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Today's Stichomancy for David Bowie

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Beasts of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

approaching ruffians. The first intimation that either had of the presence of strangers in camp was the sudden appearance of a half-dozen ragged villains about them.

"Come!" said Kai Shang, motioning that the two arise and follow him.

Jane Clayton sprang to her feet and looked about for Schneider, only to see him standing behind the newcomers, a grin upon his face. At his side stood Schmidt. Instantly she saw that she had been made the victim of a plot.

"What is the meaning of this?" she asked, addressing the mate.

"It means that we have found a ship and that we can now


The Beasts of Tarzan
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James:

argument with me on spiritual matters. As I was speaking, the whole system rose up before me like a vague destiny looming from the Abyss. I never before so clearly felt the Spirit of God in me and around rue. The whole room seemed to me full of God. The air seemed to waver to and fro with the presence of Something I knew not what. I spoke with the calmness and clearness of a prophet. I cannot tell you what this revelation was. I have not yet studied it enough. But I shall perfect it one day, and then you shall hear it and acknowledge its grandeur."[27]

[27] Letters of Lowell, i. 75.

<66> Here is a longer and more developed experience from a

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence:

"How often HAVE we agreed for friendship! And yet--it neither stops there, nor gets anywhere else."

He was silent again. She brooded. What did he mean? He was so wearying. There was something he would not yield. Yet she must be patient with him.

"I can only give friendship--it's all I'm capable of--it's a flaw in my make-up. The thing overbalances to one side--I hate a toppling balance. Let us have done."

There was warmth of fury in his last phrases. He meant she loved him more than he her. Perhaps he could not love her. Perhaps she had not in herself that which he wanted. It was the


Sons and Lovers
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 The Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:

faith such as Bourgeat's could enter my brain."

Bianchon, who was with Desplein all through his last illness, dares not affirm to this day that the great surgeon died an atheist. Will not those who believe like to fancy that the humble Auvergnat came to open the gate of Heaven to his friend, as he did that of the earthly temple on whose pediment we read the words--"A grateful country to its great men."

PARIS, January 1836.

ADDENDUM

The following personages appear in other stories of the Human Comedy.

Bianchon, Horace