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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 Timaeus by Plato:

but a distinction should be made between those which are endowed with mind and are the workers of things fair and good, and those which are deprived of intelligence and always produce chance effects without order or design. Of the second or co-operative causes of sight, which help to give to the eyes the power which they now possess, enough has been said. I will therefore now proceed to speak of the higher use and purpose for which God has given them to us. The sight in my opinion is the source of the greatest benefit to us, for had we never seen the stars, and the sun, and the heaven, none of the words which we have spoken about the universe would ever have been uttered. But now the sight of day and night, and the months and the revolutions of the years, have created number, and have given us a

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson:

And sees before him, dale and plain, The pleasant land of counterpane.

XVII The Land of Nod

From breakfast on through all the day At home among my friends I stay, But every night I go abroad Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go, With none to tell me what to do-- All alone beside the streams


A Child's Garden of Verses
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:

Wrath, envy, treason, rape, and murder's rages, Thy heinous hours wait on them as their pages.

'When truth and virtue have to do with thee, A thousand crosses keep them from thy aid; They buy thy help; but Sin ne'er gives a fee, He gratis comes; and thou art well appay'd As well to hear as grant what he hath said. My Collatine would else have come to me When Tarquin did, but he was stay'd by thee.

'Guilty thou art of murder and of theft; Guilty of perjury and subornation;

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 Almayer's Folly by Joseph Conrad:

set. Had they done so they knew there was no mercy to be expected from Arab or Rajah; no rice to be got on credit in the times of scarcity from either; and Almayer could not help them, having at times hardly enough for himself. Almayer, in his isolation and despair, often envied his near neighbour the Chinaman, Jim-Eng, whom he could see stretched on a pile of cool mats, a wooden pillow under his head, an opium pipe in his nerveless fingers. He did not seek, however, consolation in opium--perhaps it was too expensive--perhaps his white man's pride saved him from that degradation; but most likely it was the thought of his little daughter in the far-off Straits


Almayer's Folly