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Today's Stichomancy for Sergio Leone

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:

of might triumphant has ended the discussion.

Let us next take the case of the Cross Spider, a hairy beast of varying shades of reddish-brown. She has three large white spots upon her back, forming a triple-barred cross. She hunts mostly at night, shuns the sun and lives by day on the adjacent shrubs, in a shady retreat which communicates with the lime-snare by means of a telegraph-wire. Her web is very similar in structure and appearance to those of the two others. What will happen if I procure her the visit of a Banded Epeira?

The lady of the triple cross is invaded by day, in the full light of the sun, thanks to my mischievous intermediary. The web is


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 Eryxias by Platonic Imitator:

a peculiar interest for us. The Second Alcibiades shows that the difficulties about prayer which have perplexed Christian theologians were not unknown among the followers of Plato. The Eryxias was doubted by the ancients themselves: yet it may claim the distinction of being, among all Greek or Roman writings, the one which anticipates in the most striking manner the modern science of political economy and gives an abstract form to some of its principal doctrines.

For the translation of these two dialogues I am indebted to my friend and secretary, Mr. Knight.

That the Dialogue which goes by the name of the Second Alcibiades is a genuine writing of Plato will not be maintained by any modern critic, and

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Coxon Fund by Henry James:

Gravener was profound enough to remark after a moment that in the first place he couldn't be anything but a Dissenter, and when I answered that the very note of his fascination was his extraordinary speculative breadth my friend retorted that there was no cad like your cultivated cad, and that I might depend upon discovering--since I had had the levity not already to have enquired--that my shining light proceeded, a generation back, from a Methodist cheesemonger. I confess I was struck with his insistence, and I said, after reflexion: "It may be--I admit it may be; but why on earth are you so sure?"--asking the question mainly to lay him the trap of saying that it was because the poor

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:

"Since these fools dare fight," he said to the leader of the Tatary Giants, "I will overwhelm them with our evil powers!"

To begin the battle he poised a great stone in his left hand and cast it full against the sturdy form of the Master Woodsman, who turned it aside with his ax. Then rushed the three-eyed Giants of Tatary upon the Knooks, and the Goozzle-Goblins upon the Ryls, and the firebreathing Dragons upon the sweet Fairies. Because the Nymphs were Ak's own people the band of Awgwas sought them out, thinking to overcome them with ease.

But it is the Law that while Evil, unopposed, may accomplish terrible deeds, the powers of Good can never be overthrown when opposed to


The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus