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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 Across The Plains by Robert Louis Stevenson:

build the scheme of a considerate story and to arrange emotion in progressive order; only I think they have more talent; and one thing is beyond doubt, they can tell him a story piece by piece, like a serial, and keep him all the while in ignorance of where they aim. Who are they, then? and who is the dreamer?

Well, as regards the dreamer, I can answer that, for he is no less a person than myself; - as I might have told you from the beginning, only that the critics murmur over my consistent egotism; - and as I am positively forced to tell you now, or I could advance but little farther with my story. And for the Little People, what shall I say they are but just my Brownies, God bless them! who do

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Complete Poems of Longfellow by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

With all the stout and hardy men And the nut-brown maidens there.

"Ha!" cried a Saxon, laughing, And dashed his heard with wine; "I had rather live in Laplaud, Than that Swabian land of thine!

"The goodliest land on all this earth, It is the Saxon land There have I as many maidens As fingers on this hand!"

"Hold your tongues! both Swabian

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte:

relics of past sufferings and experience, like pillars of witness set up in travelling through the vale of life, to mark particular occurrences. The footsteps are obliterated now; the face of the country may be changed; but the pillar is still there, to remind me how all things were when it was reared. Lest the reader should be curious to see any of these effusions, I will favour him with one short specimen: cold and languid as the lines may seem, it was almost a passion of grief to which they owed their being:-

Oh, they have robbed me of the hope My spirit held so dear; They will not let me hear that voice

Agnes Grey
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 A Man of Business by Honore de Balzac:

that gives a learned demonstration.

"That evening at the Varietes, Antonia spoke to the Count.

" 'A reading-room is very dull, all the same,' said she; 'I feel that I have no sort of taste for that kind of life, and I see no future in it. It is only fit for a widow that wishes to keep body and soul together, or for some hideously ugly thing that fancies she can catch a husband with a little finery.'

" 'It was your own choice,' returned the Count. Just at that moment, in came Nucingen, of whom Maxime, king of lions (the 'yellow kid gloves' were the lions of that day) had won three thousand francs the evening before. Nucingen had come to pay his gaming debt.