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Today's Stichomancy for Moby

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne:

curiosity to examine a gold ingot weighing some seven or eight pounds. He took it up, scrutinised it, passed it to his neighbour, he to the next man, and so on until the ingot, going from hand to hand, was transferred to the end of a dark entry; nor did it return to its place for half an hour. Meanwhile, the cashier had not so much as raised his head. But in the present instance things had not gone so smoothly. The package of notes not being found when five o'clock sounded from the ponderous clock in the "drawing office," the amount was passed to the account of profit and loss. As soon as the robbery was discovered, picked detectives hastened off to Liverpool, Glasgow, Havre, Suez, Brindisi, New York, and other ports, inspired by the proffered reward of two thousand pounds, and five per cent. on the sum


Around the World in 80 Days
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Burning Daylight by Jack London:

the undertaking, and he was the only other present at the sacred function of lighting the first fire. By removing a partition, Daylight had thrown two rooms into one, and this was the big living-room where Dede's treasures were placed--her books, and paintings and photographs, her piano, the Crouched Venus, the chafing-dish and all its glittering accessories. Already, in addition to her own wild-animal skins, were those of deer and coyote and one mountain-lion which Daylight had killed. The tanning he had done himself, slowly and laboriously, in frontier fashion.

He handed the match to Dede, who struck it and lighted the fire.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Myths and Myth-Makers by John Fiske:

feather-dresses and mermaid caps and werewolf-girdles may best be sought in the etymology of words like the German leichnam, in which the body is described as a garment of flesh for the soul.[93] In the naive philosophy of primitive thinkers, the soul, in passing from one visible shape to another, had only to put on the outward integument of the creature in which it wished to incarnate itself. With respect to the mode of metamorphosis, there is little difference between the werewolf and the swan-maiden; and the similarity is no less striking between the genesis of the two conceptions. The original werewolf is the night-wind, regarded now as a manlike deity


Myths and Myth-Makers
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 Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:

of the station, stop for a minute and rumble off again. After walking a mile and a half I went back. Melancholy thoughts haunted me still. Painful as it was to me, yet I remember I tried as it were to make my thoughts still gloomier and more melancholy. You know people who are vain and not very clever have moments when the consciousness that they are miserable affords them positive satisfaction, and they even coquet with their misery for their own entertainment. There was a great deal of truth in what I thought, but there was also a great deal that was absurd and conceited, and there was something boyishly defiant in my question: "What could happen worse?"


The Schoolmistress and Other Stories