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Today's Stichomancy for James Legge

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:

you may let the matter drop, if you are able and willing to find some other mode of clearing up our controversy.

SOCRATES: If you say that, I have nothing to apprehend, for the words 'if you are willing' dispel all my fear; and, moreover, a god seems to have recalled something to my mind.

PHILEBUS: What is that?

SOCRATES: I remember to have heard long ago certain discussions about pleasure and wisdom, whether awake or in a dream I cannot tell; they were to the effect that neither the one nor the other of them was the good, but some third thing, which was different from them, and better than either. If this be clearly established, then pleasure will lose the victory, for

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

and the Apology, contain allusions to one another. But these allusions are superficial and, except in the case of the Republic and the Laws, have no philosophical importance. They do not affect the substance of the work. It may be remarked further that several of the dialogues, such as the Phaedrus, the Sophist, and the Parmenides, have more than one subject. But it does not therefore follow that Plato intended one dialogue to succeed another, or that he begins anew in one dialogue a subject which he has left unfinished in another, or that even in the same dialogue he always intended the two parts to be connected with each other. We cannot argue from a casual statement found in the Parmenides to other statements which occur in the Philebus. Much more truly is his own manner described by himself when

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

Before Tarzan came upon his first visit, La had had no thought that such men as he existed, for she knew only her hideous little priests and the bulls of the tribe of great anthropoids that had dwelt from time immemorial in and about Opar, until they had come to be looked upon almost as equals by the Oparians. Among the legends of Opar were tales of godlike men of the olden time and of black men who had come more recently; but these latter had been enemies who killed and robbed. And, too, these legends always held forth the hope that some day that nameless continent from which


Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar
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 Secret Places of the Heart by H. G. Wells:

for a woman--It means that I want to be with you. But that is impossible. . . . Don't doubt whether I love you because I say--impossible. . . . "

Sir Richmond, faced with his own nocturnal decision, was now moved to oppose it flatly. "Nothing that one can do is impossible."

She glanced again at Belinda and bent down towards him." Suppose," she said, "you got back into that car with me; suppose that instead of going on as we have planned, you took me away. How much of us would go?"

"You would go," said Sir Richmond, "and my heart."