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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 Soul of the Far East by Percival Lowell:

It was as arts, not as sciences, they were invented. And it speaks volumes for her civilization that she burnt her powder for fireworks, not for firearms. To the West alone belongs the credit of manufacturing that article for the sake of killing people instead of merely killing time.

The scientific is not the Far Oriental point of view. To wish to know the reasons of things, that irrepressible yearning of the Western spirit, is no characteristic of the Chinaman's mind, nor is it a Tartar trait. Metaphysics, a species of speculation that has usually proved peculiarly attractive to mankind, probably from its not requiring any scientific capital whatever, would seem the most

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Chronicles of the Canongate by Walter Scott:

MacPhadraick, my son; for when he called himself the friend of your father, he better loved the most worthless stirk in his herd than he did the life-blood of MacTavish Mhor. Use his services, therefore, and pay him for them, for it is thus we should deal with the unworthy; but take my counsel, and trust him not."

Hamish could not suppress a sigh, which seemed to Elspat to intimate that the caution came too late. "What have you done with him?" she continued, eager and alarmed. "I had money of him, and he gives not that without value; he is none of those who exchange barley for chaff. Oh, if you repent you of your bargain, and if it be one which you may break off without

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain:

And we was just starting down the river a-hunting for all the week besides; but as soon as we come back we found out they'd been searching for the body, so then we went and told Brace Dunlap all about it."

"When was that?"

"Saturday night, September 9th."

The judge he spoke up and says:

"Mr. Sheriff, arrest these two witnesses on suspicions of being accessionary after the fact to the murder."

The lawyer for the prostitution jumps up all excited, and says:

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 Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Shakespeare:

As Philomel in summer's front doth sing, And stops her pipe in growth of riper days: Not that the summer is less pleasant now Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night, But that wild music burthens every bough, And sweets grown common lose their dear delight. Therefore like her, I sometime hold my tongue: Because I would not dull you with my song.

CIII

Alack! what poverty my Muse brings forth, That having such a scope to show her pride,