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Today's Stichomancy for T. S. Eliot

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce:

appointing you to this position, I was given to understand that your friends could make the Shikane county delegation to the next State convention solid for - for the present Administration. Was I rightly informed?"

"You were, sir."

"Very well, then, I will bid you good-day. Please be so good as to appoint my nephew Night Chaplain and Reminder of Mothers and Sisters."

Religions of Error

HEARING a sound of strife, a Christian in the Orient asked his Dragoman the cause of it.

Fantastic Fables
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from McTeague by Frank Norris:

contact with the "non-poisonous" paint. She told as much to the doctor in answer to his questions. He shook his head with an exclamation.

"Why, this is blood-poisoning, you know," he told her; "the worst kind. You'll have to have those fingers amputated, beyond a doubt, or lose the entire hand--or even worse."

"And my work!" exclaimed Trina.


One can hold a scrubbing-brush with two good fingers and the stumps of two others even if both joints of the thumb are gone, but it takes considerable practice to get used to it.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from An Open Letter on Translating by Dr. Martin Luther:

Luther's work, without Luther's name but that of his enemy, is to be read. What better vengeance?!

Returning to the issue at hand, if your Papist wishes to make a great fuss about the word "alone" (sola), say this to him: "Dr. Martin Luther will have it so and he says that a papist and an ass are the same thing." Sic volo, sic iubeo, sit pro ratione voluntas. (I will it, I command it; my will is reason enough) For we are not going to become students and followers of the papists. Rather we will become their judge and master. We, too, are going to be proud and brag with these blockheads; and just as St. Paul brags against his madly raving saints, I will brag over these

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 Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini:

can be indulged at greater leisure and in more security. It is growing late. If we are to get out of this shambles we should be wise to take the road without more delay."

It was a tonic as effective as it was necessary. It startled them into remembrance of their circumstances, and under the spur of it they went at once to make their preparations.

They left him for perhaps a quarter of an hour, to pace that long room alone, saved only from impatience by the turmoil of his mind. When at length they returned, they were accompanied by a tall man in a full-skirted shaggy greatcoat and a broad hat the brim of which was turned down all around. He remained respectfully by the