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Today's Stichomancy for Steve Martin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw:

am an artist; and I cant believe it: I refuse to believe it. It's only that you havnt discovered yet what a wonderful world art can open up to you.

VIVIE. Yes I have. Last May I spent six weeks in London with Honoria Fraser. Mamma thought we were doing a round of sightseeing together; but I was really at Honoria's chambers in Chancery Lane every day, working away at actuarial calculations for her, and helping her as well as a greenhorn could. In the evenings we smoked and talked, and never dreamt of going out except for exercise. And I never enjoyed myself more in my life.

I cleared all my expenses and got initiated into the business

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from On Horsemanship by Xenophon:

be cheated."

First, then, let there be no mistake about the age. If the horse has lost his mark teeth,[2] not only will the purchaser's hopes be blighted, but he may find himself saddled for ever with a sorry bargain.[3]

[2] Or, "the milk teeth," i.e. is more than five years old. See Morgan, p. 126.

[3] Lit. "a horse that has lost his milk teeth cannot be said to gladden his owner's mind with hopes, and is not so easily disposed of."

Given that the fact of youth is well established, let there be no


On Horsemanship
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:

with him if I had been able to detach my mental vision from the unsuspected sharer of my cabin as though he were my second self. There he was on the other side of the bulkhead, four or five feet from us, no more, as we sat in the saloon. I looked politely at Captain Archbold (if that was his name), but it was the other I saw, in a gray sleeping suit, seated on a low stool, his bare feet close together, his arms folded, and every word said between us falling into the ears of his dark head bowed on his chest.

"I have been at sea now, man and boy, for seven-and-thirty years, and I've never heard of such a thing happening in an English ship.


The Secret Sharer
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 Shadow out of Time by H. P. Lovecraft:

Cell action was of an unique sort almost precluding fatigue, and wholly eliminating the need of sleep. Nourishment, assimilated through the red trumpet-like appendages on one of the great flexible limbs, was always semifluid and in many aspects wholly unlike the food of existing animals. The beings had but two of the senses which we recognise - sight and hearing, the latter accomplished through the flower-like appendages on the grey stalks above their heads. Of other and incomprehensible senses - not, however, well utilizable by alien captive minds inhabiting their bodies - they possessed many. Their three eyes were so situated as to give them


Shadow out of Time