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Today's Stichomancy for Mikhail Gorbachev

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell:

into the thorn hedge. He wanted me to help him out, but I hope you will excuse me, sir, I did not feel inclined to do so. There's no bones broken, sir; he'll only get a few scratches. I love horses, and it riles me to see them badly used; it is a bad plan to aggravate an animal till he uses his heels; the first time is not always the last."

During this time the mother began to cry, "Oh, my poor Bill, I must go and meet him; he must be hurt."

"You had better go into the house, wife," said the farmer; "Bill wants a lesson about this, and I must see that he gets it; this is not the first time, nor the second, that he has ill-used that pony, and I shall stop it. I am much obliged to you, Manly. Good-evening."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rezanov by Gertrude Atherton:

XIX

It was ten o'clock when Rezanov, who had supped on the Juno, met Santiago in a sandy valley half a mile from the Presidio and mounted the horse his young friend himself had saddled and brought. The long ride was a silent one. The youth was not talkative at any time, and Rezanov was conscious of little else save an overwhelming desire to see Con- cha again. One secret of his success in life was his gift of yielding to one energy at a time, oblivious at the moment to aught that might distract or en-


Rezanov
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Massimilla Doni by Honore de Balzac:

filled him for the odious Clarina; but he was at the moment hardly conscious of having a body.

Massimilla, much distressed, ascribed this tear, in her guilelessness, to the remark she had made as to Genovese's cavatina.

"But, /carino/," said she in Emilio's ear, "are not you as far better than every expression of love, as cause is superior to effect?"

After handing the Duchess to her gondola, Emilio waited for Vendramin to go to Florian's.

The Cafe Florian at Venice is a quite undefinable institution. Merchants transact their business there, and lawyers meet to talk over their most difficult cases. Florian's is at once an Exchange, a green-

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 Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:

"No, I'm not coming any farther," said Beryl.

"Oh, rot!" Harry Kember didn't believe her. "Come along! We'll just go as far as that fuchsia bush. Come along!"

The fuchsia bush was tall. It fell over the fence in a shower. There was a little pit of darkness beneath.

"No, really, I don't want to," said Beryl.

For a moment Harry Kember didn't answer. Then he came close to her, turned to her, smiled and said quickly, "Don't be silly! Don't be silly!"

His smile was something she'd never seen before. Was he drunk? That bright, blind, terrifying smile froze her with horror. What was she doing? How had she got here? the stern garden asked her as the gate pushed open,