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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 Albert Savarus by Honore de Balzac:

the Paris Bar, seeing how many vacancies had been left by the promotion of several lawyers to eminent positions. But when I remembered the rivalry I had seen among men of the press, and how difficult it is to achieve anything of any kind in Paris, the arena where so many champions meet, I came to a determination painful to myself, but certain in its results, and perhaps quicker than any other. In the course of our conversations you had given me a picture of the society of Besancon, of the impossibility for a stranger to get on there, to produce the smallest effect, to get into society, or to succeed in any way whatever. It was there that I determined to set up my flag, thinking, and rightly, that I


Albert Savarus
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Men of Iron by Howard Pyle:

ceremony of a creation of a Knight of the Bath. It tells us that the candidate was first placed under the care of two squires of honor, "grave and well seen in courtship and nurture, and also in feats of chivalry," which same were likewise to be governors in all things relating to the coming honors.

First of all, the barber shaved him, and cut his hair in a certain peculiar fashion ordained for the occasion, the squires of honor supervising the operation. This being concluded, the candidate was solemnly conducted to the chamber where the bath of tepid water was prepared, "hung within and without with linen, and likewise covered with rich cloths and embroidered linen."


Men of Iron
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Hamlet by William Shakespeare:

No in despight of Sense and Secrecie, Vnpegge the Basket on the houses top: Let the Birds flye, and like the famous Ape To try Conclusions in the Basket, creepe And breake your owne necke downe

Qu. Be thou assur'd, if words be made of breath, And breath of life: I haue no life to breath What thou hast saide to me

Ham. I must to England, you know that? Qu. Alacke I had forgot: 'Tis so concluded on

Ham. This man shall set me packing:


Hamlet
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 Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

thought might be the chicken-coop in which she had arrived at this singular country.

Then she looked to the north, and saw a deep but narrow valley lying between two rocky mountains, and a third mountain that shut off the valley at the further end.

Westward the fertile Land of Ev suddenly ended a little way from the palace, and the girl could see miles and miles of sandy desert that stretched further than her eyes could reach. It was this desert, she thought, with much interest, that alone separated her from the wonderful Land of Oz, and she remembered sorrowfully that she had been told no one had ever been able to cross this dangerous waste but


Ozma of Oz