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Today's Stichomancy for John Von Neumann

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Bronte Sisters:

fond as a pair of lovers - and now you've taken her from me; and you want to deprive me of my walk and my visit besides. Go back to your fields and your cattle, you lubberly fellow; you're not fit to associate with ladies and gentlemen like us, that have nothing to do but to run snooking about to our neighbours' houses, peeping into their private corners, and scenting out their secrets, and picking holes in their coats, when we don't find them ready made to our hands - you don't understand such refined sources of enjoyment.'

'Can't you both go?' suggested Eliza, disregarding the latter half of the speech.


The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Twilight Land by Howard Pyle:

stood in the hillside, and, breaking a switch from a shrub that grew in a cleft, struck the face of the stone, crying in a loud voice, "I command thee to open, in the name of the red Aldebaran!"

Instantly, creaking and groaning, the face of the rock opened like a door, gaping blackly. Then, one after another, the three old men entered, and nothing was left but the dull light of their torches, shining on the walls of the passage-way.

What happened inside the cavern the fagot-maker could neither see nor hear, but minute after minute passed while he sat as in a maze at all that had happened. Then presently he heard a deep

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes:

began hastily unlacing the bosom of her dress.

Don Quixote observed it, and approaching them said, "I know very well what this seizure arises from."

"I know not from what," replied the friend, "for Altisidora is the healthiest damsel in all this house, and I have never heard her complain all the time I have known her. A plague on all the knights-errant in the world, if they be all ungrateful! Go away, Senor Don Quixote; for this poor child will not come to herself again so long as you are here."

To which Don Quixote returned, "Do me the favour, senora, to let a lute be placed in my chamber to-night; and I will comfort this poor


Don Quixote
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 Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey:

of an old family. You come of the best of blood, lass, and blood tells."

Bess slipped through his arm to her knees and hugged the locket to her bosom, and lifted wonderful, yearning eyes.

"It--can't--be--true!"

"Thank God, lass, it is true," replied Lassiter. "Jane an' Bern here--they both recognize Milly. They see Milly in you. They're so knocked out they can't tell you, that's all."

"Who are you?" whispered Bess.

"I reckon I'm Milly's brother an' your uncle!...Uncle Jim! Ain't that fine?"


Riders of the Purple Sage