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Today's Stichomancy for Albert Einstein

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Paradise Lost by John Milton:

At loop-holes cut through thickest shade: Those leaves They gathered, broad as Amazonian targe; And, with what skill they had, together sewed, To gird their waist; vain covering, if to hide Their guilt and dreaded shame! O, how unlike To that first naked glory! Such of late Columbus found the American, so girt With feathered cincture; naked else, and wild Among the trees on isles and woody shores. Thus fenced, and, as they thought, their shame in part Covered, but not at rest or ease of mind,


Paradise Lost
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:

and my bed seemed softer after I had paid the carter myself.

Among my friends and patients none are more interesting than the Misses Hsu. They are very intelligent, and after I had become well acquainted with them I said to them one day:

"How is it that you have done such wide reading?"

"You know, of course," they said, "that our father is a chuang yuan."

I asked them the meaning of a chuang yuan. Then I learned that under the Chinese system a great many students enter the examinations, and those who secure their degree are called hsiu tsai; a year or two later these are examined again, and those who

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The New Machiavelli by H. G. Wells:

the racing man, Panmure, the artist, two or three big City men, Weston Massinghay and another prominent Liberal whose name I can't remember, the three men Tarvrille had promised and Esmeer, Lord Wrassleton, Waulsort, the member for Monckton, Neal and several others. We began a little coldly, with duologues, but the conversation was already becoming general--so far as such a long table permitted--when the fire asserted itself.

It asserted itself first as a penetrating and emphatic smell of burning rubber,--it was caused by the fusing of an electric wire. The reek forced its way into the discussion of the Pekin massacres that had sprung up between Evesham, Waulsort, and the others at 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 Edingburgh Picturesque Notes by Robert Louis Stevenson:

path; and at night, from high upon the hills, a shepherd saw lighted windows through the foliage and heard the voice of city dignitaries raised in song.

The farm is older. It was first a grange of Whitekirk Abbey, tilled and inhabited by rosy friars. Thence, after the Reformation, it passed into the hands of a true-blue Protestant family. During the covenanting troubles, when a night conventicle was held upon the Pentlands, the farm doors stood hospitably open till the morning; the dresser was laden with cheese and bannocks, milk and brandy; and the worshippers kept slipping down