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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 Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain:

to learn that several new by-laws had been long ago added. For instance, the initiation fee had been raised to fifty dollars; that sum must be tendered, and also ten per cent. of the wages which the applicant had received each and every month since the founding of the association. In many cases this amounted to three or four hundred dollars. Still, the association would not entertain the application until the money was present. Even then a single adverse vote killed the application. Every member had to vote 'Yes' or 'No' in person and before witnesses; so it took weeks to decide a candidacy, because many pilots were so long absent on voyages. However, the repentant

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

human mind, and Lambert's predecessors.

I was at the time passionately addicted to reading. My father, who was ambitious to see me in the Ecole Polytechnique, paid for me to have a special course of private lessons in mathematics. My mathematical master was the librarian of the college, and allowed me to help myself to books without much caring what I chose to take from the library, a quiet spot where I went to him during play-hours to have my lesson. Either he was no great mathematician, or he was absorbed in some grand scheme, for he very willingly left me to read when I ought to have been learning, while he worked at I knew not what. So, by a tacit understanding between us, I made no complaints of being taught


Louis Lambert
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

When David recovered sufficiently he would go to Norada, as he had told Elizabeth, and there he would find the Donaldsons, and clear up the things that bothered him. After that -

He thought of Elizabeth, of her sweetness and sanity. He remembered her at the theater the evening before, lost in its fictitious emotions, its counterfeit drama. He had felt moved to comfort her, when he found her on the verge of tears.

"Just remember, they're only acting," he had said.

"Yes. But life does do things like that to people."

"Not often. The theater deals in the dramatic exceptions to life. You and I, plain bread and butter people, come to see these things


The Breaking Point
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 Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson:

lot of attention and humouring; lastly (of saddle horses) Luna - not the Latin MOON, the Hawaiian OVERSEER, but it's pronounced the same - a pretty little mare too, but scarce at all broken, a bad bucker, and has to be ridden with a stock- whip and be brought back with her rump criss-crossed like a clan tartan; the two cart horses, now only used with pack- saddles; two cows, one in the straw (I trust) to-morrow, a third cow, the Jersey - whose milk and temper are alike subjects of admiration - she gives good exercise to the farming saunterer, and refreshes him on his return with cream; two calves, a bull, and a cow; God knows how many