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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 Dawn O'Hara, The Girl Who Laughed by Edna Ferber:

weeks. I would not have presumed--"

"Blackie never presumes," I laughed. "Blackie's just--Blackie. Imagine taking offense at him! He knows every one by their given name, from Jo, the boss of the pressroom, to the Chief, who imports his office coats from London. Besides, Blackie and I are newspaper men. And people don't scrape and bow in a newspaper office-- especially when they're fond of one another. You wouldn't understand."

As I looked at Von Gerhard in the light of the street lamp I saw a tense, drawn look about the little group of

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

for all branches, who don't teach you anything, costs sixty thousand francs. If the education of the world does cost double, at least it teaches you to understand life, politics, men,--and sometimes women."

Blondet concluded the lesson by a paraphrase from La Fontaine: "The world sells dearly what we think it gives."

Instead of laying to heart the sensible advice which the cleverest pilots of the Parisian archipelago gave him, Savinien took it all as a joke.

"Take care, my dear fellow," said de Marsay one day. "You have a great name; if you don't obtain the fortune that name requires you'll end your days in the uniform of a cavalry-sergeant. 'We have seen the fall

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lay Morals by Robert Louis Stevenson:

was true.

But this benefit of fiction becomes lost with more sophisticated hearers and authors: a man is no longer the dupe of his own artifice, and cannot deal playfully with truths that are a matter of bitter concern to him in his life. And hence, in the progressive centralisation of modern thought, we should expect the old form of fable to fall gradually into desuetude, and be gradually succeeded by another, which is a fable in all points except that it is not altogether fabulous. And this new form, such as we should expect, and such as we do indeed find, still presents the

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 Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen:

On the floor, in the middle of the room, sat, like a Dalai-Lama, the insignificant "Self" of the person, quite confounded at his own greatness. He then imagined he had got into a needle-case full of pointed needles of every size.

"This is certainly the heart of an old maid," thought he. But he was mistaken. It was the heart of a young military man; a man, as people said, of talent and feeling.

In the greatest perplexity, he now came out of the last heart in the row; he was unable to put his thoughts in order, and fancied that his too lively imagination had run away with him.

"Good Heavens!" sighed he. "I have surely a disposition to madness--'tis


Fairy Tales