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Today's Stichomancy for William T. Sherman

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Almayer's Folly by Joseph Conrad:

he let his happiness flow in a stream of talk passionate and tender, grave or menacing, according to the mood which she evoked. He spoke to her of his own island, where the gloomy forests and the muddy rivers were unknown. He spoke of its terraced fields, of the murmuring clear rills of sparkling water that flowed down the sides of great mountains, bringing life to the land and joy to its tillers. And he spoke also of the mountain peak that rising lonely above the belt of trees knew the secrets of the passing clouds, and was the dwelling-place of the mysterious spirit of his race, of the guardian genius of his house. He spoke of vast horizons swept by fierce winds that

Almayer's Folly
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter:

on the one side--"Quack?"

The gentleman raised his eyes above his newspaper and looked curiously at Jemima--

"Madam, have you lost your way?" said he. He had a long bushy tail which he was sitting upon, as the stump was somewhat damp.

Jemima thought him mighty civil and handsome. She explained that she had not lost her way, but that she was

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Brother of Daphne by Dornford Yates:

I spoke, I did not look at her. I dared not.

A clock chimed the three-quarters. A quarter to seven. Thank you. A moment later we were arranging our escape.

When retrieved, our impedimenta would consist of her parasol and dressing-bag, and my dressing-case. My stick and gloves were in the hall, and I decided to let them go. Her bag was in a fair bedroom- a little brass knocker upon the door- hard by the top of the staircase. She had heard them put my case in the room adjoining. Very well. She was to sit- loll, if she liked- in the arbour, where tea had been served, while I ventured indoors and secured the luggage. Once across the lawn, I was to drop it

The Brother of Daphne
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 Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:

I had brought that young woman to Madame de Lanty's ball. As it was her first visit to that house, I forgave her her stifled laugh; but I hastily made an imperious sign which abashed her and inspired respect for her neighbor. She sat down beside me. The old man did not choose to leave the charming creature, to whom he clung capriciously with the silent and apparently causeless obstinacy to which very old persons are subject, and which makes them resemble children. In order to sit down beside the young lady he needed a folding-chair. His slightest movements were marked by the inert heaviness, the stupid hesitancy, which characterize the movements of a paralytic. He sat slowly down upon his chair with great caution, mumbling some unintelligible words.