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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 La Grande Breteche by Honore de Balzac:

"Madame de Merret took up the crucifix and said, 'I swear it.'

" 'Louder,' said her husband; 'and repeat: "I swear before God that there is nobody in that closet." ' She repeated the words without flinching.

" 'That will do,' said Monsieur de Merret coldly. After a moment's silence: 'You have there a fine piece of work which I never saw before,' said he, examining the crucifix of ebony and silver, very artistically wrought.

" 'I found it at Duvivier's; last year when that troop of Spanish prisoners came through Vendome, he bought it of a Spanish monk.'

" 'Indeed,' said Monsieur de Merret, hanging the crucifix on its nail;

La Grande Breteche
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:

government is a rational despotism, and the best idea which we can form of a divine being is that of a despot acting not wholly without regard to law and order. To such a view the present mixed state of the world, not wholly evil or wholly good, is supposed to be a witness. More we might desire to have, but are not permitted. Though a human tyrant would be intolerable, a divine tyrant is a very tolerable governor of the universe. This is the doctrine of Thrasymachus adapted to the public opinion of modern times.

There is yet a third view which combines the two:--freedom is obedience to the law, and the greatest order is also the greatest freedom; 'Act so that thy action may be the law of every intelligent being.' This view is noble and elevating; but it seems to err, like other transcendental principles of

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

painter nor the poet nor the sculptor should separate the effect from the cause, for they are indissolubly one. The true struggle of art lies there. Many a painter has triumphed through instinct without knowing this theory of art as a theory.

"Yes," continued the old man vehemently, "you draw a woman, but you do not SEE her. That is not the way to force an entrance into the arcana of Nature. Your hand reproduces, without an action of your mind, the model you copied under a master. You do not search out the secrets of form, nor follow its windings and evolutions with enough love and perseverance. Beauty is solemn and severe, and cannot be attained in that way; we must wait and watch its times and seasons, and clasp it

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 Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis:

paying any attention to them! Besides, they never do. You always hear about these women that get followed and insulted and all, but I don't believe a word of it, or it's their own fault, the way some women look at a person. I certainly never 've been insulted by--"

"Aw shoot. Mother, just suppose you WERE sometime! Just SUPPOSE! Can't you suppose something? Can't you imagine things?"

"Certainly I can imagine things! The idea!"

"Certainly your mother can imagine things--and suppose things! Think you're the only member of this household that's got an imagination?" Babbitt demanded. "But what's the use of a lot of supposing? Supposing never gets you anywhere. No sense supposing when there's a lot of real facts to take into