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Today's Stichomancy for Leonard Cohen

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare:

BAPTISTA. You mistake, sir; you mistake, sir. Pray, what do you think is his name?

VINCENTIO. His name! As if I knew not his name! I have brought him up ever since he was three years old, and his name is Tranio.

PEDANT. Away, away, mad ass! His name is Lucentio; and he is mine only son, and heir to the lands of me, Signior Vicentio.

VINCENTIO. Lucentio! O, he hath murdered his master! Lay hold on

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

splendidly true to his genius and to his country's fortune.


And yet the fact remains that, had the wind failed and the fleet lost steerage way, or, worse still, had it been taken aback from the eastward, with its leaders within short range of the enemy's guns, nothing, it seems, could have saved the headmost ships from capture or destruction. No skill of a great sea officer would have availed in such a contingency. Lord Nelson was more than that, and his genius would have remained undiminished by defeat. But obviously tactics, which are so much at the mercy of irremediable accident, must seem to a modern seaman a poor matter of study. The

The Mirror of the Sea
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe:

I will not say whether that clergyman was distracted or not, or whether he did it in pure zeal for the poor people, who went every evening through the streets of Whitechappel, and, with his hands lifted up, repeated that part of the Liturgy of the Church continually, 'Spare us, good Lord; spare Thy people, whom Thou has redeemed with Thy most precious blood.' I say, I cannot speak positively of these things, because these were only the dismal objects which represented themselves to me as I looked through my chamber windows (for I seldom opened the casements), while I confined myself within doors during that most violent raging of the pestilence; when, indeed, as I have said, many began to think, and even to say, that there would

A Journal of the Plague Year
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 Faraday as a Discoverer by John Tyndall:

some of them unable to liberate themselves from the fascination of their first-love.

After the researches which I have endeavoured to place before you, it was impossible for Faraday to avoid taking a side in this controversy. He did so in a paper 'On the Electricity of the Voltaic Pile,' received by the Royal Society on the 7th of April, 1834. His position in the controversy might have been predicted. He saw chemical effects going hand in hand with electrical effects, the one being proportional to the other; and, in the paper now before us, he proved that when the former was excluded, the latter were sought for in vain. He produced a current without metallic