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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 Ivanhoe by Walter Scott:

consume him. Mynheer Calf, too, becomes Monsieur de Veau in the like manner; he is Saxon when he requires tendance, and takes a Norman name when he becomes matter of enjoyment.''

``By St Dunstan,'' answered Gurth, ``thou speakest but sad truths; little is left to us but the air we breathe, and that appears to have been reserved with much hesitation, solely for the purpose of enabling us to endure the tasks they lay upon our shoulders. The finest and the fattest is for their board; the loveliest is for their couch; the best


Ivanhoe
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:

be a missionary, too: a perfectly new experience.

"And you still forgive Verdi the sins of his youth?" he said to his host. "I wonder if you could forgive mine?"

"Verdi has left his behind him," retorted the Padre.

"But I am only twenty-five!" exclaimed Gaston, pathetically.

"Ah, don't go away soon!" pleaded the exile. It was the first unconcealed complaint that had escaped him, and he felt instant shame.

But Gaston was too much elated with the enjoyment of each new day to comprehend the Padre's soul. The shafts of another's pain might hardly pierce the bright armor of his gaiety. He mistook the priest's entreaty, for anxiety about his own happy spirit.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes:

mishap; but as he was on the point of showing himself and coming forth to embrace and undeceive his wife he paused as he saw Leonela returning, leading Lothario. Camilla when she saw him, drawing a long line in front of her on the floor with the dagger, said to him, "Lothario, pay attention to what I say to thee: if by any chance thou darest to cross this line thou seest, or even approach it, the instant I see thee attempt it that same instant will I pierce my bosom with this dagger that I hold in my hand; and before thou answerest me a word desire thee to listen to a few from me, and afterwards thou shalt reply as may please thee. First, I desire thee to tell me, Lothario, if thou knowest my husband Anselmo, and in what light


Don Quixote
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 Long Odds by H. Rider Haggard:

barrel. I might as well have had no gun.

"Meanwhile I was walking backward, keeping my eye on the lioness, who was creeping forward on her belly without a sound, but lashing her tail and keeping her eye on me; and in it I saw that she was coming in a few seconds more. I dashed my wrist and the palm of my hand against the brass rim of the cartridge till the blood poured from them--look, there are the scars of it to this day!"

Here Quatermain held up his right hand to the light and showed us four or five white cicatrices just where the wrist is set into the hand.

"But it was not of the slightest use," he went on, "the cartridge would not move. I only hope that no other man will ever be put in such an


Long Odds