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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Vonnegut

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne:

- And so, quoth Wisdom, you have hired a drummer to attend you in this tour of yours through France and Italy! - Psha! said I, and do not one half of our gentry go with a humdrum COMPAGNON DU VOYAGE the same round, and have the piper and the devil and all to pay besides? When man can extricate himself with an EQUIVOQUE in such an unequal match, - he is not ill off. - But you can do something else, La Fleur? said I. - O QU'OUI! he could make spatterdashes, and play a little upon the fiddle. - Bravo! said Wisdom. - Why, I play a bass myself, said I; - we shall do very well. You can shave, and dress a wig a little, La Fleur? - He had all the dispositions in the world. - It is enough for heaven! said I,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Two Poets by Honore de Balzac:

nostrils, with the broad irregular line of central cleavage, and, above all, in the eyes, with the steady light of an all-absorbing love that burned in them, which revealed the real character of the man--the wisdom of the thinker, the strenuous melancholy of a spirit that discerns the horizon on either side, and sees clearly to the end of winding ways, turning the clear light of analysis upon the joys of fruition, known as yet in idea alone, and quick to turn from them in disgust. You might look for the flash of genius from such a face; you could not miss the ashes of the volcano; hopes extinguished beneath a profound sense of the social annihilation to which lowly birth and lack of fortune condemns so many a loftier mind. And by the side of

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela:

bandannas around their necks, large diamond rings on their fingers, large heavy gold watch chains across their breasts.

"Here, waiter," Blondie cried, "I ordered ice water. And I'm not begging for it either, see? Look at this bunch of bills. I'll buy you, your wife, and all you possess, see? Don't tell me there's none left--I don't care a damn about that! It's up to you to find some way to get it and Goddamned quick, too. I don't like to play about; I get mad when I'm crossed. . . . By God, didn't I tell you I wouldn't stand for any backchat? You won't bring it to


The Underdogs
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 Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:

"You have dispensed roadside alms," said the Padre, smiling, "and that should win excellent dreams."

Thus, with courtesies more elaborate than the world has time for at the present day, they bade each other good-night and parted, bearing their late candles along the quiet halls of the mission. To young Gaston in his bed easy sleep came without waiting, and no dreams at ail. Outside his open window was the quiet, serene darkness, where the stars shone clear, and tranquil perfumes hung in the cloisters. But while the guest lay sleeping all night in unchanged position like a child, up and down between the oleanders went Padre Ignacio, walking until dawn. Temptation indeed had come over the hill and entered the cloisters.