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Today's Stichomancy for Barack Obama

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

marquis," she said, in a guttural voice which haughtily challenged condemnation, "know this; I am a dishonored creature, unworthy of you. From this hour I accept my fate as a lost woman. I am weary of playing a part,--the part of a woman to whom you had brought back the sanctities of her soul. Virtue is a burden to me. I should despise you if you were weak enough to marry me. The Comte de Bauvan might commit that folly, but you--you must be worthy of your future and leave me without regret. A courtesan is too exacting; I should not love you like the simple, artless girl who felt for a moment the delightful hope of being your companion, of making you happy, of doing you honor, of becoming a noble wife. But I gather from that futile hope the

The Chouans
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Fisherman's Luck by Henry van Dyke:

the smudge, known in Lower Canada as LA BOUCANE. The smudge owes its existence to the pungent mosquito, the sanguinary black-fly, and the peppery midge,--LE MARINGOUIN, LA MOUSTIQUE, ET LE BRULOT. To what it owes its English name I do not know; but its French name means simply a thick, nauseating, intolerable smoke.

The smudge is called into being for the express purpose of creating a smoke of this kind, which is as disagreeable to the mosquito, the black-fly, and the midge as it is to the man whom they are devouring. But the man survives the smoke, while the insects succumb to it, being destroyed or driven away. Therefore the smudge, dark and bitter in itself, frequently becomes, like

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from O Pioneers! by Willa Cather:

with his old, brooding gaze, while the French girls fluttered about him in their white dresses and ribbons, and Alexandra watched the scene with pride. Several of the French girls, Marie knew, were hoping that Emil would take them to supper, and she was relieved when he took only his sister. Marie caught Frank's arm and dragged him to the same table, managing to get seats opposite the Bergsons, so that she could hear what they were talking about. Alexandra made Emil tell Mrs. Xavier Chevalier, the

O Pioneers!
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 Bucky O'Connor by William MacLeod Raine:

whose presence something at once formidable and sinister and yet gallant seemed to breathe--the very sight of him set the mind of Collins at work busily upon a wild guess. Surely here was a worthy figure upon whom to set the name and reputation of the notorious Wolf Leroy.

Yet the sheriff's eyes rested scarce an instant before they went traveling again, for he wanted to show as yet no special interest in the object of his suspicions. The gathering was a motley one, picturesque in its diversity. For here had drifted not only the stranded derelicts of a frontier civilization, but selected types of all the turbid elements that go to make up its success.