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Today's Stichomancy for Steve Martin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Animal Farm by George Orwell:

subscriptions to 'John Bull', 'Tit-Bits', and the 'Daily Mirror'. It did not seem strange when Napoleon was seen strolling in the farmhouse garden with a pipe in his mouth--no, not even when the pigs took Mr. Jones's clothes out of the wardrobes and put them on, Napoleon himself appearing in a black coat, ratcatcher breeches, and leather leggings, while his favourite sow appeared in the watered silk dress which Mrs. Jones had been used to wearing on Sundays.

A week later, in the afternoon, a number of dog-carts drove up to the farm. A deputation of neighbouring farmers had been invited to make a tour of inspection. They were shown all over the farm, and expressed great admiration for everything they saw, especially the windmill. The animals


Animal Farm
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Aunt Margaret's Mirror by Walter Scott:

inflicts. Such a belief nowadays belongs only to fools and children. It is not necessary that your ears should tingle and your complexion change, like that of Theodore at the approach of the spectral huntsman. All that is indispensable for the enjoyment of the milder feeling of supernatural awe is, that you should be susceptible of the slight shuddering which creeps over you when you hear a tale of terror--that well-vouched tale which the narrator, having first expressed his general disbelief of all such legendary lore, selects and produces, as having something in it which he has been always obliged to give up as inexplicable. Another symptom is a momentary hesitation to look round you, when

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Brother of Daphne by Dornford Yates:

"Of course he's going," said I, looking up. " Only what as?"

"Why not himself?" said Jill.

"M, no," said I. "We must find something out of the common. A mountebank's too ordinary. I want our party to be one of the features of the ball."

"Would it be asking you too much to shut your face?" said Berry. "Nobody spoke to you. Nobody wants to speak to you. I will go further. Nobody- "

"Could he go as a cook, d'you think?" said Daphne. "A chef-thing, I mean. They had cooks, of course. Or a wine-butler? They must have had- "


The Brother of Daphne
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 At the Earth's Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

"white" man. As we approached the little clump of verdure I saw the man come from his tent and with hand-shaded eyes peer intently at us. At sight of me he advanced rapidly to meet us.

"A white man!" he cried. "May the good Lord be praised! I have been watching you for hours, hoping against hope that THIS time there would be a white man. Tell me the date. What year is it?"

And when I had told him he staggered as though he had been struck full in the face, so that he was compelled to grasp my stirrup leather for support.


At the Earth's Core