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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Goedel

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tattine by Ruth Ogden [Mrs. Charles W. Ide]:

"Well, I suppose in a way setters are natural hunters, Tattine, but then their training has doubtless a great deal to do with it, but I want to tell you something that I think will give you just a grain of comfort. I read the other day that Sir John Franklin, the great Arctic explorer, who almost lost his life in being attacked by some huge animal--it must have been a bear, I think--says that the animal when he first gets you in his teeth gives you such a shake that it paralyzes your nerves--this is, it benumbs all your feelings, so, that, strange as it may seem, you really do not suffer. So let us hope that it was that way with this little rabbit."

"But there's a little blood here on one side, Mamma."

"That doesn't always prove suffering, either, Tattine. Soldiers are sometimes

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:

Verloc, as placidly as if her husband had been threatening her with the end of the world, said:

"The idea!"

Mr Verloc declared himself sick and tired of everything, and besides - She interrupted him.

"You've a bad cold."

It was indeed obvious that Mr Verloc was not in his usual state, physically and even mentally. A sombre irresolution held him silent for a while. Then he murmured a few ominous generalities on the theme of necessity.

"Will have to," repeated Winnie, sitting calmly back, with folded


The Secret Agent
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle:

and velvet, and each page bore in his hands his master's helmet, from which waved long, floating plumes of feathers. Never had Nottingham seen a fairer sight than those fivescore noble knights, from whose armor the sun blazed in dazzling light as they came riding on their great war horses, with clashing of arms and jingling of chains. Behind the knights came the barons and the nobles of the mid-country, in robes of silk and cloth of gold, with golden chains about their necks and jewels at their girdles. Behind these again came a great array of men-at-arms, with spears and halberds in their hands, and, in the midst of these, two riders side by side. One of the horsemen was the Sheriff of Nottingham in his robes of office. The other, who was a head taller than the Sheriff, was clad in a rich but


The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
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 Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum:

and even dropping his precious cat in his fear.

For a moment Claus stood motionless, being puzzled and astonished. Then he threw Shiegra's image into the cupboard and ran after the children, calling to them not to be frightened.

Little Mayrie stopped in her flight and her brother clung to her skirt; but they both cast fearful glances at the house until Claus had assured them many times that the beast had been locked in the cupboard.

"Yet why were you frightened at seeing it?" he asked. "It is only a toy to play with!"

"It's bad!" said Mayrie, decidedly, "an'--an'--just horrid, an' not a bit nice, like tats!"


The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus