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Today's Stichomancy for Donald Rumsfeld

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso:

LXXVIII Withstands, and forceth his great strength so far, That like a palm whereon huge weight doth rest, His forces so resisted stronger are, His virtues higher rise the more oppressed, Till all that would his entrance bold debar, He backward drove, upleaped and possessed The wall, and safe and easy with his blade, To all that after came, the passage made.

LXXIX There killing such as durst and did withstand,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Poems by T. S. Eliot:

careful subtlety to this end.

Conversation Galante

I observe: "Our sentimental friend the moon! Or possibly (fantastic, I confess) It may be Prester John's balloon Or an old battered lantern hung aloft To light poor travellers to their distress." She then: "How you digress!"

And I then: "Some one frames upon the keys That exquisite nocturne, with which we explain The night and moonshine; music which we seize

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:

(/bourgeoise/, he meant), "a nice fisch, ein pottle off Porteaux, und nice dings, der fery best dey haf, like groquettes of rice und shmoked pacon! Bay for it, und say nodings; I vill gif you back de monny to-morrow morning."

Back went Schmucke, radiant and rubbing his hands; but his expression slowly changed to a look of bewildered astonishment as he heard Pons' story of the troubles that had but just now overwhelmed him in a moment. He tried to comfort Pons by giving him a sketch of the world from his own point of view. Paris, in his opinion, was a perpetual hurly-burly, the men and women in it were whirled away by a tempestuous waltz; it was no use expecting anything of the world,

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 Cavalry General by Xenophon:

of ground minutely. So to be apprised of the enemy's position in advance, and at as great a distance off as possible, cannot fail to be useful, whether for purposes of attack or defence; just as it is useful also to enforce a halt at the passage of a river or some other defile, so that the men in rear may not knock their horses all to bits in endeavouring to overtake their leader. These are precepts known, I admit, to nearly all the world, but it is by no means every one who will take pains to apply them carefully.[7]

[7] See "Econ." xx. 6. foll.

It is the business of the hipparch to take infinite precautions while it is still peace, to make himself acquainted with the details, not