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Today's Stichomancy for Peter Sellers

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot:

ed io sentii chiavar l'uscio di sotto all'orribile torre.

Also F. H. Bradley, _Appearance and Reality_, p. 346:

My external sensations are no less private to myself than are my thoughts or my feelings. In either case my experience falls within my own circle, a circle closed on the outside; and, with all its elements alike, every sphere is opaque to the others which surround it. . . . In brief, regarded as an existence which appears in a soul, the whole world for each is peculiar and private to that soul.

424. _V._ Weston, _From Ritual to Romance_; chapter on the Fisher King.

427. _V. Purgatorio_, xxvi. 148.


The Waste Land
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Soul of a Bishop by H. G. Wells:

something barred him from telling that he had had an actual vision of God. It was as if that had been a private and confidential meeting. It wasn't, he felt, for him either to boast a privilege or tell others of things that God had not chosen to show them.

"Since I saw you," he said, "I have thought a great deal--of the subject of our conversation."

"I have been t'ying to think," she said in a confirmatory tone, as if she had co-operated.

"My faith in God grows," he said.

She glowed. Her lips fell apart. She flamed attention.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson:

behind the devotion which, with indelicate delicacy, he still forced on her attention, she divined the grossness of his nature. So a man may be proud of having tamed a bear, and yet sicken at his captive's odour. And above all, she had certain jealous intimations that the man was false and the deception double. True, she falsely trifled with his love; but he, perhaps, was only trifling with her vanity. The insolence of his late mimicry, and the odium of her own position as she sat and watched it, lay besides like a load upon her conscience. She met Otto almost with a sense of guilt, and yet she welcomed him as a deliverer from ugly things.

But the wheels of an interview are at the mercy of a thousand ruts;

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 La Grande Breteche by Honore de Balzac:

and he laid the first finger of his right hand to his nostril with a cunning look, as much as to say, 'Mark my words!--To last as long as that--as long as that,' said he, 'you must not be past sixty now.'

"I closed my door, having been roused from my apathy by this last speech, which the notary thought very funny; then I sat down in my armchair, with my feet on the fire-dogs. I had lost myself in a romance /a la/ Radcliffe, constructed on the juridical base given me by Monsieur Regnault, when the door, opened by a woman's cautious hand, turned on the hinges. I saw my landlady come in, a buxom, florid dame, always good-humored, who had missed her calling in life. She was a Fleming, who ought to have seen the light in a picture by Teniers.


La Grande Breteche