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Today's Stichomancy for Robin Williams

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Passion in the Desert by Honore de Balzac:

reiterated gestures full of prettiness. "All right, make a little toilet," the Frenchman said to himself, beginning to recover his gaiety with his courage; "we'll say good morning to each other presently;" and he seized the small, short dagger which he had taken from the Maugrabins.

At this moment the panther turned her head toward the man and looked at him fixedly without moving. The rigidity of her metallic eyes and their insupportable luster made him shudder, especially when the animal walked towards him. But he looked at her caressingly, staring into her eyes in order to magnetize her, and let her come quite close to him; then with a movement both gentle and amorous, as though he

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:

of the fact that his nose was caked with snuff of the consistency of thick coffee, and that his coat had parted in front and was disclosing some very unseemly underclothing. "What comfort you have brought to an old man! Yes, as God is my witness!"

For the moment he could say no more. Yet barely a minute had elapsed before this instantaneously aroused emotion had, as instantaneously, disappeared from his wooden features. Once more they assumed a careworn expression, and he even wiped his face with his handkerchief, then rolled it into a ball, and rubbed it to and fro against his upper lip.

"If it will not annoy you again to state the proposal," he went on,


Dead Souls
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll:

"Taking Three as the subject to reason about-- A convenient number to state-- We add Seven, and Ten, and then multiply out By One Thousand diminished by Eight.

"The result we proceed to divide, as you see, By Nine Hundred and Ninety Two: Then subtract Seventeen, and the answer must be Exactly and perfectly true.

"The method employed I would gladly explain, While I have it so clear in my head, If I had but the time and you had but the brain--


The Hunting of the Snark
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 Trooper Peter Halket of Mashonaland by Olive Schreiner:

stranger's feet. "My master," he cried, "I dare not take that message. It is not that men may say, 'Here is Trooper Peter Halket, whom we all know, a man who kept women and shot niggers, turned prophet.' But it is, that it is true. Have I not wished--" and Peter Halket would have poured out all his soul; but the stranger prevented him.

"Peter Simon Halket," he said, "is it the trumpet which gives forth the call to battle, whether it be battered tin or gilded silver, which boots? Is it not the call? What and if I should send my message by a woman or a child: shall truth be less truth because the bearer is despised? Is it the mouth that speaks or the word that is spoken which is eternal? Nevertheless, if you will have it so, go, and say, 'I, Peter Halket, sinner