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Today's Stichomancy for Mitt Romney

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

they had seen and noted the passage of two men, one of whom carried a bird cage.

Beyond this first camp the trail was lost, and a week was wasted in a bootless search around the mine at Gold Gulch, whither it seemed probable the partners had gone. Then a travelling peddler, who included Gold Gulch in his route, brought in the news of a wonderful strike of gold-bearing quartz some ten miles to the south on the western slope of the range. Two men from Keeler had made a strike, the peddler had said, and added the curious detail that one of the men had a canary bird in a cage with him.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner:

Europe a couple of centuries ago, with their powdered wigs, lace ruffles and cuffs, paste buckles, feathered cocked hats, and patches were quite as ridiculous in their excess of adornment as the complementary females of their own day, or the most parasitic females of this. Both in the class and the individual, whether male or female, an intense love of dress and meretricious external adornment is almost invariably the concomitant and outcome of parasitism. Were the parasite female class in our own societies today to pass away, French fashions with their easeless and grotesque variations (shaped not for use or beauty, but the attracting of attention) would die out. And the extent to which any woman today, not herself belonging to the parasite class and still labouring, attempts to follow

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas:

the soil, and now he drew out the bulb, which certainly looked quite black; and whilst Van Baerle, quite happy to have saved the vessel, did not suspect that the adversary had possessed himself of its precious contents, Gryphus hurled the softened bulb with all his force on the flags, where almost immediately after it was crushed to atoms under his heavy shoe.

Van Baerle saw the work of destruction, got a glimpse of the juicy remains of his darling bulb, and, guessing the cause of the ferocious joy of Gryphus, uttered a cry of agony, which would have melted the heart even of that ruthless

The Black Tulip
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 Memorabilia by Xenophon:

turned him about in winter[15] he again draws nigh to us, ripening some fruits, and causing others whose time is past to dry up; how when he has fulfilled his work he comes no closer, but turns away as if in fear to scorch us to our hurt unduly; and again, when he has reached a point where if he should prolong his reatreat we should plainly be frozen to death with cold, note how he turns him about and resumes his approach, traversing that region of the heavens where he may shed his genial influence best upon us.

[14] A single MS. inserts a passage {to de kai era . . . 'Anekphraston}.

[15] i.e. as we say, "after the winter solstice."

The Memorabilia