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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 Tour Through Eastern Counties of England by Daniel Defoe:

by their having a remnant of gentlemen and masters of ships among them who have seen more of the world than the people of an inland town are likely to have seen. I take this town to be one of the most agreeable places in England for families who have lived well, but may have suffered in our late calamities of stocks and bubbles, to retreat to, where they may live within their own compass; and several things indeed recommend it to such:-

1. Good houses at very easy rents.

2. An airy, clean, and well-governed town.

3. Very agreeable and improving company almost of every kind.

4. A wonderful plenty of all manner of provisions, whether flesh

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from McTeague by Frank Norris:

in front of him, his breath fairly whistling between his teeth.

That night he walked the streets until the morning, wondering what now he was to do to fight the wolf away. The morning of the next day towards ten o'clock he was on Kearney Street, still walking, still tramping the streets, since there was nothing else for him to do. By and by he paused on a corner near a music store, finding a momentary amusement in watching two or three men loading a piano upon a dray. Already half its weight was supported by the dray's backboard. One of the men, a big mulatto, almost

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Oedipus Trilogy by Sophocles:

'Twas from the Delphic god himself, but from His ministers) declaring he was doomed To perish by the hand of his own son, A child that should be born to him by me. Now Laius--so at least report affirmed-- Was murdered on a day by highwaymen, No natives, at a spot where three roads meet. As for the child, it was but three days old, When Laius, its ankles pierced and pinned Together, gave it to be cast away By others on the trackless mountain side.

Oedipus Trilogy
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 Beast in the Jungle by Henry James:

quite ready, none the less, to be selfish just a little, since surely no more charming occasion for it had come to him. "Just a little," in a word, was just as much as Mss Bartram, taking one day with another, would let him. He never would be in the least coercive, and would keep well before him the lines on which consideration for her--the very highest--ought to proceed. He would thoroughly establish the heads under which her affairs, her requirements, her peculiarities--he went so far as to give them the latitude of that name--would come into their intercourse. All this naturally was a sign of how much he took the intercourse itself for granted. There was nothing more to be done about that. It simply