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Today's Stichomancy for Laurence Fishburne

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:

not unwilling to receive me, I shall be able to come back to you... Remember these words of mine."...

She ceased to speak; and her eyes closed. She was dead.

* * *

Nagao had been sincerely attached to O-Tei; and his grief was deep. He had a mortuary tablet made, inscribed with her zokumyo; [1] and he placed the tablet in his butsudan, [2] and every day set offerings before it. He thought a great deal about the strange things that O-Tei had said to him just before her death; and, in the hope of pleasing her spirit, he wrote a solemn promise to wed her if she could ever return to him in another body. This written promise he sealed with his seal, and placed in the butsudan

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost:

the flames had been extinguished with great difficulty. I asked whether the furniture had suffered. She answered, that there had been such confusion, owing to the multitude of strangers who came to offer assistance, that she could hardly ascertain what damage had been done. I was principally uneasy about our money, which had been locked up in a little box. I went off in haste to Chaillot. Vain hope! the box had disappeared!

"I discovered that one could love money without being a miser. This loss afflicted me to such a degree that I was almost out of my mind. I saw at one glance to what new calamities I should be exposed: poverty was the least of them. I knew Manon thoroughly;

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:

cannot be; and "he is a fool," says old Hesiod, "who knows not how much better half is than the whole." Let us be content with what is within our reach. And doubt not that in these tiny creatures are mysteries more than we shall ever fathom.

The zoophytes and microscopic animalcules which people every shore and every drop of water, have been now raised to a rank in the human mind more important, perhaps, than even those gigantic monsters whose models fill the lake at the Crystal Palace. The research which has been bestowed, for the last century, upon these once unnoticed atomies has well repaid itself; for from no branch of physical science has more been learnt of the SCIENTIA

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 Art of War by Sun Tzu:

"Position" need not be confined to the actual ground occupied by the troops. It includes all the arrangements and preparations which a wise general will make to increase the safety of his army.]

15. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

[Ho Shih thus expounds the paradox: "In warfare, first lay plans which will ensure victory, and then lead your army to battle; if you will not begin with stratagem but rely on brute strength alone, victory will no longer be assured."]

The Art of War