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Today's Stichomancy for Orson Welles

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

common honesty. Whenever we are not blinded by self-deceit, as for example in judging the actions of others, we have no hesitation in determining what is right and wrong. The principles of morality, when not at variance with some desire or worldly interest of our own, or with the opinion of the public, are hardly perceived by us; but in the conflict of reason and passion they assert their authority and are not overcome without remorse.

Such is a brief outline of the history of our moral ideas. We have to distinguish, first of all, the manner in which they have grown up in the world from the manner in which they have been communicated to each of us. We may represent them to ourselves as flowing out of the boundless ocean of language and thought in little rills, which convey them to the heart and

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Alcibiades II by Platonic Imitator:

enveloped, just as Athene in Homer removes the mist from the eyes of Diomede that

'He may distinguish between God and mortal man.'

Afterwards the means may be given to you whereby you may distinguish between good and evil. At present, I fear, this is beyond your power.

ALCIBIADES: Only let my instructor take away the impediment, whether it pleases him to call it mist or anything else! I care not who he is; but I am resolved to disobey none of his commands, if I am likely to be the better for them.

SOCRATES: And surely he has a wondrous care for you.

ALCIBIADES: It seems to be altogether advisable to put off the sacrifice

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Camille by Alexandre Dumas:

everything, and to tear in pieces, without pity or discernment, those who set her in motion.

Your father had written me a very polite letter, in order that I might consent to see him; he did not present himself quite as he had written. His manner at first was so stiff, insolent, and even threatening, that I had to make him understand that I was in my own house, and that I had no need to render him an account of my life, except because of the sincere affection which I had for his son.

M. Duval calmed down a little, but still went on to say that he could not any longer allow his son to ruin himself over me; that


Camille
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 Albert Savarus by Honore de Balzac:

such an act has stained his honor beyond retrieving.

"Do you not feel all that is touching, that is heavenly in the story of the youthful page, falsely accused, and carrying the letter containing the order for his execution, who sets out without a thought of ill, and whom Providence protects and saves--miraculously, we say! But do you know wherein the miracle lies? Virtue has a glory as potent as that of innocent childhood.

"I say these things not meaning to admonish you," said the old priest, with deep grief. "I, alas! am not your spiritual director; you are not kneeling at the feet of God; I am your friend, appalled by dread of what your punishment may be. What has become of that unhappy Albert?


Albert Savarus