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Today's Stichomancy for James Brown

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table by Oliver Wendell Holmes:

prone to the abuse of stimulants, - and I fear that this is true, - the reason of it is only too clear. A man abandons himself to a fine frenzy, and the power which flows through him, as I once explained to you, makes him the medium of a great poem or a great picture. The creative action is not voluntary at all, but automatic; we can only put the mind into the proper attitude, and wait for the wind, that blows where it listeth, to breathe over it. Thus the true state of creative genius is allied to REVERIE, or dreaming. If mind and body were both healthy and had food enough and fair play, I doubt whether any men would be more temperate than the imaginative classes. But body and mind often flag, - perhaps


The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas:

the other so covered with dust that he looked as if he had but just come off a field of battle.

Musqueton also attracted attention; and as the romance of Don Quixote was then the fashion, they said that he was Sancho, who, after having lost one master, had found two.

On reaching the palace, D'Artagnan sent to his eminence the letter in which he had been ordered to return without delay. He was soon ordered to the presence of the cardinal.

"Courage!" he whispered to Porthos, as they proceeded. "Do not be intimidated. Believe me, the eye of the eagle is closed forever. We have only the vulture to deal with. Hold


Twenty Years After
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tono Bungay by H. G. Wells:

Smithie, full-charged with emotion, so breathless in the presence of the horrid villain of the piece that she could make no articulate sounds. She had long tearful confidences with Marion, I know, sympathetic close clingings. There were moments when only absolute speechlessness prevented her giving me a stupendous "talking-to"--I could see it in her eye. The wrong things she would have said! And I recall, too, Mrs. Ramboat's slow awakening to something in, the air, the growing expression of solicitude in her eye, only her well-trained fear of Marion keeping her from speech.

And at last through all this welter, like a thing fated and

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 Pericles by William Shakespeare:

And danger, which I fear'd, is at Antioch, Whose arm seems far too short to hit me here: Yet neither pleasure's art can joy my spirits, Nor yet the other's distance comfort me. Then it is thus: the passions of the mind, That have their first conception by mis-dread Have after-nourishment and life by care; And what was first but fear what might he done, Grows elder now and cares it be not done. And so with me: the great Antiochus, 'Gainst whom I am too little to contend,