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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 Intentions by Oscar Wilde:

I remember The first time ever Caesar put it on. 'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent, The day he overcame the Nervii:- Look, in this place ran Cassius' dagger through: See what a rent the envious Casca made: Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabbed. . . . Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold Our Caesar's vesture wounded?

The flowers which Ophelia carries with her in her madness are as pathetic as the violets that blossom on a grave; the effect of

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Phantasmagoria and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll:

But, in the case of men like me, I think 'Mine Host' might fairly be Allowed to state his views."

He said "It really wouldn't pay - Folk are so full of fancies. We visit for a single day, And whether then we go, or stay, Depends on circumstances.

"And, though we don't consult 'Mine Host' Before the thing's arranged, Still, if he often quits his post,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Europeans by Henry James:

to pose my models. She even thinks it will be charming; and that brings me to my third point. Gertrude likes me. Encourage her a little and she will tell you so."

Felix's tongue obviously moved much faster than the imagination of his auditors; his eloquence, like the rocking of a boat in a deep, smooth lake, made long eddies of silence. And he seemed to be pleading and chattering still, with his brightly eager smile, his uplifted eyebrows, his expressive mouth, after he had ceased speaking, and while, with his glance quickly turning from the father to the daughter, he sat waiting for the effect of his appeal. "It is not your want of means,"

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 Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary) by Dante Alighieri:

So early dost thou surfeit with the wealth, For which thou fearedst not in guile to take The lovely lady, and then mangle her?" I felt as those who, piercing not the drift Of answer made them, stand as if expos'd In mockery, nor know what to reply, When Virgil thus admonish'd: "Tell him quick, I am not he, not he, whom thou believ'st." And I, as was enjoin'd me, straight replied. That heard, the spirit all did wrench his feet, And sighing next in woeful accent spake:


The Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary)