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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 The Passionate Pilgrim by William Shakespeare:

O, love's best habit is a soothing tongue, And age, in love, loves not to have years told. Therefore, I'll lie with love, and love with me, Since that our faults in love thus smother'd be.

II.

Two loves I have, of comfort and despair, That like two spirits do suggest me still; My better angel is a man right fair, My worser spirit a woman colour'd ill. To win me soon to hell, my female evil Tempteth my better angel from my side,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Alcibiades I by Plato:

SOCRATES: And the happy are those who obtain good?

ALCIBIADES: True.

SOCRATES: And they obtain good by acting well and honourably?

ALCIBIADES: Yes.

SOCRATES: Then acting well is a good?

ALCIBIADES: Certainly.

SOCRATES: And happiness is a good?

ALCIBIADES: Yes.

SOCRATES: Then the good and the honourable are again identified.

ALCIBIADES: Manifestly.

SOCRATES: Then, if the argument holds, what we find to be honourable we

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Mistress Wilding by Rafael Sabatini:

in Utter unconsciousness of the fate that was creeping stealthily upon it out of the darkness and mists across the moors; they clattered on past Langmoor Stone and dashed straight into the village, Richard never drawing rein until he reached the door of the cottage where Feversham was lodged.

They had come not only at a headlong pace, but in a headlong manner, without quite considering what awaited them at the end of their ride in addition to their object of finding Ruth. It was only now, as he drew rein before the lighted house and caught the sound of Blake's raised voice pouring through an open window on the ground floor, that Richard fully realized what manner of rashness he was committing. He was too

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 Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:

there began noises as of silk smartly rubbed; the restful dead leaves of the preceding autumn were stirred to irritated resurrection, and whirled about unwillingly, and tapped against the shutters. It soon began to rain.

"That cock knew the weather was going to change," said Clare.

The woman who had attended upon them had gone home for the night, but she had placed candles upon the table, and now they lit them. Each candle-flame drew towards the fireplace.


Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman