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Today's Stichomancy for Colin Powell

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy:

same breath that it would be ungenerous not to marry Boldwood, and that she couldn't do it to save her life. Bathsheba's was an impulsive nature under a delibera- tive aspect. An Elizabeth in brain and a Mary Stuart in spirit, she often performed actions of the greatest temerity with a manner of extreme discretion. Many of her thoughts were perfect syllogisms; unluckily they always remained thoughts. Only a few were irrational assumptions; but, unfortunately, they were the ones which most frequently grew into deeds. The next day to that of the declaration she found


Far From the Madding Crowd
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain:

and let on to be a stranger. But it was a mistake, Aunt Sally. This ain't no healthy place for a stranger to come."

"No -- not impudent whelps, Sid. You ought to had your jaws boxed; I hain't been so put out since I don't know when. But I don't care, I don't mind the terms -- I'd be willing to stand a thousand such jokes to have you here. Well, to think of that per- formance! I don't deny it, I was most putrified with astonishment when you give me that smack."

We had dinner out in that broad open passage be-


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Vicar of Tours by Honore de Balzac:

said to him, not without visible embarrassment:--

"My dear Monsieur Birotteau, you will think what I am about to ask of you very unjust and very inconsistent; but it is necessary, both for you and for us, that your lawsuit with Mademoiselle Gamard be withdrawn by resigning your claims, and also that you should leave my house."

As he heard these words the poor abbe turned pale.

"I am," she continued, "the innocent cause of your misfortunes, and, moreover, if it had not been for my nephew you would never have begun this lawsuit, which has now turned to your injury and to ours. But listen to me."

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 Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:

what? Willie positively spluttered trying to describe her to me; and I could see directly you came in that you had an uncommon experience."

Renouard, with an irritated gesture, tilted his hat more forward on his eyes, as though he were bored. The Editor went on with the remark that to be sure neither he (Renouard) nor yet Willie were much used to meet girls of that remarkable superiority. Willie when learning business with a firm in London, years before, had seen none but boarding-house society, he guessed. As to himself in the good old days, when he trod the glorious flags of Fleet Street, he neither had access to, nor yet would have cared for the swells.


Within the Tides