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Today's Stichomancy for Richard Branson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:

shutters. . . I am bored! . . . I will continue my diary which has been interrupted by so many strange events.

I read the last page over: how ridiculous it seems! . . . I thought to die; it was not to be. I have not yet drained the cup of suffering, and now I feel that I still have long to live.

How clearly and how sharply have all these bygone events been stamped upon my memory! Time has not effaced a single line, a single shade.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Footnote to History by Robert Louis Stevenson:

larger river, the Vaisingano. Beyond, in Matautu, his way takes him in the shade of many trees and by scattered dwellings, and presently brings him beside a great range of offices, the place and the monument of a German who fought the German firm during his life. His house (now he is dead) remains pointed like a discharged cannon at the citadel of his old enemies. Fitly enough, it is at present leased and occupied by Englishmen. A little farther, and the reader gains the eastern flanking angle of the bay, where stands the pilot-house and signal-post, and whence he can see, on the line of the main coast of the island, the British and the new American consulates.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Man of Business by Honore de Balzac:

a magistrate, is what we call a /contribution/. If you owe ten thousand francs, and your creditors issue writs of attachment on a debt due to you of a thousand francs, each one of them gets so much per cent, 'so much in the pound,' in legal phrase; so much (that means) in proportion to the amounts severally claimed by the creditors. But--the creditors cannot touch the money without a special order from the clerk of the court. Do you guess what all this work drawn up by a judge and prepared by attorneys must mean? It means a quantity of stamped paper full of diffuse lines and blanks, the figures almost lost in vast spaces of completely empty ruled columns. The first proceeding is to deduct the costs. Now, as the costs are

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 Of The Nature of Things by Lucretius:

Along with body, with body grows and ages. For just as children totter round about With frames infirm and tender, so there follows A weakling wisdom in their minds; and then, Where years have ripened into robust powers, Counsel is also greater, more increased The power of mind; thereafter, where already The body's shattered by master-powers of eld, And fallen the frame with its enfeebled powers, Thought hobbles, tongue wanders, and the mind gives way; All fails, all's lacking at the selfsame time.

Of The Nature of Things