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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 Enemies of Books by William Blades:

The words "Miscellaneous," or "Old Pieces," were sometimes used when binders were at a loss for lettering, and many other instances might be mentioned.

The rapid spread of printing throughout Europe in the latter part of the fifteenth century caused a great fall in the value of plain un-illuminated MSS., and the immediate consequence of this was the destruction of numerous volumes written upon parchment, which were used by the binders to strengthen the backs of their newly-printed rivals. These slips of vellum or parchment are quite common in old books. Sometimes whole sheets are used as fly-leaves, and often reveal the existence of most valuable works, unknown before-proving, at

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas:

ceremony. Aramis was asleep or feigned to be so. A large book lay open upon his night-desk, a wax-light was still burning in its silver sconce. This was more than enough to prove to D'Artagnan the quiescence of the prelate's night, and the good intentions of his waking. The musketeer did to the bishop precisely as the bishop had done to Porthos -- he tapped him on the shoulder. Evidently Aramis pretended to sleep; for, instead of waking suddenly, he who slept so lightly required a repetition of the summons.

"Ah! ah! is that you?" said he, stretching his arms. "What an agreeable surprise! Ma foi! Sleep had made me forget I

Ten Years Later
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:

Historical and theological books are very rare; novels and poetry of that period are absolutely not to be found; medical and law books are more common. I am bound to say that in no country have more books been printed and more destroyed than in Holland. W. MULLER."

The policy of buying up all objectionable literature seems to me, I confess, very short-sighted, and in most cases would lead to a greatly increased reprint; it certainly would in these latitudes.

From the Church of Rome to the Church of England is no great leap, and Mr. Smith, the Brighton bookseller, gives evidence thus:--

"It may be worth your while to note that the clergy of the last two centuries ought to be included in your list (of Biblioclasts). I

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 This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald:

was suicide" "Six o'clock," said Amory, glancing at his wrist-watch. "I'll buy you a grea' big dinner on the strength of the Juvenalia of your collected editions."


July sweltered out with a last hot week, and Amory in another surge of unrest realized that it was just five months since he and Rosalind had met. Yet it was already hard for him to visualize the heart-whole boy who had stepped off the transport, passionately desiring the adventure of life. One night while the heat, overpowering and enervating, poured into the windows of his

This Side of Paradise