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Today's Stichomancy for Sidney Poitier

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from American Notes by Rudyard Kipling:

from crest to heel. As far as the eye could range forward were columns of steam in the air, misshapen lumps of lime, mist-like preadamite monsters, still pools of turquoise-blue stretches of blue corn-flowers, a river that coiled on itself twenty times, pointed bowlders of strange colors, and ridges of glaring, staring white.

A moon-faced trooper of German extraction--never was park so carefully patrolled--came up to inform us that as yet we had not seen any of the real geysers; that they were all a mile or so up the valley, and tastefully scattered round the hotel in which we would rest for the night.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from On Revenues by Xenophon:

it is peninsular; whilst by land it is the emporium of many markets, as being a portion of the continent.

Lastly, while the majority of states have barbarian neighbours, the source of many troubles, Athens has as her next-door neighbours civilised states which are themselves far remote from the barbarians.


All these advantages, to repeat what I have said, may, I believe, be traced primarily to the soil and position of Attica itself. But these natural blessings may be added to: in the first place, by a careful handling of our resident alien[1] population. And, for my part, I can hardly conceive of a more splendid source of revenue than lies open in

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Georgics by Virgil:

Pulse, or the slender vetch-crop, thou hast cleared, And lupin sour, whose brittle stalks arise, A hurtling forest. For the plain is parched By flax-crop, parched by oats, by poppies parched In Lethe-slumber drenched. Nathless by change The travailing earth is lightened, but stint not With refuse rich to soak the thirsty soil, And shower foul ashes o'er the exhausted fields. Thus by rotation like repose is gained, Nor earth meanwhile uneared and thankless left. Oft, too, 'twill boot to fire the naked fields,

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 Phaedo by Plato:

of opposites, and proceeding to the Pythagorean harmony and transmigration; making a step by the aid of Platonic reminiscence, and a further step by the help of the nous of Anaxagoras; until at last we rest in the conviction that the soul is inseparable from the ideas, and belongs to the world of the invisible and unknown. Then, as in the Gorgias or Republic, the curtain falls, and the veil of mythology descends upon the argument. After the confession of Socrates that he is an interested party, and the acknowledgment that no man of sense will think the details of his narrative true, but that something of the kind is true, we return from speculation to practice. He is himself more confident of immortality than he is of his own arguments; and the confidence which he expresses is less strong than