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Today's Stichomancy for Laurence Olivier

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:

to leave her couch. She was dressed, however, in festal robes, and received her guests with many gracious words and apologies. Of course only ladies were present. The great covered court was converted into a large shrine. One could imagine they were looking into the main hall of a temple, only that everything was so clean and beautiful. From the centre of the shrine a Goddess of Mercy looked down complacently upon the array of fruit, nuts, sweetmeats and cakes spread out before her. Many candles in their tall candlesticks were burning on every side. Before her was a great bronze incense-burner, from which many sticks of incense sent out their fragrant odour on the air. As each guest passed

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley:

and I'll have one too;" and she stuck it on her back, and marched about with it quite proud, though it was very inconvenient indeed. And, at that, tails became all the fashion among the caddis-baits in that pool, as they were at the end of the Long Pond last May, and they all toddled about with long straws sticking out behind, getting between each other's legs, and tumbling over each other, and looking so ridiculous, that Tom laughed at them till he cried, as we did. But they were quite right, you know; for people must always follow the fashion, even if it be spoon-bonnets.

Then sometimes he came to a deep still reach; and there he saw the water-forests. They would have looked to you only little weeds:

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Island Nights' Entertainments by Robert Louis Stevenson:

into his mind that the high chief had consented; that the men of the tribe had set-to cutting down these trees; that word had gone about the isle from sorcerer to sorcerer, and these were all now assembling to defend their trees. Desire of strange things swept him on. He posted with the voices, crossed the beach, and came into the borders of the wood, and stood astonished. One tree had fallen, others were part hewed away. There was the tribe clustered. They were back to back, and bodies lay, and blood flowed among their feet. The hue of fear was on all their faces; their voices went up to heaven shrill as a weasel's cry.

Have you seen a child when he is all alone and has a wooden sword,

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 Reminiscences of Tolstoy by Leo Tolstoy:

from hour to hour they expected the arrival of my father, for whom they had sent a messenger to Yásnaya. They were all troubled with the difficult question whether the dying man would want to receive the holy communion before he died. Knowing Sergéi Nikoláyevitch's disbelief in the religion of the church, no one dared to mention the subject to him, and the unhappy María Mikháilovna hovered round his room, wringing her hands and praying. They awaited my father's arrival impatiently, but were secretly afraid of his influence on his brother, and hoped against hope that Sergéi Nikoláyevitch would send for the