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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 The Time Machine by H. G. Wells:

promised to meet Richardson, the publisher, at two. I looked at my watch, and saw that I could barely save that engagement. I got up and went down the passage to tell the Time Traveller.

As I took hold of the handle of the door I heard an exclamation, oddly truncated at the end, and a click and a thud. A gust of air whirled round me as I opened the door, and from within came the sound of broken glass falling on the floor. The Time Traveller was not there. I seemed to see a ghostly, indistinct figure sitting in a whirling mass of black and brass for a moment--a figure so transparent that the bench behind with its sheets of drawings was absolutely distinct; but this phantasm


The Time Machine
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson:

him to the King's, whom I have not called on since my return; received by that mild old gentleman; have some interesting talk with him about Samoan superstitions and my land - the scene of a great battle in his (Malietoa Laupepa's) youth - the place which we have cleared the platform of his fort - the gulley of the stream full of dead bodies - the fight rolled off up Vaea mountain-side; back with Clarke to the Mission; had a bit of lunch and consulted over a queer point of missionary policy just arisen, about our new Town Hall and the balls there - too long to go into, but a quaint example of the intricate questions which spring up daily in the

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Blue Flower by Henry van Dyke:

he said within himself: "The ways of God are stranger than the thoughts of men, and it may be that I shall find the King, at last, in the hands of his enemies, and shall come in time to offer my pearl for his ransom before he dies."

So the old man followed the multitude with slow and painful steps toward the Damascus gate of the city. Just beyond the entrance of the guardhouse a troop of Macedonian soldiers came down the street, dragging a young girl with torn dress and dishevelled hair. As the Magian paused to look at her with compassion, she broke suddenly from the hands of her tormentors, and threw herself at his feet, clasping him around

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 Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac:

"How are you now?" she asked.

"Quite comfortable. Do not worry about me; I shall get up presently. Don't stay with me, children; go, go and be happy."

Eugene went back with Delphine as far as her door; but he was not easy about Goriot, and would not stay to dinner, as she proposed. He wanted to be back at the Maison Vauquer. Father Goriot had left his room, and was just sitting down to dinner as he came in. Bianchon had placed himself where he could watch the old man carefully; and when the old vermicelli maker took up his square of bread and smelled it to find out the quality of the flour, the medical student, studying him closely, saw that the action was


Father Goriot