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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 The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring by George Bernard Shaw:

supersession of absolute music, it is sufficient to point to the fact that Germany produced two absolute musicians of the first class during Wagner's lifetime: one, the greatly gifted Goetz, who died young; the other, Brahms, whose absolute musical endowment was as extraordinary as his thought was commonplace. Wagner had for him the contempt of the original thinker for the man of second-hand ideas, and of the strenuously dramatic musician for mere brute musical faculty; but though his contempt was perhaps deserved by the Triumphlieds, and Schicksalslieds, and Elegies and Requiems in which Brahms took his brains so seriously, nobody can listen to Brahms' natural utterance of the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Bab:A Sub-Deb, Mary Roberts Rinehart by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

seat, from which I opined, alas, that the shop girl had been right and busness was rotten. But at last, after hours of waiting, the faint tuning of musicle instruments was heard.

From that time I lived in a daze. I have never before felt so strange. I have known and respected the Other Sex, and indeed once or twise been kissed by it. But I had remained Cold. My Pulses had never flutered. I was always conserned only with the fear that others had overseen and would perhaps tell. But now--I did not care who would see, if only Adrian would put his arms about me. Divine shamlessness! Brave Rapture! For if one who he could not possably love, being so close to her in her make-up, if one who was indeed

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

as did most of the Parisian magistrates. Ambitious of higher flights Monsieur de Chessel endeavored to smother the original Durand. He first called himself Durand de Chessel, then D. de Chessel, and that made him Monsieur de Chessel. Under the Restoration he entailed an estate with the title of count in virtue of letters-patent from Louis XVIII. His children reaped the fruits of his audacity without knowing what it cost him in sarcastic comments. Parvenus are like monkeys, whose cleverness they possess; we watch them climbing, we admire their agility, but once at the summit we see only their absurd and contemptible parts. The reverse side of my host's character was made up of pettiness with the addition of envy. The peerage and he were on


The Lily of the Valley
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 Virginian by Owen Wister:

more deplorable than it did evidently to them. Their attention merely wandered. Three hundred years ago they would have been frightened; but not in this electric day. I saw Scipio stifling a smile when it came to the doctrine of original sin. "We know of its truth," said Dr. MacBride, "from the severe troubles and distresses to which infants are liable, and from death passing upon them before they are capable of sinning. Yet I knew he was a good man; and I also knew that if a missionary is to be tactless, he might almost as well be bad.

I said their attention wandered, but I forgot the Virginian. At first his attitude might have been mere propriety. One can look


The Virginian