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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 The Call of the Canyon by Zane Grey:

black land of New Mexico. She searched the horizon for mountains, but there did not appear to be any. She received a vague, slow-dawning impression that was hard to define. She did not like the country, though that was not the impression which eluded her. Bare gray flats, low scrub-fringed hills, bleak cliffs, jumble after jumble of rocks, and occasionally a long vista down a valley, somehow compelling-these passed before her gaze until she tired of them. Where was the West Glenn had written about? One thing seemed sure, and it was that every mile of this crude country brought her nearer to him. This recurring thought gave Carley all the pleasure she had felt so far in this endless ride. It struck her that England or France could be dropped down into New Mexico and scarcely noticed.


The Call of the Canyon
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Scenes from a Courtesan's Life by Honore de Balzac:

Trompe-la-Mort and Madeleine; and he did not allow the so-called priest to see the condemned criminal till Bibi-Lupin, admirably disguised as a gendarme, had taken the place of the prisoner left in charge of the young Corsican.

No words can describe the amazement of the three convicts when a warder came to fetch Jacques Collin and led him to the condemned cell! With one consent they rushed up to the chair on which Jacques Collin was sitting.

"To-day, isn't it, monsieur?" asked Fil-de-Soie of the warder.

"Yes, Jack Ketch is waiting," said the man with perfect indifference.

Charlot is the name by which the executioner is known to the populace

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

and not first in the order of their development, and is the instinct which we have inherited or acquired, not the nobler effort of reflection which created them and which keeps them alive. We do not stop to reason about common honesty. Whenever we are not blinded by self-deceit, as for example in judging the actions of others, we have no hesitation in determining what is right and wrong. The principles of morality, when not at variance with some desire or worldly interest of our own, or with the opinion of the public, are hardly perceived by us; but in the conflict of reason and passion they assert their authority and are not overcome without remorse.

Such is a brief outline of the history of our moral ideas. We have to distinguish, first of all, the manner in which they have grown up in the

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 Chinese Boy and Girl by Isaac Taylor Headland:

back over his shoulder and he received a dozen slaps from his companions, all of whom were waiting for just such an opportunity. This is the object of the game--to catch a boy with his queue down his back. Some of the boys, more spry than others, would move away to a distance, and then as though all unconsciously, allow their queue to hang down the back in its natural position, depending upon their fleetness or their agility in getting out of the way or bringing the queue around in front. This game is peculiarly interesting and caused much hilarity. At times even the solemn face of Chi relaxed into a smile.