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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 Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom by William and Ellen Craft:

greater want of humanity and high principle amongst the whites, than among any other civilized people in the world.

I know that those who are not familiar with the working of "the peculiar institution," can scarcely imagine any one so totally devoid of all natural affection as to sell his own offspring into returnless bondage. But Shakespeare, that great observer of human nature, says:--

"With caution judge of probabilities. Things deemed unlikely, e'en impossible,


Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lin McLean by Owen Wister:

his horse up the stream among the Shoshone tepees to an unexpected entertainment--a wolf-dance. He had meant to go and see what the new waiter-girl at the hotel looked like, but put this off promptly to attend the dance. This hospitality the Shoshone Indians were extending to some visiting Ute friends, and the neighborhood was assembled to watch the ring of painted naked savages.

The post-trader looked after the galloping Lin. "What's he quitting his job for?" he asked the foreman.

"Same as most of 'em quit."

"Nothing?"

"Nothing."

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Catherine de Medici by Honore de Balzac:

itself an /ogre-esque/ personage--if it is allowable to coin a word to convey a just idea. Thus, to take an example in our own time, if it had not been for the "Memorial of Saint Helena," and the controversies between the Royalists and the Bonapartists, there was every probability that the character of Napoleon would have been misunderstood. A few more Abbe de Pradits, a few more newspaper articles, and from being an emperor, Napoleon would have turned into an ogre.

How does error propagate itself? The mystery is accomplished under our very eyes without our perceiving it. No one suspects how much solidity the art of printing has given both to the envy which pursues

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 Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum:

much those mother owls know.

Claus stopped at some of the scattered farmhouses and climbed down the chimneys to leave presents for the babies. Soon after he reached a village and worked merrily for an hour distributing playthings among the sleeping little ones. Then away again he went, signing his joyous carol:

"Now away we go O'er the gleaming snow, While the deer run swift and free! For to girls and boys We carry the toys That will fill their hearts with glee!"


The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus