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Today's Stichomancy for Osama bin Laden

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Prufrock/Other Observations by T. S. Eliot:

And besides, the wench is dead. The Jew Of Malta


Among the smoke and fog of a December afternoon You have the scene arrange itself--as it will seem to do-- With "I have saved this afternoon for you"; And four wax candles in the darkened room, Four rings of light upon the ceiling overhead, An atmosphere of Julietís tomb Prepared for all the things to be said, or left unsaid. We have been, let us say, to hear the latest Pole

Prufrock/Other Observations
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Bucolics by Virgil:

Scattered among the hills that knew them not. Then sang he of the stones by Pyrrha cast, Of Saturn's reign, and of Prometheus' theft, And the Caucasian birds, and told withal Nigh to what fountain by his comrades left The mariners cried on Hylas till the shore "Then Re-echoed "Hylas, Hylas! soothed Pasiphae with the love of her white bull- Happy if cattle-kind had never been!- O ill-starred maid, what frenzy caught thy soul The daughters too of Proetus filled the fields

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:

escaping a closer personal acquaintance with a quarto Hamlet than he had ever had before. Finale: great outburst of wrath, and rapid retreat of the combatants, many wounded (volumes) being left on the field.


ALTHOUGH, strictly speaking, the following anecdote does not illustrate any form of real injury to books, it is so racy, and in these days of extravagant biddings so tantalizing, that I must step just outside the strict line of pertinence in order to place it on record, It was sent to me, as a personal experience, by my friend, Mr. George Clulow, a well-known bibliophile,

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:

before I can get home, as I shall not be able to do the distance either way in less than an hour and a half. But you will not mind for one evening, dear? What are you thinking of to make you look so abstracted?"

"I cannot tell you," she said heavily. "I wish we didn't live here, Clym. The world seems all wrong in this place."

"Well--if we make it so. I wonder if Thomasin has been to Blooms-End lately. I hope so. But probably not, as she is, I believe, expecting to be confined in a month or so. I wish I had thought of that before. Poor Mother must indeed be very lonely."

Return of the Native