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Today's Stichomancy for Colin Powell

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Vailima Prayers & Sabbath Morn by Robert Louis Stevenson:

front of us any painful duty, strengthen us with the grace of courage; if any act of mercy, teach us tenderness and patience.


LORD, Thou sendest down rain upon the uncounted millions of the forest, and givest the trees to drink exceedingly. We are here upon this isle a few handfuls of men, and how many myriads upon myriads of stalwart trees! Teach us the lesson of the trees. The sea around us, which this rain recruits, teems with the race of fish; teach us, Lord, the meaning of the fishes. Let us see ourselves for what we are, one out of the countless number of the clans of thy handiwork. When we would despair, let us remember

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:

Don't say a word about me to Marie. You must be the one living soul to know the secrets of the last Christianized Moor, in whose veins runs the blood of a great family, which took its rise in the desert and is now about to die out in the person of a solitary exile.




WHAT! To be married so soon. But this is unheard of. At the end of a month you become engaged to a man who is a stranger to you, and about whom you know nothing. The man may be deaf--there are so many kinds of deafness!--he may be sickly, tiresome, insufferable!

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Poems of Goethe, Bowring, Tr. by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

"Good tobacco is always a welcome present to trav'llers." Then the druggist began his canister to praise very highly. But the pastor drew him away, and the magistrate left them. "Come, let us hasten!" exclaimed the sensible man, "for our young friend Anxiously waits; without further delay let him hear the good tidings."

So they hasten'd and came, and found that the youngster was leaning 'Gainst his carriage under the lime-trees. The horses were pawing Wildly the turf; he held them in check and stood there all pensive, Silently gazing in front, and saw not his friends coming near him, Till, as they came, they called him and gave him signals of triumph. Some way off the druggist already began to address him,