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Today's Stichomancy for William Gibson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tom Grogan by F. Hopkinson Smith:

own picturesque vocabulary, "to set up a job on de ole woman." Here was his chance. Before he reached the stable he had planned the whole scene, even to the exact intonation of Lathers's voice when he referred to the dearth of mustaches in the Grogan household. Within a few minutes of his arrival the details of the whole occurrence, word for word, with such picturesque additions as his own fertile imagination could invent, were common talk about the yard.

Lathers meanwhile had been called upon to direct a gang of laborers who were moving an enormous iron buoy-float down the cinder-covered path to the dock. Two of the men walked beside the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Youth by Joseph Conrad:

smashed bulwarks and a flooded deck. On the second night she shifted her ballast into the lee bow, and by that time we had been blown off somewhere on the Dogger Bank. There was nothing for it but go below with shovels and try to right her, and there we were in that vast hold, gloomy like a cavern, the tallow dips stuck and flickering on the beams, the gale howling above, the ship tossing about like mad on her side; there we all were, Jermyn, the captain, everyone, hardly able to keep our feet, engaged on that gravedigger's work, and try- ing to toss shovelfuls of wet sand up to windward. At

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

serious reflections, her noble, dreamy brow harmonized delightfully with the slow, majestic glance of her blue eyes. It was impossible for the ablest physiognomist to imagine calculation or self-will beneath that unspeakable delicacy of feature. There were faces of women which deceive knowledge, and mislead observation by their calmness and delicacy; it is necessary to examine such faces when passions speak, and that is difficult, or after they have spoken, which is no longer of any use, for then the woman is old and has ceased to dissimulate.

The princess is one of those impenetrable women; she can make herself what she pleases to be: playful, childlike, distractingly innocent; or reflective, serious, and profound enough to excite anxiety. She came

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 Turn of the Screw by Henry James:

I slept--still haunted with the shadow of something she had not told me. I myself had kept back nothing, but there was a word Mrs. Grose had kept back. I was sure, moreover, by morning, that this was not from a failure of frankness, but because on every side there were fears. It seems to me indeed, in retrospect, that by the time the morrow's sun was high I had restlessly read into the fact before us almost all the meaning they were to receive from subsequent and more cruel occurrences. What they gave me above all was just the sinister figure of the living man-- the dead one would keep awhile!--and of the months he had continuously passed at Bly, which, added up, made a formidable stretch. The limit of this evil time had arrived only when, on the dawn of a