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Today's Stichomancy for Yasser Arafat

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Pivot of Civilization by Margaret Sanger:

political bodies are the surest methods of driving the whole problem under-ground. As Havelock Ellis has pointed out, the absurdity and even hopelessness of effecting Eugenic improvement by placing on the statute books prohibitions of legal matrimony to certain classes of people, reveal the weakness of those Eugenists who minimize or undervalue the importance of environment as a determining factor. They affirm that heredity is everything and environment nothing, yet forget that it is precisely those who are most universally subject to bad environment who procreate most copiously, most recklessly and most disastrously. Such marriage laws are based for the most part on the infantile assumption that procreation is absolutely dependent upon the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lucile by Owen Meredith:

He look'd up and saw, On the bare heath before him, the Duc de Luvois.


With aggressive ironical tones, and a look Of concentrated insolent challenge, the Duke Address'd to Lord Alfred some sneering allusion To "the doubtless sublime reveries his intrusion Had, he fear'd, interrupted. Milord would do better, He fancied, however, to fold up a letter The writing of which was too well known, in fact, His remark as he pass'd to have failed to attract."

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:


She leant back and pressed her head into the pillows.

Then his muffled voice: "I feel like a savage. I want your whole body. I want to carry you away to a cave and love you until I kill you--you can't understand how a man feels. I kill myself when I see you--I'm sick of my own strength that turns in upon itself, and dies, and rises new born like a Phoenix out of the ashes of that horrible death. Love me just this once, tell me a lie, SAY that you do--you are always lying."

Instead, she pushed him away--frightened.

"Get up," she said; "suppose the servant came in with the tea?"

"Oh, ye gods!" He stumbled to his feet and stood staring down at her.

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 Options by O. Henry:

hauled the remains of the coffee and bacon the one hundred and forty- nine miles back to Concho City.

Lee Rundle chewed much tobacco on the return trip. I was busy driving, because I was in a hurry.

As shortly as could be after our empty return Goodloe Banks and I forgathered in the back room of Snyder's saloon to play dominoes and fish for information. I told Goodloe about my expedition after the buried treasure.

"If I could have found that three hundred thousand dollars," I said to him, "I could have scoured and sifted the surface of the earth to find May Martha Mangum."