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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 Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce:

"My friend, you must recognise the laws and limitations of your being," replied the Tail, with flexions appropriate to the sentiments uttered, "and try to be great some other way. The Sphinx has one hundred and fifty qualifications for impassiveness which you lack."

"What are they?" the Dog asked.

"One hundred and forty-nine tons of sand on her tail."

"And - ?"

"A stone tail."

A Prophet of Evil

AN Undertaker Who Was a Member of a Trust saw a Man Leaning on a


Fantastic Fables
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum:

if children do not visit your caves they have no need to visit mine; so that I am quite as neglected as you are."

"And all because of this person they call Santa Claus!" exclaimed the Daemon of Envy. "He is simply ruining our business, and something must be done at once."

To this they readily agreed; but what to do was another and more difficult matter to settle. They knew that Santa Claus worked all through the year at his castle in the Laughing Valley, preparing the gifts he was to distribute on Christmas Eve; and at first they resolved to try to tempt him into their caves, that they might lead him on to the terrible pitfalls that ended in destruction.


A Kidnapped Santa Claus
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:

wonder he sweated." You see from this the value of Powell's comments. Mrs. Anthony then said: "Why are you sending me away?"

"Why! That you should go to sleep. That you should rest." And Captain Anthony frowned. Then sharply, "You stay here, Mr. Powell. I shall want you presently."

As a matter of fact Powell had not moved. Flora did not mind his presence. He himself had the feeling of being of no account to those three people. He was looking at Mrs. Anthony as unabashed as the proverbial cat looking at a king. Mrs. Anthony glanced at him. She did not move, gripped by an inexplicable premonition. She had arrived at the very limit of her endurance as the object of


Chance
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 Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:

part of my time in adjusting and correcting the calculations I made some years past, because I would offer nothing to the world of which I am not as fully satisfied, as that I am now alive. For these two last years I have not failed in above one or two particulars, and those of no very great moment. I exactly foretold the miscarriage at Toulon, with all its particulars; and the loss of Admiral Shovel, tho' I was mistaken as to the day, placing that accident about thirty-six hours sooner than it happen'd; but upon reviewing my schemes, I quickly found the cause of that error. I likewise foretold the Battle of Almanza to the very day and hour, with the loss on both sides, and the