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Today's Stichomancy for Billy Joel

The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from Court Life in China by Isaac Taylor Headland:

daughters had been taken into the palace as concubines of the Emperor Kuang Hsu. Her friends feared a mental breakdown, and begged me to do all I could for her. She took me by the hand, pulled me down on the brick bed beside her, and told me in a pathetic way how both of her daughters had been taken from her in a single day.

" 'But they have been taken into the palace,' I urged, to try to comfort her, 'and I have heard that the Emperor is very fond of your eldest daughter, and wanted to make her his empress.'

" 'Quite right,' she replied, 'but what consolation is there in that? They are only concubines, and once in the palace they are