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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 The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:

But he did not raise his bowed head.

"All right. Get the ladder over."

I hesitated. Should I whisper something to him? But what? His immobility seemed to have been never disturbed. What could I tell him he did not know already? . . . Finally I went on deck.

II

The skipper of the Sephora had a thin red whisker all round his face, and the sort of complexion that goes with hair of that color; also the particular, rather smeary shade of blue in the eyes. He was not exactly a showy figure; his shoulders were high,


The Secret Sharer
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Europeans by Henry James:

we are asked."

"Suspended?" Felix repeated.

"He has been requested by the Harvard authorities to absent himself for six months. Meanwhile he is studying with Mr. Brand. We think Mr. Brand will help him; at least we hope so."

"What befell him at college?" Felix asked. "He was too fond of pleasure? Mr. Brand certainly will not teach him any of those secrets!"

"He was too fond of something of which he should not have been fond. I suppose it is considered a pleasure."

Felix gave his light laugh. "My dear uncle, is there any doubt about its being a pleasure? C'est de son age, as they say in France."

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Egmont by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe:

prisoner, proud of his innocence, as they call it, comes out with much that a sensible man would keep back! then, from these answers the inquisitor proceeds to put new questions, and is on the watch for the slightest contradiction; there he fastens his line; and, let the poor devil lose his self- possession, say too much here, or too little there, or, Heaven knows from what whim or other, let him withhold some trifling circumstance, or at any moment give way to fear--then we're on the right track, and, I assure you, no beggar-woman seeks for rags among the rubbish with more care than such a fabricator of rogues, from trifling, crooked, disjointed, misplaced, misprinted, and concealed facts and information, acknowledged or denied, endeavours at length to patch up a scarecrow, by means of which he may


Egmont
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 Blue Flower by Henry van Dyke:

celestial blue, whose petals seemed to fall and fade as I looked. So I bade farewell to the old man in whose house I had learned to love the hour of visitation and the Source and the name of him who opened it; and I kissed the hands and the brow of the little Ruamie who had entered my heart, and went forth sadly from the land of Koorma into other lands, to look for the Blue Flower.

II

In the Book of the Voyage without a Harbour is written the record of the ten years which passed before I came back again to the city of Saloma.