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Today's Stichomancy for Steve Martin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes:

gold spangles glittering all over them, that made her appear, if not richly, at least brilliantly, apparelled. She had her face covered with thin transparent sendal, the texture of which did not prevent the fair features of a maiden from being distinguished, while the numerous lights made it possible to judge of her beauty and of her years, which seemed to be not less than seventeen but not to have yet reached twenty. Beside her was a figure in a robe of state, as they call it, reaching to the feet, while the head was covered with a black veil. But the instant the car was opposite the duke and duchess and Don Quixote the music of the clarions ceased, and then that of the lutes and harps on the car, and the figure in the robe rose up, and flinging

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

A Distinguished Provincial at Paris Scenes from a Courtesan's Life Another Study of Woman The Secrets of a Princess A Man of Business Cousin Betty The Muse of the Department The Unconscious Humorists

Nucingen, Baronne Delphine de Father Goriot The Thirteen

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass:

matter how beautiful or powerful, but that he had seen something at Baltimore far exceeding, both in beauty and strength, the object which I pointed out to him. Even the Great House itself, with all its pictures, was far inferior to many buildings in Bal- timore. So strong was my desire, that I thought a gratification of it would fully compensate for what- ever loss of comforts I should sustain by the ex- change. I left without a regret, and with the highest hopes of future happiness.

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave
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 Touchstone by Edith Wharton:

silently forge the fatal weapons of the dead.


A knock roused him and looking up he saw his wife. He met her glance in silence, and she faltered out, "Are you ill?"

The words restored his self-possession. "Ill? Of course not. They told me you were out and I came upstairs."

The books lay between them on the table; he wondered when she would see them. She lingered tentatively on the threshold, with the air of leaving his explanation on his hands. She was not the kind of woman who could be counted on to fortify an excuse by appearing to dispute it.