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Today's Stichomancy for Michael York

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:

and without too much qualification assented to at least a part of the frankly villainous dictum that all is fair in love and war.

One evening while Fahrquhar and his wife were sitting on a rustic bench near the entrance to his grounds, a gray-clad soldier rode up to the gate and asked for a drink of water. Mrs. Fahrquhar was only too happy to serve him with her own white hands. While she was fetching the water her husband approached the dusty horseman and inquired eagerly for news from the front.

"The Yanks are repairing the railroads," said the man, "and


An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Vendetta by Honore de Balzac:

and yet her beauty was so noble and so imposing that the words of greeting died away on the lips of the witnesses, who supposed themselves obliged to pay her some usual compliments. They bowed to her with respect, and she returned the bow; but they did so in silence, looking at her with admiration. This reserve cast a chill over the whole party. Joy never bursts forth freely except among those who are equals. Thus chance determined that all should be dull and grave around the bridal pair; nothing reflected, outwardly, the happiness that reigned within their hearts.

The church and the mayor's office being near by, Luigi and Ginevra, followed by the four witnesses required by law, walked the distance,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence:

was at this time about a mile and a half away from the bottom, worked usually till the first mate stopped, then he finished also. This day, however, the miner was sick of the work. At two o'clock he looked at his watch, by the light of the green candle--he was in a safe working--and again at half-past two. He was hewing at a piece of rock that was in the way for the next day's work. As he sat on his heels, or kneeled, giving hard blows with his pick, "Uszza--uszza!" he went.

"Shall ter finish, Sorry?" cried Barker, his fellow butty.

"Finish? Niver while the world stands!" growled Morel.

And he went on striking. He was tired.


Sons and Lovers
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 Iron Puddler by James J. Davis:

Pennsylvania, for we were studying economic causes.

"It is better for you to stay here and wait for good times to come again. Hang on to your home, and if in a few months or a few years the mills begin booming again you will be secure for life. But if the iron industry doesn't revive, give up that trade and find other work here. If necessary go out and work on a farm, for the farming industry will always have to be carried on."

Father saw the force of our argument. So he stayed and kept his home. He has it to-day. But if he had wandered around as millions of us did in those hard days he would surely have lost it. This was my first little attempt to work out an economic problem. I