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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 Profits of Religion by Upton Sinclair:

ecclesiastics were accorded public honors, and Catholic favor became a means to political advancement. You might see a hard-swearing old political pirate like "Uncle Joe" Cannon, taking his cigar out of the corner of his blasphemous mouth and betaking himself to the "Cardinal's Day Mass", to bend his stiff knees and bow his hoary unrepentant head before a jeweled prelate on a throne. You might see an emissary of the United States government proceeding to Rome, prostrating himself before the Pope, and paying over seven million dollars of our taxes for lands which the filthy and sensual friars of the Philippine Islands had filched from the wretched serfs of that country and

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Crowd by Gustave le Bon:

To bring home conviction to crowds it is necessary first of all to thoroughly comprehend the sentiments by which they are animated, to pretend to share these sentiments, then to endeavour to modify them by calling up, by means of rudimentary associations, certain eminently suggestive notions, to be capable, if need be, of going back to the point of view from which a start was made, and, above all, to divine from instant to instant the sentiments to which one's discourse is giving birth. This necessity of ceaselessly varying one's language in accordance with the effect produced at the moment of speaking deprives from the outset a prepared and studied harangue of all

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

A cough, continual fever, oppressive breathing and spots on her cheeks indicated some serious trouble. Monsieur Popart had advised a sojourn in Provence. Madame Aubain decided that they would go, and she would have had her daughter come home at once, had it not been for the climate of Pont-l'Eveque.

She made an arrangement with a livery-stable man who drove her over to the convent every Tuesday. In the garden there was a terrace, from which the view extends to the Seine. Virginia walked in it, leaning on her mother's arm and treading the dead vine leaves. Sometimes the sun, shining through the clouds, made her blink her lids, when she gazed at the sails in the distance, and let her eyes roam over the horizon from


A Simple Soul
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 Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare:

Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me. Such is my love, to thee I so belong, That for thy right, myself will bear all wrong.

LXXXIX

Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault, And I will comment upon that offence: Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt, Against thy reasons making no defence. Thou canst not love disgrace me half so ill, To set a form upon desired change, As I'll myself disgrace; knowing thy will,