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Today's Stichomancy for Donald Rumsfeld

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde:

Cecily. I wrote one myself in earlier days.

CECILY. Did you really, Miss Prism? How wonderfully clever you are! I hope it did not end happily? I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much.

MISS PRISM. The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.

CECILY. I suppose so. But it seems very unfair. And was your novel ever published?

MISS PRISM. Alas! no. The manuscript unfortunately was abandoned. [CECILY starts.] I use the word in the sense of lost or mislaid. To your work, child, these speculations are profitless.

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Elizabeth and her German Garden by Marie Annette Beauchamp:

and perfectly comfortable, I began to consider the uncertainty of human life, and to shake my head in gloomy approval as lugubrious lines of pessimistic poetry suggested themselves to my mind.

Now it is clearly a desirable plan, if you want to do anything, to do it in the way consecrated by custom, more especially if you are a woman. The rattle of a carriage along the road just behind me, and the fact that I started and turned suddenly hot, drove this truth home to my soul. The mist hid me, and the carriage, no doubt full of cousins, drove on in the direction of the house; but what an absurd


Elizabeth and her German Garden
The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Moon-Face and Other Stories by Jack London:

gang he travels with. By PUTTING ME WISE he will direct me to where the gang is hanging out. The MAIN GUY is the leader. Slim claims that distinction.

"Slim and I hiked out to a neck of woods just beyond town, and there was the push, a score of husky hobos, charmingly located on the bank of a little purling stream.

"'Come on, you mugs!' Slim addressed them. 'Throw yer feet! Here's Cinders, an' we must do 'em proud.'

"All of which signifies that the hobos had better strike out and do some lively begging in order to get the wherewithal to celebrate my return to the fold after a year's separation. But I flashed my dough and Slim sent several of the younger men off to buy the booze. Take my word for it, Anak, it was a