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Today's Stichomancy for Enrico Fermi

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from When the World Shook by H. Rider Haggard:

"and my great designs are ruined. Yet only for a while," he added, "for the world-balance will return again, if not till long after your life-spans are done."

"If you don't doctor yourself, Lord Oro," said Bickley, also rising, "I may tell you as one who understands such things, that most likely it will be after your life-span is done also. Although their effect may be delayed, severe shocks from burns and over- excitement are apt to prove fatal to the aged."

Oro snarled at him; no other word describes it.

"And there are other things, Physician," he said, "which are apt to prove fatal to the young. At least now you will no longer


When the World Shook
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Monster Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

of obtaining and outfitting the schooner, and signing her two mates and crew of fifteen, had been spent with his employer's daughter.

The girl was rather glad that he was to be a member of their little company, for she had found him a much travelled man and an interesting talker with none of the, to her, disgusting artificialities of the professional ladies' man. He talked to her as he might have talked to a man, of the things that interest intelligent people regardless of sex.

There was never any suggestion of familiarity in his


The Monster Men
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert:

raised to the stature of a god.

With quivering nostrils and clenched teeth she went on:

"As if your sacrilege were not enough, you came to me in my sleep covered with the zaimph! Your words I did not understand; but I could see that you wished to drag me to some terrible thing at the bottom of an abyss."

Matho, writhing his arms, exclaimed:

"No! no! it was to give it to you! to restore it to you! It seemed to me that the goddess had left her garment for you, and that it belonged to you! In her temple or in your house, what does it matter? are you not all-powerful, immaculate, radiant and beautiful even as Tanith?"


Salammbo
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 Polity of Athenians and Lacedaemonians by Xenophon:

the general to keep the right wing, they turn the corps about,[21] and counter-march by ranks, until the leader is on the right, and the rear rank on the left. Or again, supposing a division of the enemy appears on the right whilst they are marching in column, they have nothing further to do but to wheel each company to the right, like a trireme, prow forwards,[22] to meet the enemy, and thus the rear company again finds itself on the right. If, however, the enemy should attack on the left, either they will not allow of that and push him aside,[23] or else they wheel their companies to the left to face the antagonist, and thus the rear company once more falls into position on the left.

[13] Or, "alongside of any comrade who may have fallen in their way."