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Today's Stichomancy for Dan Brown

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Criminal Sociology by Enrico Ferri:

discussion of evidence (prosecution and defence), and decision upon evidence (judges and juries).

It is evident in the first place, as I remarked in the first edition of this work, and as Righini, Garofalo, Lombroso, Alongi, and Rossi have confirmed, that a study of the anthropological factors of crime provides the guardians and administrators of the law with new and more certain methods in the detection of the guilty. Tattooing, anthropometry, physiognomy, physical and mental conditions, records of sensibility, reflex activity, vaso- motor reactions, the range of sight, the data of criminal statistics, facilitate and complete the amassing of evidence,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Marie by H. Rider Haggard:

by Zulus. He did so, and presently Retief came back himself accompanied only by one man, and asked me what was the matter now. I informed him, translating Kambula's words, which he repeated in his presence.

"Does the fellow mean that you will be seized if you do not go, or I refuse to allow you to do so?"

To this question Kambula's answer was:

"That is so, Inkoos, since the king has private words for the ear of Macumazahn. Therefore we must obey orders, and take him before the king, living or dead."

"Allemachte!" exclaimed Retief, "this is serious," and, as though to summon them to my help, he looked behind him towards the main body of

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:

SOCRATES: Then if these arts are reckoned among things useful, the arts are wealth for the same reason as gold and silver are, for, clearly, the possession of them gives wealth. Yet a little while ago we found it difficult to accept the argument which proved that the wisest are the wealthiest. But now there seems no escape from this conclusion. Suppose that we are asked, 'Is a horse useful to everybody?' will not our reply be, 'No, but only to those who know how to use a horse?'

ERYXIAS: Certainly.

SOCRATES: And so, too, physic is not useful to every one, but only to him who knows how to use it?


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 Enemies of Books by William Blades:

in the handwriting of the well-known antiquary, Warburton:

"After I had been many years collecting these Manuscript Playes, through my own carelessness and the ignorance of my servant, they was unluckely burned or put under pye bottoms."

Some of these "Playes" are preserved in print, but others are quite unknown and perished for ever when used as "pye-bottoms."

Mr. W. B. Rye, late Keeper of the Printed Books at our great National Library, thus writes:--

"On the subject of ignorance you should some day, when at the British Museum, look at Lydgate's translation of Boccaccio's `Fall of Princes,' printed by Pynson in 1494. It is `liber rarissimus.'