Madame de Listomere, "that the Abbe Troubert wants your apartment?"

Here the historian ought to sketch this lady; but it occurs to him that even those who are ignorant of Sterne's system of "cognomology," cannot pronounce the three words "Madame de Listomere" without picturing her to themselves as noble and dignified, softening the sternness of rigid devotion by the gracious elegance and the courteous manners of the old monarchical regime; kind, but a little stiff;

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 The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:

She wakes her heart by beating on her breast, And bids it leap from thence, where it may find Some purer chest, to close so pure a mind. Frantic with grief thus breathes she forth her spite Against the unseen secrecy of night:

'O comfort-killing night, image of hell! Dim register and notary of shame! Black stage for tragedies and murders fell! Vast sin-concealing chaos! nurse of blame! Blind muffled bawd! dark harbour for defame! Grim cave of death, whispering conspirator