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Today's Stichomancy for Madonna

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

suppose that we ask a few questions of one another. Tell me, then, Callicles, how about making any of the citizens better? Was there ever a man who was once vicious, or unjust, or intemperate, or foolish, and became by the help of Callicles good and noble? Was there ever such a man, whether citizen or stranger, slave or freeman? Tell me, Callicles, if a person were to ask these questions of you, what would you answer? Whom would you say that you had improved by your conversation? There may have been good deeds of this sort which were done by you as a private person, before you came forward in public. Why will you not answer?

CALLICLES: You are contentious, Socrates.

SOCRATES: Nay, I ask you, not from a love of contention, but because I

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Gentle Grafter by O. Henry:

vice-president, Colonel Pickens . . . fortune in Western investments . . . delightfully plain manners, but . . . could sign his check for half a million . . . simple as a child . . . wonderful head . . . conservative and careful almost to a fault."

Atterbury managed the business. Me and Buck never quite understood all of it, though he explained it to us in full. It seems the company was a kind of cooperative one, and everybody that bought stock shared in the profits. First, we officers bought up a controlling interest--we had to have that--of the shares at 50 cents a hundred--just what the printer charged us--and the rest went to the public at a dollar each. The company guaranteed the stockholders a profit of ten per cent. each

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:

And die, unhallow'd thoughts, before you blot With your uncleanness that which is divine! Offer pure incense to so pure a shrine: Let fair humanity abhor the deed That spots and stains love's modest snow-white weed.

'O shame to knighthood and to shining arms! O foul dishonour to my household's grave! O impious act, including all foul harms! A martial man to be soft fancy's slave! True valour still a true respect should have; Then my digression is so vile, so base,

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 Wrecker by Stevenson & Osbourne:

anyway. If I could get into some one else's apple-tree, and be about twelve years old, and just stick the way I was, eating stolen apples, I won't say. But there's no sense in this grown-up business--sailorising, politics, the piety mill, and all the rest of it. Good clean drowning is good enough for me." It is hard to imagine any more depressing talk for a poor landsman on a dirty night; it is hard to imagine anything less sailor-like (as sailors are supposed to be, and generally are) than this persistent harping on the minor.

But I was to see more of the man's gloomy constancy ere the cruise was at an end.