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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 Lost Continent by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

recently had of the savage native. The little party had evidently been surprised, and in the attack Thirty-six had been wounded and the others taken prisoners. The thought was almost like a physical blow in the face--it stunned me. Victory in the hands of these abysmal brutes! It was frightful. I almost shook poor Thirty-six in my efforts to revive him.

I explained my theory to the others, and then Delcarte shattered it by a single movement of the hand. He drew aside the lion's skin that covered half of the Grabritin's breast, revealing a neat, round hole in Thirty-six's chest--


Lost Continent
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Mother by Owen Wister:

to do it for him. Nor did I then know anything about the lands in Michigan--though this would have made no difference. Ethel had been accustomed to a house several stories high, with hot and cold water in most of them, and somebody to answer the door-bell."

"The door-bell!" exclaimed Ethel. "I could have gone without hearing that."

"Yes, Ethel, only to hear the welkin ring would have been enough for you. I know that you are sincere in thinking so. And the ringing welkin is all we should have heard in Michigan. But the more truly a man loves a girl, the less can he bear taking her from an easy to a hard life. I am sure that all the men here agree with me."

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Poems by Oscar Wilde:

Flame-jewelled censers the young deacons swing, When the grey priest unlocks the curtained shrine, And makes God's body from the common fruit of corn and vine.

Poor Fra Giovanni bawling at the mass Were out of tune now, for a small brown bird Sings overhead, and through the long cool grass I see that throbbing throat which once I heard On starlit hills of flower-starred Arcady, Once where the white and crescent sand of Salamis meets sea.

Sweet is the swallow twittering on the eaves At daybreak, when the mower whets his scythe,

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 Poems of Goethe, Bowring, Tr. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

And I have got quite a stock stow'd away in the boot of the carriage. Well, I have taken a fancy the rest of the gifts to deposit In your hands, and thus fulfil to the best my commission; You will divide them with prudence, whilst I my fate am obeying.' Then the maiden replied:--'With faithfulness I will distribute All your gifts, and the needy shall surely rejoice at your bounty.' Thus she spake, and I hastily open'd the boot of the carriage, Took out the hams (full heavy they were) and took out the bread-stuffs, Flasks of wine and beer, and handed the whole of them over. Gladly would I have given her more, but empty the boot was. Straightway she pack'd them away at the feet of the patient, and forthwith