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Today's Stichomancy for William Gibson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Four Arthurian Romances by Chretien DeTroyes:

delighted at the news of the Queen's approach, and he is happy and pleased at the thought that his nephew had brought about the Queen's return, as well as that of Kay and of the lesser folk. But the truth is quite different from what he thinks. All the town is cleared as they go to meet them, and knights and vassals join in shouting as they approach: "Welcome to my lord Gawain, who has brought back the Queen and many another captive lady, and has freed for us many prisoners!" Then Gawain answered them: "Gentlemen, I do not deserve your praise. Do not trouble ever to say this again, for the compliment does not apply to me. This honour causes me only shame, for I did not reach the Queen in

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

unreasonable. Even now I can see no harm in picking a six-leaved clover. And I--I had not seen the Emerald City, then, nor you, and I thought a girl who would make such a silly Law would not be likely to help anyone in trouble."

Ozma regarded him musingly, her chin resting upon her hand; but she was not angry. On the contrary she smiled a little at her thoughts and then grew sober again.

"I suppose a good many laws seem foolish to those people who do not understand them," she


The Patchwork Girl of Oz
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:

By deep surmise of others' detriment: Losing her woes in shows of discontent. It easeth some, though none it ever cur'd, To think their dolour others have endur'd.

But now the mindful messenger, come back, Brings home his lord and other company; Who finds his Lucrece clad in mourning black: And round about her tear-distained eye Blue circles stream'd, like rainbows in the sky. These water-galls in her dim element Foretell new storms to those already spent.

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 Polity of Athenians and Lacedaemonians by Xenophon:

The objection may be raised that it was a mistake to allow the universal right of speech[15] and a seat in council. These should have been reserved for the cleverest, the flower of the community. But here, again, it will be found that they are acting with wise deliberation in granting to[16] even the baser sort the right of speech, for supposing only the better people might speak, or sit in council, blessings would fall to the lot of those like themselves, but to the commonalty the reverse of blessings. Whereas now, any one who likes, any base fellow, may get up and discover something to the advantage of himself and his equals. It may be retorted: "And what sort of advantage either for himself or for the People can such a