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Today's Stichomancy for Pablo Picasso

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories by Mark Twain:

took the wounded man's head off--without, however, his deliverer being aware of it. In no long time he was hailed by an officer, who said:

"Where are you going with that carcass?"

"To the rear, sir--he's lost his leg!"

"His leg, forsooth?" responded the astonished officer; "you mean his head, you booby."

Whereupon the soldier dispossessed himself of his burden, and stood looking down upon it in great perplexity. At length he said:

"It is true, sir, just as you have said." Then after a pause he added, "BUT HE TOLD ME IT WAS HIS LEG!!!!!"

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The School For Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan:

but a catalogue into the bargain. Come, begin--A-going, a-going, a-going!

CHARLES. Bravo, Careless! Well, here's my great uncle, Sir Richard Ravelin, a marvellous good general in his day, I assure you. He served in all the Duke of Marlborough's wars, and got that cut over his eye at the battle of Malplaquet. What say you, Mr. Premium? look at him--there's a hero! not cut out of his feathers, as your modern clipped captains are, but enveloped in wig and regimentals, as a general should be. What do you bid?

SIR OLIVER. [Aside to Moses.] Bid him speak.

MOSES. Mr. Premium would have you speak.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring by George Bernard Shaw:

Macaire, Jeremy Diddler and the pantomime clown, he has always drawn large audiences; but hitherto he has been decorously given to the devil at the end. Indeed eternal punishment is sometimes deemed too high a compliment to his nature. When the late Lord Lytton, in his Strange Story, introduced a character personifying the joyousness of intense vitality, he felt bound to deny him the immortal soul which was at that time conceded even to the humblest characters in fiction, and to accept mischievousness, cruelty, and utter incapacity for sympathy as the inevitable consequence of his magnificent bodily and mental health.

In short, though men felt all the charm of abounding life and

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 On Horsemanship by Xenophon:

spur at the critical instant. In the effort to perform any of these actions with the whole body, the horse will certainly perform them with more safety to himself and to his rider than he will, if his hind-quarters lag, in taking a ditch or fence, or in making an upward spring or downward jump.[4]

[4] Lit. "in making these jumps, springs, and leaps across or up or down."

To face a steep incline, you must first teach him on soft ground, and finally, when he is accustomed to that, he will much prefer the downward to the upward slope for a fast pace. And as to the apprehension, which some people entertain, that a horse may dislocate


On Horsemanship