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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 Dust by Mr. And Mrs. Haldeman-Julius:

obviously ample for her. She hoped that during part of each year she could rent the extra bed-room to some one, preferably a boy, like Bill, who was attending high school. There was a barn for her horse and the one cow she would keep, a neat little chicken-house for the twenty-five hens that would more than supply her with eggs and summer fries, and a small garage for Martin's car. It would seem very strange, she thought, to have so few things to care for and she wondered how she would fill her time, she whose one problem always had been how to achieve snatches of leisure. She saw herself jogging on and on, gradually getting to be less able on her feet, a little more helpless,

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

endeavours to show Cratylus that imitation may be partial or imperfect, that a knowledge of things is higher than a knowledge of names, and that there can be no knowledge if all things are in a state of transition. But Cratylus, who does not easily apprehend the argument from common sense, remains unconvinced, and on the whole inclines to his former opinion. Some profound philosophical remarks are scattered up and down, admitting of an application not only to language but to knowledge generally; such as the assertion that 'consistency is no test of truth:' or again, 'If we are over-precise about words, truth will say "too late" to us as to the belated traveller in Aegina.'

The place of the dialogue in the series cannot be determined with

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:

happiness, his noble nature marked his attentions with the charm of grace. Though he shared the philosophical tenets of the eighteenth century, he installed a chaplain in his home until 1801 (in spite of the risk he ran from the revolutionary decrees), so that he might not thwart the Spanish fanaticism which his wife had sucked in with her mother's milk: later, when public worship was restored in France, he accompanied her to mass every Sunday. His passion never ceased to be that of a lover. The protecting power, which women like so much, was never exercised by this husband, lest to that wife it might seem pity. He treated her with exquisite flattery as an equal, and sometimes mutinied against her, as men will, as though to brave the supremacy of

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 A Voyage to Abyssinia by Father Lobo:

of Tigre, at the command of the Emperor himself. The commission was directed to me, nor did I ever receive one that was more welcome on many accounts. I had contracted an intimate friendship with the Count de Vidigueira, viceroy of the Indies, and had been desired by him, when I took my leave of him, upon going to Melinda, to inform myself where his relation was buried, and to send him some of his relics.

The viceroy, son-in-law to the Emperor, with whom I was joined in the commission, gave me many distinguishing proofs of his affection to me, and of his zeal for the Catholic religion. It was a journey of fifteen days through part of the country possessed by the Galles,