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Today's Stichomancy for Laurence Fishburne

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Another Study of Woman by Honore de Balzac:

ominous roar, we could hear a woman's feeble scream. We all looked round, seized by I know not what impulse of terror; we no longer saw the house, but a huge bonfire. The farmhouse had been barricaded, and was in flames. Swirls of smoke borne on the wind brought us hoarse cries and an indescribable pungent smell. A few yards behind, the captain was quietly approaching to join our caravan; we gazed at him in silence, for no one dared question him; but he, understanding our curiosity, pointed to his breast with the forefinger of his right hand, and, waving the left in the direction of the fire, he said, '/Son'io/.'

"We all walked on without saying a word to him."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:

of Marlborough: One kind of stuff used to fatten land is called marle, and every body knows that borough is a name for a town; and this way of expression is after the usual dark manner of old astrological predictions.

Then shall the Fyshe, etc. By the fish, is understood the Dauphin of France, as their kings eldest sons are called: 'Tis here said, he shall lament the loss of the Duke of Burgundy, called the Bosse, which is an old English word for hump-shoulder, or crook-back, as that Duke is known to be; and the prophecy seems to mean, that he should be overcome or slain. By the green berrys, in the next line, is meant the young Duke of Berry, the

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Common Sense by Thomas Paine:

was a glorious rescue. But that it is imperfect, subject to convulsions, and incapable of producing what it seems to promise, is easily demonstrated.

Absolute governments (tho' the disgrace of human nature) have this advantage with them, that they are simple; if the people suffer, they know the head from which their suffering springs, know likewise the remedy, and are not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. But the constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies; some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine.

I know it is difficult to get over local or long standing prejudices,


Common Sense
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 Theaetetus by Plato:

only become conscious when objects are withdrawn from it. There are various ways in which we may trace the connexion between them. We may think of space as unresisting matter, and of matter as divided into objects; or of objects again as formed by abstraction into a collective notion of matter, and of matter as rarefied into space. And motion may be conceived as the union of there and not there in space, and force as the materializing or solidification of motion. Space again is the individual and universal in one; or, in other words, a perception and also a conception. So easily do what are sometimes called our simple ideas pass into one another, and differences of kind resolve themselves into differences of degree.