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Today's Stichomancy for Abraham Lincoln

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Works of Samuel Johnson by Samuel Johnson:

different gratifications at such a distance from each other, that no art or power can bring them together. This great law it is the business of every rational being to understand, that life may not pass away in an attempt to make contradictions consistent, to combine opposite qualities, and to unite things which the nature of their being must always keep asunder.

Of two objects tempting at a distance on contrary sides, it is impossible to approach one but by receding from the other; by long deliberation and dilatory projects, they may be both lost, but can

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rivers to the Sea by Sara Teasdale:

Comes thru the scattering tumult And closes their eyes. The stars sink down ashamed And the dawn awakes, Like a youth who steals from a brothel, Dizzy and sick.

THE STAR

A WHITE star born in the evening glow Looked to the round green world below, And saw a pool in a wooded place That held like a jewel her mirrored face.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:

HURRY, n. The dispatch of bunglers.

HUSBAND, n. One who, having dined, is charged with the care of the plate.

HYBRID, n. A pooled issue.

HYDRA, n. A kind of animal that the ancients catalogued under many heads.

HYENA, n. A beast held in reverence by some oriental nations from its habit of frequenting at night the burial-places of the dead. But the medical student does that.

HYPOCHONDRIASIS, n. Depression of one's own spirits.

Some heaps of trash upon a vacant lot


The Devil's Dictionary
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 Art of War by Sun Tzu:

death-struggle with Yueh, which began with the disaster at Tsui- li. If these inferences are approximately correct, there is a certain irony in the fate which decreed that China's most illustrious man of peace should be contemporary with her greatest writer on war.

The Text of Sun Tzu -------------------

I have found it difficult to glean much about the history of Sun Tzu's text. The quotations that occur in early authors go to show that the "13 chapters" of which Ssu-ma Ch`ien speaks were


The Art of War