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Today's Stichomancy for M. C. Escher

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Heroes by Charles Kingsley:

wave, while the wind sings cheerful in the cordage, and the oars flash fast among the foam! How sweet it is to roam across the ocean, and see new towns and wondrous lands, and to come home laden with treasure, and to win undying fame!'

And the good ship ARGO heard him, and longed to be away and out at sea; till she stirred in every timber, and heaved from stem to stern, and leapt up from the sand upon the rollers, and plunged onward like a gallant horse; and the heroes fed her path with pine-trunks, till she rushed into the whispering sea.

Then they stored her well with food and water, and pulled the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Captain Stormfield by Mark Twain:

"No matter - that divergence has made all this trouble. It has brought you to a gate that is billions of leagues from the right one. If you had gone to your own gate they would have known all about your world at once and there would have been no delay. But we will try to accommodate you." He turned to an under clerk and says -

"What system is Jupiter in?"

"I don't remember, sir, but I think there is such a planet in one of the little new systems away out in one of the thinly worlded corners of the universe. I will see."

He got a balloon and sailed up and up and up, in front of a map

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche:

livest still, Zarathustra?

Why? Wherefore? Whereby? Whither? Where? How? Is it not folly still to live?--

Ah, my friends; the evening is it which thus interrogateth in me. Forgive me my sadness!

Evening hath come on: forgive me that evening hath come on!"

Thus sang Zarathustra.

XXXIII. THE GRAVE-SONG.

"Yonder is the grave-island, the silent isle; yonder also are the graves of my youth. Thither will I carry an evergreen wreath of life."

Resolving thus in my heart, did I sail o'er the sea.--


Thus Spake Zarathustra
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 Some Reminiscences by Joseph Conrad:

bearers of any gifts of profit or fame. There was no vision of a printed book before me as I sat writing at that table, situated in a decayed part of Belgravia. After all these years, each leaving its evidence of slowly blackened pages, I can honestly say that it is a sentiment akin to piety which prompted me to render in words assembled with conscientious care the memory of things far distant and of men who had lived.

But, coming back to Captain Froud and his fixed idea of never disappointing ship-owners or ship-captains, it was not likely that I should fail him in his ambition--to satisfy at a few hours' notice the unusual demand for a French-speaking officer.


Some Reminiscences