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Today's Stichomancy for Frederick II

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from 'Twixt Land & Sea by Joseph Conrad:

The answer to this information was a loud ejaculation of distress. Jasper thought anxiously: "Why, the fellow's nerve's gone to pieces;" and with an awkward uneasiness of a new sort, looked intently at the brig. The thought that he was parted from her - for the first time since they came together - shook the apparently careless fortitude of his character to its very foundations, which were deep. All that time neither Heemskirk nor even his inky shadow had stirred in the least.

"I am going to send a boat's crew and an officer on board your vessel," he announced to no one in particular. Jasper, tearing himself away from the absorbed contemplation of the brig, turned

'Twixt Land & Sea
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Unseen World and Other Essays by John Fiske:

itself to Paul's mind cannot be determined. Probably it did not. In those writings of his which have come down to us, he shows himself careless of metaphysical considerations. He is mainly concerned with exhibiting the unsatisfactory character of Jewish Christianity, and with inculcating a spiritual morality, to which the doctrine of Christ's resurrection is made to supply a surpassingly powerful sanction. But attempts to solve the problem were not long in coming. According to a very early tradition, of which the obscured traces remain in the synoptic gospels, Jesus received the pneuma at the time of his baptism, when the Holy Spirit, or visible manifestation of the essence of Jehovah,

The Unseen World and Other Essays
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Walden by Henry David Thoreau:

heard the whip-poor-will, the brown thrasher, the veery, the wood pewee, the chewink, and other birds. I had heard the wood thrush long before. The phoebe had already come once more and looked in at my door and window, to see if my house was cavern-like enough for her, sustaining herself on humming wings with clinched talons, as if she held by the air, while she surveyed the premises. The sulphur-like pollen of the pitch pine soon covered the pond and the stones and rotten wood along the shore, so that you could have collected a barrelful. This is the "sulphur showers" we bear of. Even in Calidas' drama of Sacontala, we read of "rills dyed yellow with the golden dust of the lotus." And so the seasons went rolling

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 Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:

of exaltation and depression from which I tried to take refuge in conversation; but Senor Ortega was not stimulating. He was preoccupied with personal matters. When suddenly he asked me whether I knew why he had been called away from his work (he had been buying supplies from peasants somewhere in Central France), I answered that I didn't know what the reason was originally, but I had an idea that the present intention was to make of him a courier, bearing certain messages from Baron H. to the Quartel Real in Tolosa.

He glared at me like a basilisk. "And why have I been met like this?" he enquired with an air of being prepared to hear a lie.

The Arrow of Gold