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Today's Stichomancy for Ho Chi Minh

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

'Then you think that pain is an evil and pleasure is a good: and even pleasure you deem an evil, when it robs you of greater pleasures than it gives, or causes pains greater than the pleasure. If, however, you call pleasure an evil in relation to some other end or standard, you will be able to show us that standard. But you have none to show.'

I do not think that they have, said Protagoras.

'And have you not a similar way of speaking about pain? You call pain a good when it takes away greater pains than those which it has, or gives pleasures greater than the pains: then if you have some standard other than pleasure and pain to which you refer when you call actual pain a good, you can show what that is. But you cannot.'

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Princess of Parms by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

Day had now given away to night and as we wandered along the great avenue lighted by the two moons of Barsoom, and with Earth looking down upon us out of her luminous green eye, it seemed that we were alone in the universe, and I, at least, was content that it should be so.

The chill of the Martian night was upon us, and removing my silks I threw them across the shoulders of Dejah Thoris. As my arm rested for an instant upon her I felt a thrill pass through every fiber of my being such as contact with no other mortal had even produced; and it seemed to me that she had leaned slightly toward me, but of that I

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

knowne those which haue walkt in their sleep, who haue dyed holily in their beds

Lad. Wash your hands, put on your Night-Gowne, looke not so pale: I tell you yet againe Banquo's buried; he cannot come out on's graue

Doct. Euen so? Lady. To bed, to bed: there's knocking at the gate: Come, come, come, come, giue me your hand: What's done, cannot be vndone. To bed, to bed, to bed.

Exit Lady.

Doct. Will she go now to bed?


Macbeth
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 Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:

word of a Gaudissart, they shall be toppled over, toppled down-- floored, I say.

"Adieu, my kitten. Love me always; be faithful; fidelity through thick and thin is one of the attributes of the Free Woman. Who is kissing you on the eyelids?

"Thy Felix Forever."

CHAPTER III

Five days later Gaudissart started from the Hotel des Faisans, at which he had put up in Tours, and went to Vouvray, a rich and populous district where the public mind seemed to him susceptible of cultivation. Mounted upon his horse, he trotted along the embankment