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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 Nada the Lily by H. Rider Haggard:

Bulalio, and he with the club who follows you."

Now Umslopogaas lifted the axe Groan-Maker as though he would cut me down, then let it fall again, while Galazi the Wolf glared at me with wide-opened eyes.

"How know you that once I was named Umslopogaas, who have lost that name these many days? Speak, O Mouth, lest I kill you."

"Slay if you will, Umslopogaas," I answered, "but know that when the brains are scattered the mouth is dumb. He who scatters brains loses wisdom."

"Answer!" he said.

"I answer not. Who are you that I should answer you? I know; it is


Nada the Lily
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith:

HASTINGS. Ha! ha! ha! I understand: you took them in a round, while they supposed themselves going forward, and so you have at last brought them home again.

TONY. You shall hear. I first took them down Feather-bed Lane, where we stuck fast in the mud. I then rattled them crack over the stones of Up-and-down Hill. I then introduced them to the gibbet on Heavy-tree Heath; and from that, with a circumbendibus, I fairly lodged them in the horse-pond at the bottom of the garden.

HASTINGS. But no accident, I hope?

TONY. No, no. Only mother is confoundedly frightened. She thinks herself forty miles off. She's sick of the journey; and the cattle can


She Stoops to Conquer
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Daisy Miller by Henry James:

"Well, I guess you had better leave it somewhere," she said after a moment.

"Are you going to Italy?" Winterbourne inquired in a tone of great respect.

The young lady glanced at him again. "Yes, sir," she replied. And she said nothing more.

"Are you--a-- going over the Simplon?" Winterbourne pursued, a little embarrassed.

"I don't know," she said. "I suppose it's some mountain. Randolph, what mountain are we going over?"

"Going where?" the child demanded.

"To Italy," Winterbourne explained.

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 Men of Iron by Howard Pyle:

How wouldst thou like my Cousin Alice here for thy true lady?"

"Aye," said Myles, eagerly, "I would like it right well." And then he blushed fiery red at his boldness.

"I want no errant-knight to serve me," said the Lady Alice, blushing, in answer. "Thou dost ill tease me, coz! An thou art so free in choosing him a lady to serve, thou mayst choose him thyself for thy pains."

"Nay," said the Lady Anne, laughing; "I say thou shalt be his true lady, and he shall be thy true knight. Who knows? Perchance he may serven thee in some wondrous adventure, like as Chaucer telleth of. But now, Sir Errant-Knight, thou must take thy leave


Men of Iron