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Today's Stichomancy for William Randolph Hearst

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:

66. Forestall your opponent by seizing what he holds dear,

[Cf. supra, ss. 18.]

and subtly contrive to time his arrival on the ground.

[Ch`en Hao`s explanation: "If I manage to seize a favorable position, but the enemy does not appear on the scene, the advantage thus obtained cannot be turned to any practical account. He who intends therefore, to occupy a position of importance to the enemy, must begin by making an artful appointment, so to speak, with his antagonist, and cajole him into going there as well." Mei Yao-ch`en explains that this "artful appointment" is to be made through the medium of the


The Art of War
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:

any notice from the eyes of the passers along the street. At the end of a week the picture disappeared; Fougeres walked slowly up and approached the dealer's shop in a lounging manner. The Jew was at his door.

"Well, I see you have sold my picture."

"No, here it is," said Magus; "I've framed it, to show it to some one who fancies he knows about painting."

Fougeres had not the heart to return to the boulevard. He set about another picture, and spent two months upon it,--eating mouse's meals and working like a galley-slave.

One evening he went to the boulevard, his feet leading him fatefully

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Old Indian Legends by Zitkala-Sa:

All around the camp ground from mouth to ear passed those words of the returned messengers.

Now it chanced that immortal Iktomi, fully recovered from the brown burnt spots, overheard the people talking. At once he was filled with a new desire. "If only I had the magic arrow, I would kill the red eagle and win the chieftain's daughter for a wife," said he in his heart.

Back to his lonely wigwam he hastened. Beneath the tree in front of his teepee he sat upon the ground with chin between his drawn-up knees. His keen eyes scanned the wide plain. He was watching for the avenger.

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 Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy:

rough hole in the mud wall, originally made for pigeons, through which the interior of the next shed could be viewed. A light came from it now; and Eustacia stepped upon a stool to look in upon the scene.

On a ledge in the fuelhouse stood three tall rushlights and by the light of them seven or eight lads were marching about, haranguing, and confusing each other, in endeavours to perfect themselves in the play. Humphrey and Sam, the furze-and turf-cutters, were there looking on, so also was Timothy Fairway, who leant against the wall and prompted the boys from memory,


Return of the Native