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Today's Stichomancy for Michael Moore

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:

La Zambinella's attitude, manners, and gestures, instinct with dejection, melancholy, and discouragement, reawakened in his soul all the treasures of passion. Each word was a spur. At that moment, they arrived at Frascati. When the artist held out his arms to help his mistress to alight, he felt that she trembled from head to foot.

" 'What is the matter? You would kill me,' he cried, seeing that she turned pale, 'if you should suffer the slightest pain of which I am, even innocently, the cause.'

" 'A snake!' she said, pointing to a reptile which was gliding along the edge of a ditch. 'I am afraid of the disgusting creatures.'

"Sarrasine crushed the snake's head with a blow of his foot.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Prince of Bohemia by Honore de Balzac:

you as my spoilt child. But where is the use of coquetry? It would be pure waste. And yet, monsieur, for want of coquetry I shall never inspire love in you. I know it; I feel it; yet I do as before, feeling a power that I cannot withstand, thinking that this utter self-surrender will win me the sentiment innate in all men (so /he/ tells me) for the thing that belongs to them.

"/Wednesday/.

" 'Ah! how darkly sadness entered my heart yesterday when I found that I must give up the joy of seeing you. One single thought held me back from the arms of Death!--It was thy will! To stay away was to do thy will, to obey an order from thee. Oh! Charles, I was so

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Lock and Key Library by Julian Hawthorne, Ed.:

imaginary triumph, for within two hours after the circulation of this first rumor, followed a second, authenticated, announcing that Maximilian had appeared with the confessor of the Liebenheim family, at the residence of the chief magistrate, and there produced satisfactory proofs of his marriage with Miss Liebenheim, which had been duly celebrated, though with great secrecy, nearly eight months before. In our city, as in all the cities of our country, clandestine marriages, witnessed, perhaps, by two friends only of the parties, besides the officiating priest, are exceedingly common. In the mere fact, therefore, taken separately, there was nothing to surprise us, but, taken in connection with the

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 On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:

believe that the bones of the skull are homologous with--that is correspond in number and in relative connexion with--the elemental parts of a certain number of vertebrae. The anterior and posterior limbs in each member of the vertebrate and articulate classes are plainly homologous. We see the same law in comparing the wonderfully complex jaws and legs in crustaceans. It is familiar to almost every one, that in a flower the relative position of the sepals, petals, stamens, and pistils, as well as their intimate structure, are intelligible on the view that they consist of metamorphosed leaves, arranged in a spire. In monstrous plants, we often get direct evidence of the possibility of one organ being transformed into another; and we can actually see in embryonic crustaceans and in many other animals,


On the Origin of Species