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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 Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:

his wound and cry out, Le Fever! I will go with thee, and thou shalt fight beside me--And twice he laid his hand upon his groin, and hung down his head in sorrow and disconsolation.--

My uncle Toby took down the sword from the crook, where it had hung untouched ever since the lieutenant's death, and delivered it to the corporal to brighten up;--and having detained Le Fever a single fortnight to equip him, and contract for his passage to Leghorn,--he put the sword into his hand.--If thou art brave, Le Fever, said my uncle Toby, this will not fail thee,--but Fortune, said he (musing a little),--Fortune may--And if she does,--added my uncle Toby, embracing him, come back again to me, Le Fever, and we will shape thee another course.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Under the Red Robe by Stanley Weyman:

--man to man. I turned once or twice to see what those we had left behind were doing, and always found them standing in apparent debate; but my guard showed so much jealousy of these movements that I presently shrugged my shoulders again and desisted.

I had racked my brains to bring about this state of things. Strange to say, now I had succeeded, I found it less satisfactory than I had hoped. I had reduced the odds and got rid of my most dangerous antagonists; but Antoine, left to himself, proved to be as full of suspicion as an egg of meat. He rode a little behind me, with his gun across his saddlebow, and a pistol near his

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Burning Daylight by Jack London:

sweep over the United States. How terrific this particular storm was to be he did not anticipate. Nevertheless, he took every precaution in his power, and had no anxiety about his weathering it out.

Money grew tighter. Beginning with the crash of several of the greatest Eastern banking houses, the tightness spread, until every bank in the country was calling in its credits. Daylight was caught, and caught because of the fact that for the first time he had been playing the legitimate business game. In the old days, such a panic, with the accompanying extreme shrinkage of values, would have been a golden harvest time for him. As it

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 Hellenica by Xenophon:

equally hidden from the city, while its small dimensions, and the nearness of the encumbent mountains, rendered it a more hazardous position to an army under the circumstances of that of Agesilaus" [than had he encamped in the Argon itself]. For the Argon (or Inert Plain), see Leake, ib. 54 foll.

On the next morning, as day broke, he sacrificed in front of the army; and observing a mustering of men from the city of Mantinea on the hills which overhung the rear of his army, he decided that he must lead his troops out of the hollow by the quickest route. But he feared lest, if he himself led off, the enemy might fall upon his rear. In this dilemma he kept quiet; presenting a hostile front to the enemy,