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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 Marie by H. Rider Haggard:

of it was he came to life again.

For three days did I doctor that man, and really I believe that if at any time during those days I had relaxed my attentions even for a couple of hours, he would have slipped through my fingers, for at this business Klaus and the Kaffirs were no good at all. But I pulled him round, and on the third morning he came to his senses. For a long while he stared at me, for I had laid him in the mouth of the cave, where the light was good, although the overhanging rocks protected him from the sun. Then he said:

"Allemachte! you remind me of someone, young man. I know. It is of that damned English boy who beat me at the goose shooting, and made me

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:

yet the two forms--the old and the new--would not be identically the same; for both would almost certainly inherit different characters from their distinct progenitors. For instance, it is just possible, if our fantail-pigeons were all destroyed, that fanciers, by striving during long ages for the same object, might make a new breed hardly distinguishable from our present fantail; but if the parent rock-pigeon were also destroyed, and in nature we have every reason to believe that the parent-form will generally be supplanted and exterminated by its improved offspring, it is quite incredible that a fantail, identical with the existing breed, could be raised from any other species of pigeon, or even from the other well-established races of the domestic pigeon, for the

On the Origin of Species
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy:

The attendant came up.

'Do you want some wood chopped? Let me have the axe.'

Sergius yielded up the axe and entered the cell. She was lying there asleep. He looked at her with horror, and passed on beyond the partition, where he took down the peasant clothes and put them on. Then he seized a pair of scissors, cut off his long hair, and went out along the path down the hill to the river, where he had not been for more than three years.

A road ran beside the river and he went along it and walked till noon. Then he went into a field of rye and lay down there. Towards evening he approached a village, but without entering it

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 Wife, et al by Anton Chekhov:


"Go home to bed," I said. "We will see each other tomorrow."

"So you don't consider me your friend?" she asked dejectedly.

"I don't say that. But your money would be no use to me now."

"I beg your pardon . . ." she said, dropping her voice a whole octave. "I understand you . . . to be indebted to a person like me . . . a retired actress. . . . But, good-bye. . . ."

And she went away so quickly that I had not time even to say good-bye.


I am in Harkov.