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Today's Stichomancy for Robert De Niro

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Life of the Spider by J. Henri Fabre:

especially on gusty days, when sharp draughts penetrate beneath the stone. This condition is admirably fulfilled. Take a careful look at the habitation. The arches that gird the roof with a balustrade and bear the weight of the edifice are fixed to the slab by their extremities. Moreover, from each point of contact, there issues a cluster of diverging threads that creep along the stone and cling to it throughout their length, which spreads afar. I have measured some fully nine inches long. These are so many cables; they represent the ropes and pegs that hold the Arab's tent in position. With such supports as these, so numerous and so methodically arranged, the hammock cannot be torn from its bearings save by the


The Life of the Spider
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Little Britain by Washington Irving:

neighborhood might be seen popping their nightcaps out at every window, watching the crazy vehicles rumble by; and there was a knot of virulent old cronies, that kept a lookout from a house just opposite the retired butcher's, and scanned and criticised every one that knocked at the door.

This dance was a cause of almost open war, and the whole neighborhood declared they would have nothing more to say to the Lambs. It is true that Mrs. Lamb, when she had no engagements with her quality acquaintance, would give little humdrum tea-junketings to some of her old cronies, "quite," as she would say, "in a friendly way;" and it is equally true that

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The School For Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan:

So strong, so swift, the monster there's no gagging: Cut Scandal's head off, still the tongue is wagging. Proud of your smiles once lavishly bestow'd, Again our young Don Quixote takes the road; To show his gratitude he draws his pen, And seeks his hydra, Scandal, in his den. For your applause all perils he would through-- He'll fight--that's write--a cavalliero true, Till every drop of blood--that's ink--is spilt for you.

ACT I

SCENE I.--LADY SNEERWELL'S House

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 Walden by Henry David Thoreau:

dirty institutions, and, if they can, constrain him to belong to their desperate odd-fellow society. It is true, I might have resisted forcibly with more or less effect, might have run "amok" against society; but I preferred that society should run "amok" against me, it being the desperate party. However, I was released the next day, obtained my mended shoe, and returned to the woods in season to get my dinner of huckleberries on Fair Haven Hill. I was never molested by any person but those who represented the State. I had no lock nor bolt but for the desk which held my papers, not even a nail to put over my latch or windows. I never fastened my door night or day, though I was to be absent several days; not even when


Walden