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Today's Stichomancy for Donald Rumsfeld

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

very same that was now so unutterably grievous to be borne. The days of the far-off future would toil onward, still with the same burden for her to take up, and bear along with her, but never to fling down; for the accumulating days and added years would pile up their misery upon the heap of shame. Throughout them all, giving up her individuality, she would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point, and in which they might vivify and embody their images of woman's frailty and sinful passion. Thus the young and pure would be taught to look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast -- at her, the child of honourable parents -- at her, the mother of a babe


The Scarlet Letter
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Vailima Letters by Robert Louis Stevenson:

some very small help, and in the way of helping myself to information, to prove myself a mere gazer at meteors. But there seems no doubt the Mataafas for the time are scattered; the most of our friends are involved in this disaster, and Mataafa himself - who might have swept the islands a few months ago - for him to fall so poorly, doubles my regret. They say the Taupou had a gun and fired; probably an excuse manufactured EX POST FACTO. I go down to-morrow at 12, to stay the afternoon, and help Miss Large. In the hospital to- day, when I first entered it, there were no attendants; only the wounded and their friends, all equally sleeping and their

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:

that of good. In our answer, then, we shall only say that he is overcome. 'By what?' he will reiterate. By the good, we shall have to reply; indeed we shall. Nay, but our questioner will rejoin with a laugh, if he be one of the swaggering sort, 'That is too ridiculous, that a man should do what he knows to be evil when he ought not, because he is overcome by good. Is that, he will ask, because the good was worthy or not worthy of conquering the evil'? And in answer to that we shall clearly reply, Because it was not worthy; for if it had been worthy, then he who, as we say, was overcome by pleasure, would not have been wrong. 'But how,' he will reply, 'can the good be unworthy of the evil, or the evil of the good'? Is not the real explanation that they are out of proportion to one another, either as

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 Puck of Pook's Hill by Rudyard Kipling:

crinkled the glassy water, was drinking in the pool, and the ripples about his muzzle flashed like melted gold. On his back sat an old, white-haired man dressed in a loose glimmery gown of chain-mail. He was bare-headed, and a nut-shaped iron helmet hung at his saddle-bow. His reins were of red leather five or six inches deep, scalloped at the edges, and his high padded saddle with its red girths was held fore and aft by a red leather breastband and crupper.

'Look!' said Una, as though Dan were not staring his very eyes out. 'It's like the picture in your room - "Sir