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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 Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley:

subject of the queen's, go to the Spanish Main with a clear conscience on my own private quarrel, unless I do all the harm that my hand finds to do, by day and night, to her enemies, and the enemies of God."

"What nobler knight-errantry?" said Frank, cheerfully; but Mrs. Leigh shuddered.

"What! Frank too?" she said, half to herself; but her sons knew what she meant. Amyas's warlike life, honorable and righteous as she knew it to be, she had borne as a sad necessity: but that Frank as well should become "a man of blood," was more than her gentle heart could face at first sight. That one youthful duel of his he

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Faraday as a Discoverer by John Tyndall:

you as a true philosopher and friend.[1]

'Yours, very truly, 'M. Faraday.'

Footnote to Chapter 4

[1] Faraday would have been rejoiced to learn that, during its last meeting at Dundee, the British Association illustrated in a striking manner the function which he here describes as its principal one. In my own case, a brotherly welcome was everywhere manifested. In fact, the differences of really honourable and sane men are never beyond healing.

Chapter 5.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

and uttered aloud the word "Ev," as the Nome King had instructed her to do when she guessed. But the candelabra remained as it was before.

Then she wandered into another room and touched a china lamb, thinking it might be one of the children she sought. But again she was unsuccessful. Three guesses; four guesses; five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten she made, and still not one of them was right!

The girl shivered a little and grew pale even under the rosy light; for now but one guess remained, and her own fate depended upon the result.

She resolved not to be hasty, and strolled through all the rooms once more, gazing earnestly upon the various ornaments and trying to decide which she would touch. Finally, in despair, she decided to leave it


Ozma of Oz
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 Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:

becoming aware of this investment, which was made in the name of Madame Moreau, who was understood to have inherited property from an aunt of her father.

As soon as the steward had tasted the delightful fruit of the possession of the property, he began, all the while maintaining toward the world an appearance of the utmost integrity, to lose no occasion of increasing his fortune clandestinely; the interests of his three children served as a poultice to the wounds of his honor. Nevertheless, we ought in justice to say that while he accepted casks of wine, and took care of himself in all the purchases that he made for the count, yet according to the terms of the Code he remained an