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Today's Stichomancy for Pamela Colman Smith

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

But McKnight never sees any jokes but his own. He flung the horn clattering into a corner, and collapsed sulkily into a chair.

"Now," I said, "if you're through manicuring that horn, I'll tell you about my talk with the lady in black."

"What's wrong?" asked McKnight languidly. "Police watching her, too?"

"Not exactly. The fact is, Rich, there's the mischief to pay."

Stogie came in, bringing a few additions to our comfort. When he went out I told my story.

"You must remember," I said, "that I had seen this woman before the morning of the wreck. She was buying her Pullman ticket when I did.

The Man in Lower Ten
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Symposium by Xenophon:

[92] Lit. "as pander."

[93] So Critobulus in the conversation so often referred to. "Mem." II. vi.

Never fear (he answered), if only people see your loyalty to virtue is genuine,[94] not of mere repute. A false renown indeed is quickly seen for what it is worth, being tested; but true courage[95] (save only what some god hinder) perpetually amidst the storm and stress of circumstance[96] pours forth a brighter glory.

[94] See "Mem." I. vii. 1, passim; II. vi. 39; "Econ." x. 9.

[95] Cf. Thuc. ii. 42, {andragathia}, "true courage in the public service covers a multitude of private shortcomings."

The Symposium
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Cromwell by William Shakespeare:

And in the Court wore one of them himself: And meeting with the Bishop, quoth he, 'My Lord, Here's skirt enough now for your Grace to sit on;' Which vexed the Bishop to the very heart. This is the reason why they wear long coats.

SECOND MERCHANT. Tis always seen, and mark it for a rule, That one great man will envy still another: But tis a thing that nothing concerns me. What, shall we now to Master Banister's?


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 Human Drift by Jack London:

breakers, curved into a tiny sheltered bay where the water was scarcely flawed by the gale, and landed on a beach where the salt sea of the last tide lay frozen in long curving lines. And this was one gale of three in the course of those eight days in the sampan. Would it have been beaten on a ship? I fear me the ship would have gone aground on the outlying reef and that its people would have been incontinently and monotonously drowned.

There are enough surprises and mishaps in a three-days' cruise in a small boat to supply a great ship on the ocean for a full year. I remember, once, taking out on her trial trip a little thirty- footer I had just bought. In six days we had two stiff blows,