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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 The Lily of the Valley by Honore de Balzac:

yielding; the round waist is inflexible and jealous.

You now know how she was made. She had the foot of a well-bred woman, --the foot that walks little, is quickly tired, and delights the eye when it peeps beneath the dress. Though she was the mother of two children, I have never met any woman so truly a young girl as she. Her whole air was one of simplicity, joined to a certain bashful dreaminess which attracted others, just as a painter arrests our steps before a figure into which his genius has conveyed a world of sentiment. If you recall the pure, wild fragrance of the heath we gathered on our return from the Villa Diodati, the flower whose tints of black and rose you praised so warmly, you can fancy how this woman

The Lily of the Valley
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Margret Howth: A Story of To-day by Rebecca Harding Davis:

The sound of her weak, eager voice was silent presently, and nothing broke the solitary cold of the night.


The morning, when it came long after, came quiet and cool,--the warm red dawn helplessly smothered under great waves of gray cloud. Margret, looking out into the thick fog, lay down wearily again, closing her eyes. What was the day to her?

Very slowly the night was driven back. An hour after, when she lifted her head again, the stars were still glittering through the foggy arch, like sparks of brassy blue, and hills and valleys were one drifting, slow-heaving mass of ashy damp. Off in the

Margret Howth: A Story of To-day
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare:

Rare issues by their operance, our soules Did so to one another; what she lik'd, Was then of me approov'd, what not, condemd, No more arraignment; the flowre that I would plucke And put betweene my breasts (then but beginning To swell about the blossome) oh, she would long Till shee had such another, and commit it To the like innocent Cradle, where Phenix like They dide in perfume: on my head no toy But was her patterne; her affections (pretty, Though, happely, her careles were) I followed

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 Koran:

God preserved you; verily, He knows the nature of men's breasts!

And when He showed them to you, as ye encountered them, as few in your eyes; and made you seem few in their eyes; that God might accomplish a thing that was as good as done; for unto God do things return!

O ye who believe! when ye encounter a troop, then stand firm and remember God; and haply ye may prosper! and fear God and His Apostle, and do not quarrel or be timid, so that your turn of luck go from you; but be ye patient, verily, God is with the patient. And be not like those who went forth from their homes with insolence, and for appearance sake before men, and to turn folks off God's way;

The Koran