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Today's Stichomancy for Karl Rove

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Agesilaus by Xenophon:

when he had nothing to fear than he registered vows in time of apprehension.

He was accustomed in the midst of anxiety to wear an aspect of gaiety, but, when the victory was won, of gentleness.

Amongst friends his warmest greeting was reserved, not for the most powerful, but for the most ardent; and if he hated, it was not him who, being evil entreated, retaliated, but one who, having had kindness done to him, seemed incapable of gratitude.

He rejoiced when sordid greed was rewarded with poverty; and still more if he might himself enrich a righteous man, since his wish was to render uprightness more profitable than iniquity.

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

or three great successes, but they attributed the improvement vaguely to "progress." No one cared to know the composer's name; like occupants of the /baignoires/, lost to view of the house, to gain a view of the stage, Pons and Schmucke eclipsed themselves by their success. In Paris (especially since the Revolution of July) no one can hope to succeed unless he will push his way /quibuscumque viis/ and with all his might through a formidable host of competitors; but for this feat a man needs thews and sinews, and our two friends, be it remembered, had that affection of the heart which cripples all ambitious effort.

Pons, as a rule, only went to his theatre towards eight o'clock, when

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Unseen World and Other Essays by John Fiske:

emergencies of our complex life. The progress of events has thrown the work of sustaining life so largely upon the brain that we are beginning to sacrifice the physical to the intellectual. We are growing spirituelle in appearance at the expense of robustness. Compare any typical Greek face, with its firm muscles, its symmetry of feature, and its serenity of expression, to a typical modern portrait, with its more delicate contour, its exaggerated forehead, its thoughtful, perhaps jaded look. Or consider in what respects the grand faces of the Plantagenet monarchs differ from the refined countenances of the leading English statesmen of to-day. Or again, consider the familiar


The Unseen World and Other Essays
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 Divine Comedy (translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) by Dante Alighieri:

And therewithal I whilom had designed To take the panther with the painted skin.

After I this had all from me unloosed, As my Conductor had commanded me, I reached it to him, gathered up and coiled,

Whereat he turned himself to the right side, And at a little distance from the verge, He cast it down into that deep abyss.

"It must needs be some novelty respond," I said within myself, "to the new signal The Master with his eye is following so."


The Divine Comedy (translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)