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Today's Stichomancy for Matt Damon

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Lost Continent by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

the result was that we were presently commanded to repair to Peking and present ourselves before the ruler.

We made the journey in a comfortable railway carriage, through a country which, as we traveled farther toward the east, showed increasing evidence of prosperity and wealth.

At the imperial court we were received with great kindness, the emperor being most inquisitive about the state of modern Pan-America. He told me that while he personally deplored the existence of the strict regulations which had raised a barrier between the east and the west, he had felt, as had his predecessors, that recognition of the wishes of the


Lost Continent
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne:

minute, to do anything to retard their fall. The car was only a sort of willow basket, unable to float, and there was not the slightest possibility of maintaining it on the surface of the sea.

Two more hours passed and the balloon was scarcely 400 feet above the water.

At that moment a loud voice, the voice of a man whose heart was inaccessible to fear, was heard. To this voice responded others not less determined. "Is everything thrown out?" "No, here are still 2,000 dollars in gold." A heavy bag immediately plunged into the sea. "Does the balloon rise?" "A little, but it will not be long before it falls again." "What still remains to be thrown out?" "Nothing." "Yes! the car!" "Let us catch


The Mysterious Island
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen:

reputation, and all the dignity of a countess, with a long train of noble relations in their several phaetons, and three waiting-maids in a travelling chaise and four, behind her, is an event on which the pen of the contriver may well delight to dwell; it gives credit to every conclusion, and the author must share in the glory she so liberally bestows. But my affair is widely different; I bring back my heroine to her home in solitude and disgrace; and no sweet elation of spirits can lead me into minuteness. A heroine in a hack post-chaise is such a blow upon sentiment, as no attempt at grandeur or pathos can withstand.


Northanger Abbey
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 An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:

error a second time. It is as easy to dodge a volley as a single shot. He has probably already given the command to fire at will. God help me, I cannot dodge them all!"

An appalling splash within two yards of him was followed by a loud, rushing sound, DIMINUENDO, which seemed to travel back through the air to the fort and died in an explosion which stirred the very river to its deeps! A rising sheet of water curved over him, fell down upon him, blinded him, strangled him! The cannon had taken an hand in the game. As he shook his head free from the commotion of the smitten water he heard the deflected shot humming through the air ahead, and


An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge