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Today's Stichomancy for Paul Newman

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:

as I understand truth," and when I had done, sniffed audibly, and said I talked like a transcendentalist. For his part, common sense was good enough for him.

Precisely so, my dear sir, I replied; common sense, AS YOU UNDERSTAND IT. We all have to assume a standard of judgment in our own minds, either of things or persons. A man who is willing to take another's opinion has to exercise his judgment in the choice of whom to follow, which is often as nice a matter as to judge of things for one's self. On the whole, I had rather judge men's minds by comparing their thoughts with my own, than judge of thoughts by knowing who utter them. I must do one or the other.


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 Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:

moment more than is necessary, otherwise I will surely prepare for thee a death by slow fire that shall make thee curse twenty times an hour thy villainous and ribald partner!"

Hearing the commencement of these little speeches of the seneschal, whose youth came back in his oaths, the page ran away, escaping the rest: and he did well. Bruyn, burning with a fierce rage, gained the gardens speedily, reviling everything by the way, striking and swearing; he even knocked over three large pans held by one of his servants, was carrying the mess to the dogs, and he was so beside himself that he would have killed a labourer for a "thank you." He soon perceived his unmaidenly maiden, who was looking towards the road


Droll Stories, V. 1
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:

advancing upon a fortress, at least the fortress itself in no way resembled the impregnable stronghold which I have described. As a matter of fact, the fortress became seized with a panic which drove its spirit into its boots. First of all, the chair with which Chichikov (the fortress in question) sought to defend himself was wrested from his grasp by the serfs, and then--blinking and neither alive nor dead--he turned to parry the Circassian pipe-stem of his host. In fact, God only knows what would have happened had not the fates been pleased by a miracle to deliver Chichikov's elegant back and shoulders from the onslaught. Suddenly, and as unexpectedly as though the sound had come from the clouds, there made itself heard the


Dead Souls
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 Iron Puddler by James J. Davis:

hypnotized. He couldn't hypnotize me. I felt rather bad about it. I was out of the show. Later I learned that all of the "Perfessor's" best subjects came with him under salary, and the local boys who made good were faking like the professionals. The whole thing was a cheat and I had not caught on. I was too serious-minded to think of faking. But several of the boys took to it naturally, and among them was Babe Durgon, the bully. He could be hypnotized and I couldn't. But several years later I had the satisfaction of "hypnotizing" him myself, as I told about in my first chapter.

Although I always regarded myself as a humorist, the impression