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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Vonnegut

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft:

not the desertion of this unfortunate babe:--and, while I despised the man, it was not easy to venerate the husband. With proper restrictions however, I revere the institution which fraternizes the world. I exclaim against the laws which throw the whole weight of the yoke on the weaker shoulders, and force women, when they claim protectorship as mothers, to sign a contract, which renders them dependent on the caprice of the tyrant, whom choice or necessity has appointed to reign over them. Various are the cases, in which a woman ought to separate herself from her husband; and mine, I may be allowed emphatically to insist, comes under the description of the most aggravated.

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

years after her return to Hillbridge, took upon his injured wife. He died precisely at the moment when Glennard was beginning to criticise her. It was not that she bored him; she did what was infinitely worse--she made him feel his inferiority. The sense of mental equality had been gratifying to his raw ambition; but as his self-knowledge defined itself, his understanding of her also increased; and if man is at times indirectly flattered by the moral superiority of woman, her mental ascendency is extenuated by no such oblique tribute to his powers. The attitude of looking up is a strain on the muscles; and it was becoming more and more Glennard's opinion that brains, in a woman, should be merely the

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso:

To pity thee, a gentle wind there blows Whose friendly puffs safe to the shore thee drive, Where wet and weary I at last arrive:

XXXVI "I took thee up, and in my dream that night, When buried was the world in sleep and shade, I saw a champion clad in armor bright That o'er my head shaked a flaming blade, He said, 'I charge thee execute aright, That charge this infant's mother on thee laid, Baptize the child, high Heaven esteems her dear,

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 Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:

the manufacture of sail-cloth for the all-powerful Venetian navy,-- this Claes had a friend in the famous sculptor in wood, Van Huysum of Bruges. The artist had dipped many a time into the purse of the rich craftsman. Some time before the rebellion of the men of Ghent, Van Huysum, grown rich himself, had secretly carved for his friend a wall- decoration in ebony, representing the chief scenes in the life of Van Artevelde,--that brewer of Ghent who, for a brief hour, was King of Flanders. This wall-covering, of which there were no less than sixty panels, contained about fourteen hundred principal figures, and was held to be Van Huysum's masterpiece. The officer appointed to guard the burghers whom Charles V. determined to hang when he re-entered his