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Today's Stichomancy for Jack Nicholson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:

We may pretend otherwise, in conversation; but we can't pretend it to ourselves privately--and we don't. We do confess in public that we are the noblest work of God, being moved to it by long habit, and teaching, and superstition; but deep down in the secret places of our souls we recognize that, if we ARE the noblest work, the less said about it the better.

We of the North poke fun at the South for its fondness of titles-- a fondness for titles pure and simple, regardless of whether they are genuine or pinchbeck. We forget that whatever a Southerner likes the rest of the human race likes, and that there is no law of predilection lodged in one people that is absent from another people.

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

to be comforted with sweetmeats, and the Grand Inquisitor himself was so affected that he could not help saying to Don Pedro that it seemed to him intolerable that things made simply out of wood and coloured wax, and worked mechanically by wires, should be so unhappy and meet with such terrible misfortunes.

An African juggler followed, who brought in a large flat basket covered with a red cloth, and having placed it in the centre of the arena, he took from his turban a curious reed pipe, and blew through it. In a few moments the cloth began to move, and as the pipe grew shriller and shriller two green and gold snakes put out their strange wedge-shaped heads and rose slowly up, swaying to and

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde:

lonely, he said, 'Where is my mother?'

And the Squirrel answered, 'Thou hast slain mine. Dost thou seek to slay thine also?'

And the Star-Child wept and bowed his head, and prayed forgiveness of God's things, and went on through the forest, seeking for the beggar-woman. And on the third day he came to the other side of the forest and went down into the plain.

And when he passed through the villages the children mocked him, and threw stones at him, and the carlots would not suffer him even to sleep in the byres lest he might bring mildew on the stored corn, so foul was he to look at, and their hired men drave him

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 Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas:

precious bulbs, to think no more of it, after his godfather had left him; very unlike Boxtel, who looked upon this parcel as a clever pilot does on the distant and scarcely perceptible cloud which is increasing on its way and which is fraught with a storm.

Little dreaming of the jealous hatred of his neighbour, Van Baerle had proceeded step by step towards gaining the prize offered by the Horticultural Society of Haarlem. He had progressed from hazel-nut shade to that of roasted coffee, and on the very day when the frightful events took place at the Hague which we have related in the preceding chapters,


The Black Tulip