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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 The Ancient Regime by Charles Kingsley:

certainty of final victory, by those very changes, disputes, mistakes, which the ignorant and the bigoted hold up to scorn, as proofs of its uncertainty and its rottenness; because they never have dared or cared to ask boldly--What are the facts of the case?-- and have never discovered either the acuteness, the patience, the calm justice, necessary for ascertaining the facts, or their awful and divine certainty when once ascertained.

[But these philosophers (it will be said) hated all religion.

Before that question can be fairly discussed, it is surely right to consider what form of religion that was which they found working round them in France, and on the greater part of the Continent. The

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Virginian by Owen Wister:

near the pool. Still undispersed by the weather lay the small charred ends of a fire he and she had made once here together, to boil coffee and fry trout. She built another fire now, and when the flames were going well, filled her flask-cup from the spring and set it to heat. Meanwhile, she returned to nurse his head and wound. Her cold water had stopped the bleeding. Then she poured her brandy in the steaming cup, and, made rough by her desperate helplessness, forced some between his lips and teeth.

Instantly, almost, she felt the tremble of life creeping back, and as his deep eyes opened upon her she sat still and mute. But the gaze seemed luminous with an unnoting calm, and she wondered


The Virginian
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac:

marry her----"

"That is just what I wanted to know," replied the Baron. "Run away, Hortense, and leave me to talk business with Monsieur le Comte.--He really loves you, you see!"

"Oh, papa, I was sure you were only in jest," said the happy girl.

"My dear Steinbock," said the Baron, with elaborate grace of diction and the most perfect manners, as soon as he and the artist were alone, "I promised my son a fortune of two hundred thousand francs, of which the poor boy has never had a sou; and he never will get any of it. My daughter's fortune will also be two hundred thousand francs, for which you will give a receipt----"

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 Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:

bearings of their houses emblazoned on their golden robes. The dance of the mitred arcades with the slender windows became like a fray at a tourney.

In another moment every stone in the church vibrated, without leaving its place; for the organ-pipes spoke, and I heard divine music mingling with the songs of angels, and unearthly harmony, accompanied by the deep notes of the bells, that boomed as the giant towers rocked and swayed on their square bases. This strange Sabbath seemed to me the most natural thing in the world; and I, who had seen Charles X. hurled from his throne, was no longer amazed by anything. Nay, I myself was gently swaying with a see-saw movement that influenced my