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Today's Stichomancy for Vladimir Putin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad:

circumscribing the view of the men, drenching their bodies, oppressing their souls, taking their breath away with booming gusts, deafening, blinding, driving, rushing them onwards in a swaying ship towards our coasts lost in mists and rain.

The caprice of the winds, like the wilfulness of men, is fraught with the disastrous consequences of self-indulgence. Long anger, the sense of his uncontrolled power, spoils the frank and generous nature of the West Wind. It is as if his heart were corrupted by a malevolent and brooding rancour. He devastates his own kingdom in the wantonness of his force. South-west is the quarter of the heavens where he presents his darkened brow. He breathes his rage


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

symptom of gayety, to which Ginevra replied by a smile.

"Ah ca!" said Piombo, as they left the table, "your mother has called my attention to the fact that for some weeks you have stayed much longer than usual at the studio. It seems that painting is more to you than your parents--"

"Oh, father!"

"Ginevra is preparing some surprise for us, I think," said the mother.

"A picture of your own! will you bring us that?" cried the Corsican, clapping his hands.

"Yes, I am very much occupied at the studio," replied Ginevra, rather slowly.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:

to commit Laughing Anne's child to the care of his wife. And there poor, good Davidson made a fatal move. He didn't want to tell her the whole awful story, since it involved the knowledge of the danger from which he, Davidson, had escaped. And this, too, after he had been laughing at her unreasonable fears only a short time before.

"'I thought that if I told her everything,' Davidson explained to me, 'she would never have a moment's peace while I was away on my trips.'

"He simply stated that the boy was an orphan, the child of some people to whom he, Davidson, was under the greatest obligation, and


Within the Tides
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 Gentle Grafter by O. Henry:

"On you?" says Buck, winking solemn. "Don't you go and try to make 'em believe at the office you said that. Thanks. We can't spare the time, I reckon. So long."

And me and Buck slides out the door; and that's the way the Golconda Company went into involuntary liquefaction.

If you had seen me and Buck the next night you'd have had to go to a little bum hotel over near the West Side ferry landings. We was in a little back room, and I was filling up a gross of six-ounce bottles with hydrant water colored red with aniline and flavored with cinnamon. Buck was smoking, contented, and he wore a decent brown derby in place of his silk hat.