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Today's Stichomancy for Fidel Castro

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Polity of Athenians and Lacedaemonians by Xenophon:

kindle a willing obedience to the laws in the hearts of the citizens, none, to my mind, was happier or more excellent than his unwillingness to deliver his code to the people at large, until, attended by the most powerful members of the state, he had betaken himself to Delphi,[7] and there made inquiry of the god whether it were better for Sparta, and conducive to her interests, to obey the laws which he had framed. And not until the divine answer came: "Better will it be in every way," did he deliver them, laying it down as a last ordinance that to refuse obedience to a code which had the sanction of the Pythian god himself[8] was a thing not illegal only, but profane.

[7] See Plut. "Lycurg." 5, 6, 29 (Clough, i. 89, 122); Polyb. x. 2, 9.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Princess by Alfred Tennyson:

How far from just; till warming with her theme She fulmined out her scorn of laws Salique And little-footed China, touched on Mahomet With much contempt, and came to chivalry: When some respect, however slight, was paid To woman, superstition all awry: However then commenced the dawn: a beam Had slanted forward, falling in a land Of promise; fruit would follow. Deep, indeed, Their debt of thanks to her who first had dared To leap the rotten pales of prejudice,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare:

Making them red and pale with fresh variety; Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty: A summer's day will seem an hour but short, Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.' 24

With this she seizeth on his sweating palm, The precedent of pith and livelihood, And, trembling in her passion, calls it balm, Earth's sovereign salve to do a goddess good: 28 Being so enrag'd, desire doth lend her force Courageously to pluck him from his horse.

Over one arm the lusty courser's rein

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 Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:

"'Tis one of your own pieces. Surely you are forgetting?"

"No, no, my friend. I have counted every move, and can remember each one. That piece has only just become added to the board. Put it back in its place, I say."

"Its place? Which IS its place?" But Nozdrev had reddened a good deal. "I perceive you to be a strategist at the game."

"No, no, good friend. YOU are the strategist--though an unsuccessful one, as it happens."

"Then of what are you supposing me capable? Of cheating you?"

"I am not supposing you capable of anything. All that I say is that I will not play with you any more."


Dead Souls