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Today's Stichomancy for Colin Powell

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Daughter of Eve by Honore de Balzac:

him until she had obtained a general confession of the causes of his act. When he had poured into her heart the dreadful elegy of his woes, she said, in order to make him willing to live:--

"I can arrange all that."

But, nevertheless, she returned home with a heart oppressed with the same anxieties and ideas that had darkened Nathan's brow the night before.

"Well, what was the matter with your sister?" said Felix, when his wife returned. "You look distressed."

"It is a dreadful history about which I am bound to secrecy," she said, summoning all her nerve to appear calm before him.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Study of a Woman by Honore de Balzac:

seat and back of which described an angle of one hundred and twenty degrees. He stopped drinking tea and remained motionless, his eyes fixed on the gilded hand which formed the knob of his shovel, but without seeing either hand or shovel. He ceased even to poke the fire, --a vast mistake! Isn't it one of our greatest pleasures to play with the fire when we think of women? Our minds find speeches in those tiny blue flames which suddenly dart up and babble on the hearth. We interpret as we please the strong, harsh tones of a "burgundian."

Here I must pause to put before all ignorant persons an explanation of that word, derived from a very distinguished etymologist who wishes his name kept secret.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Just Folks by Edgar A. Guest:


It's "be a good boy, Willie," And it's "run away and play, For Santa Claus is coming With his reindeer and his sleigh." It's "mind what mother tells you, And it's "put away your toys, For Santa Claus is coming To the good girls and the boys." Ho, Santa Claus is coming, there is Christmas in the air, And little girls and little boys are good now everywhere.

Just Folks
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 Chronicles of the Canongate by Walter Scott:

put him upon his trial, well judging that he would observe more wholesome caution if he conceived his character unsuspected, than if he were detected, and suffered to pass unpunished. For after all, she said, it would be cruel to dismiss an old Highland soldier for a peccadillo so appropriate to his country and profession.

The stately gate for carriages, or the humble accommodation for foot-passengers, admitted into a narrow and short passage running between two rows of lime-trees, whose green foliage during the spring contrasted strangely with the swart complexion of the two walls by the side of which they grew. This access led to the