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Today's Stichomancy for Richard Branson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Proposed Roads To Freedom by Bertrand Russell:

upon persuasion for success.

But it would be a mistake to confuse aims with methods: however little we may agree with the proposal to force the millennium on a reluctant community by starvation, we may yet agree that much of what the Syndicalists desire to achieve is desirable.

Let us dismiss from our minds such criticisms of parliamentary government as are bound up with the present system of private property, and consider only those which would remain true in a collectivist community. Certain defects seem inherent in the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:

most carefully got up, and his hands are whiter than his face. He stoops a little, and has an extremely large, oddly-shaped head. His ugliness, which, however, has a dash of piquancy, is aggravated by smallpox marks, which seam his face. His forehead is very prominent, and the shaggy eyebrows meet, giving a repellent air of harshness. There is a frowning, plaintive look on his face, reminding one of a sickly child, which owes its life to superhuman care, as Sister Marthe did. As my father observed, his features are a shrunken reproduction of those of Cardinal Ximenes. The natural dignity of our tutor's manners seems to disconcert the dear Duke, who doesn't like him, and is never at ease with him; he can't bear to come in contact with

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

preconceived. A man born into a society comparatively new, full of conflicting elements and interests, could not fail, if he had any thoughts at all, to reflect upon the tendencies around him. He saw much good and evil on all sides, not yet settled down into some more or less unjust compromise as in older nations, but still in the act of settlement. And he could not but wonder what it would turn out; whether the compromise would be very just or very much the reverse, and give great or little scope for healthy human energies. From idle wonder to active speculation is but a step; and he seems to have been early struck with the inefficacy of literature

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 An Old Maid by Honore de Balzac:

gravity which stopped the laughter.

"Nor a noble father," added the chevalier.

The Church and the nobility descended thus into the arena of puns, without, however, losing their dignity.

"Hush!" exclaimed the recorder of mortgages. "I hear the creaking of du Bousquier's boots."

It usually happens that a man is ignorant of rumors that are afloat about him. A whole town may be talking of his affairs; may calumniate and decry him, but if he has no good friends, he will know nothing about it. Now the innocent du Bousquier was superb in his ignorance. No one had told him as yet of Suzanne's revelations; he therefore