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Today's Stichomancy for Voltaire

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:

your epaulettes, but why accuse her? What fault is it of hers that she does not like you any longer?" . . .

"But why give me hopes?"

"Why did you hope? To desire and to strive after something -- that I can understand! But who ever hopes?"

"You have won the wager, but not quite," he said, with a malignant smile.

The mazurka began. Grushnitski chose no one but the Princess, other cavaliers chose her every

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Records of a Family of Engineers by Robert Louis Stevenson:

impatient for their turn to pass, and tormented with rising anxiety as to the fate of their companions. At length they sought the shelter of a shepherd's house. `We had miserable up-putting,' the diary continues, `and on both sides of the ferry much anxiety of mind. Our beds were clean straw, and but for the circumstance of the boat, I should have slept as soundly as ever I did after a walk through moss and mire of sixteen hours.'

To go round the lights, even to-day, is to visit past centuries. The tide of tourists that flows yearly in Scotland, vulgarising all where it approaches, is still

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

ION: Yes.

SOCRATES: And did you ever know any one who was skilful in pointing out the excellences and defects of Polygnotus the son of Aglaophon, but incapable of criticizing other painters; and when the work of any other painter was produced, went to sleep and was at a loss, and had no ideas; but when he had to give his opinion about Polygnotus, or whoever the painter might be, and about him only, woke up and was attentive and had plenty to say?

ION: No indeed, I have never known such a person.

SOCRATES: Or did you ever know of any one in sculpture, who was skilful in expounding the merits of Daedalus the son of Metion, or of Epeius the son

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 Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche:

stretcheth itself out:--

--How long and weary it becometh, my strange soul! Hath a seventh-day evening come to it precisely at noontide? Hath it already wandered too long, blissfully, among good and ripe things?

It stretcheth itself out, long--longer! it lieth still, my strange soul. Too many good things hath it already tasted; this golden sadness oppresseth it, it distorteth its mouth.

--As a ship that putteth into the calmest cove:--it now draweth up to the land, weary of long voyages and uncertain seas. Is not the land more faithful?

As such a ship huggeth the shore, tuggeth the shore:--then it sufficeth for


Thus Spake Zarathustra