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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 In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:

that seemed to come from outside the window. Looking at the baby, it suddenly had two heads, and then no head. Even his crying made her feel worse. When she thought of the nearness of bedtime she shook all over with excited joy. But as eight o'clock approached there was the sound of wheels on the road, and presently in came a party of friends to spend the evening.

Then it was:

"Put on the coffee."

"Bring me the sugar tin."

"Carry the chairs out of the bedroom."

"Set the table."

And, finally, the Frau sent her into the next room to keep the baby quiet.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Extracts From Adam's Diary by Mark Twain:

teeth they wear would indicate that they were intended to eat each other. This is foolish, because to do that would be to kill each other, and that would introduce what, as I understand it, is called "death;" and death, as I have been told, has not yet entered the Park. Which is a pity, on some accounts.

Sunday

Pulled through.

Monday

I believe I see what the week is for: it is to give time to rest up from the weariness of Sunday. It seems a good idea. ... She has been climbing that tree again. Clodded her out of it. She

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy:

Mrs. Yeobright as soon as she appeared, and trotted on beside her without perceptible consciousness of his act.

Mrs. Yeobright spoke to him as one in a mesmeric sleep. "'Tis a long way home, my child, and we shall not get there till evening."

"I shall," said her small companion. "I am going to play marnels afore supper, and we go to supper at six o'clock, because Father comes home. Does your father come home at six too?"

"No, he never comes; nor my son either, nor anybody."

"What have made you so down? Have you seen a ooser?"


Return of the Native
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 Statesman by Plato:

is found running about with the herd and in close competition with the bird-catcher, who of all mankind is most of an adept at the airy life. (Plato is here introducing a new suddivision, i.e. that of bipeds into men and birds. Others however refer the passage to the division into quadrupeds and bipeds, making pigs compete with human beings and the pig- driver with the king. According to this explanation we must translate the words above, 'freest and airiest of creation,' 'worthiest and laziest of creation.')

YOUNG SOCRATES: Certainly.

STRANGER: Then here, Socrates, is still clearer evidence of the truth of what was said in the enquiry about the Sophist? (Compare Sophist.)


Statesman