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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 The Turn of the Screw by Henry James:

It was as if what I had yearned for had come at last only to astonish me. "Well, yes--I may as well make a clean breast of it. it was precisely for that."

He waited so long that I supposed it for the purpose of repudiating the assumption on which my action had been founded; but what he finally said was: "Do you mean now--here?"

"There couldn't be a better place or time." He looked round him uneasily, and I had the rare--oh, the queer!--impression of the very first symptom I had seen in him of the approach of immediate fear. It was as if he were suddenly afraid of me--which struck me indeed as perhaps the best thing to make him. Yet in the very pang of the effort I felt it vain to try sternness,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Poems by Oscar Wilde:

Down the steep rock with hurried feet and fast Clomb the brave lad, and reached the cave of Pan, And heard the goat-foot snoring as he passed, And leapt upon a grassy knoll and ran Like a young fawn unto an olive wood Which in a shady valley by the well-built city stood;

And sought a little stream, which well he knew, For oftentimes with boyish careless shout The green and crested grebe he would pursue, Or snare in woven net the silver trout, And down amid the startled reeds he lay

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:

of suspicion could arise. And, dash it all! a ship must meet her end some day. . .

"I am not frightened. I am indignant," says George Dunbar.

"Cloete boiling with rage inside. Chance of a lifetime - his chance! And he says kindly: Your wife'll be much more indignant when you ask her to get out of that pretty house of yours and pile in into a two-pair back - with kids perhaps, too. . .

"George had no children. Married a couple of years; looked forward to a kid or two very much. Feels more upset than ever. Talks about an honest man for father, and so on. Cloete grins: You be quick before they come, and they'll have a rich man for father, and


Within the Tides
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 Lost Princess of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

to find my dishpan."

"Poof!" grunted the Frogman scornfully. "I am greater than any wizard. Depend on ME. If your dishpan is anywhere in the world, I am sure to find it."

"If you do not, my heart will be broken," declared the Cookie Cook in a sorrowful voice.

For a while the Frogman walked on in silence. Then he asked, "Why do you attach so much importance to a dishpan?"

"It is the greatest treasure I possess," replied the woman. "It belonged to my mother and to all my grandmothers since the beginning of time. It is, I believe, the very oldest thing in all the Yip


The Lost Princess of Oz