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Today's Stichomancy for Robin Williams

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from 'Twixt Land & Sea by Joseph Conrad:

spies a gap between two disgusting old jagged reefs, puts the helm down suddenly, and shoots the brig through, with all her sails shaking and rattling, so that we could hear the racket on the verandah. I drew my breath through my teeth, I can tell you, and Freya swore. Yes! She clenched her capable fists and stamped with her pretty brown boot and said "Damn!" Then, looking at me with a little heightened colour - not much - she remarked, "I forgot you were there," and laughed. To be sure, to be sure. When Jasper was in sight she was not likely to remember that anybody else in the world was there. In my concern at this mad trick I couldn't help appealing to her sympathetic common sense.


'Twixt Land & Sea
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:

what? What are we, after all? Book-keepers in the great Bureau of Intellect. Monsieur, I don't apply these remarks to you, but I meet on all sides men who make it a business to teach new ideas and disclose chains of reasoning to people who turn pale at the first word. On my word of honor, it is pitiable! But that's the way of the world, and I don't pretend to reform it. Your objection, Monsieur, is really sheer nonsense."

"Why?" asked the lunatic.

"Why?--this is why: because, if you live and possess the qualities which are estimated in your policy against the chances of death,--now, attend to this--"

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from When the World Shook by H. Rider Haggard:

his arm round the waist of another girl. Another motor-bus rumbled up, and, avoiding the hole in the roadway, travelled on, its conductor keeping a keen look-out for fares.

The street was cleared by the police; the airship continued its course, spawning bombs in the distance, and vanished. The incident was closed.

"Let us go home," said Oro. "I have seen enough of your great and wonderful city. I would rest in the quiet of Nyo and think."

The next thing that I remember was the voice of Bastin, saying:

"If you don't mind, Arbuthnot, I wish that you would get up. The Glittering Lady (he still called her that) is coming here to


When the World Shook
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 Bureaucracy by Honore de Balzac:

those who try to peer before them in the darkness.] "Well, it is just because the promotion would be so fitting, and because the man has such merit, and because the measure is so eminently wise and equitable that I bet Rabourdin will not be appointed. Yes, you'll see, that appointment will slip up, just like the invasion from Boulogne, and the march to Russia, for the success of which a great genius has gathered together all the chances. It will fail as all good and just things do fail in this low world. I am only backing the devil's game."

Du Bruel. "Who do you think will be appointed?"

Bixiou. "The more I think about Baudoyer, the more sure I feel that he unites all the opposite qualities; therefore I think he will be the