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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 The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells:

almost into a run, and immediately there was a stumble in my rear.

I turned suddenly, and stared at the uncertain trees behind me. One black shadow seemed to leap into another. I listened, rigid, and heard nothing but the creep of the blood in my ears. I thought that my nerves were unstrung, and that my imagination was tricking me, and turned resolutely towards the sound of the sea again.

In a minute or so the trees grew thinner, and I emerged upon a bare, low headland running out into the sombre water. The night was calm and clear, and the reflection of the growing


The Island of Doctor Moreau
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Phantasmagoria and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll:

WITH OUT-AND-OUT POLITENESS, ACCOST HIM AS 'MY GOBLIN KING! AND ALWAYS USE, IN ANSWERING, THE PHRASE 'YOUR ROYAL WHITENESS!'

"I'm getting rather hoarse, I fear, After so much reciting : So, if you don't object, my dear, We'll try a glass of bitter beer - I think it looks inviting."

CANTO III - Scarmoges

"AND did you really walk," said I,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from De Profundis by Oscar Wilde:

French tragedy, and St. Paul's Cathedral, and Pope's poetry, and everything that is made from without and by dead rules, and does not spring from within through some spirit informing it. But wherever there is a romantic movement in art there somehow, and under some form, is Christ, or the soul of Christ. He is in ROMEO AND JULIET, in the WINTER'S TALE, in Provencal poetry, in the ANCIENT MARINER, in LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCI, and in Chatterton's BALLAD OF CHARITY.

We owe to him the most diverse things and people. Hugo's LES MISERABLES, Baudelaire's FLEURS DU MAL, the note of pity in Russian novels, Verlaine and Verlaine's poems, the stained glass 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 Options by O. Henry:

eyes; read it again, and cast a quick, shrewd glance at Nevada, who, for the time, seemed to consider gloves as the world of her interest, and letters from rising artists as no more than messages from Mars.

For a quarter of a minute Barbara looked at Nevada with a strange steadfastness; and then a smile so small that it widened her mouth only the sixteenth part of an inch, and narrowed her eyes no more than a twentieth, flashed like an inspired thought across her face.

Since the beginning no woman has been a mystery to another woman Swift as light travels, each penetrates the heart and mind of another, sifts her sister's words of their cunningest disguises, reads her most hidden desires, and plucks the sophistry from her wiliest talk like


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