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Today's Stichomancy for Leonardo da Vinci

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Boys' Life of Abraham Lincoln by Helen Nicolay:

the shadows of war fell about the Executive Mansion, and its new occupant remained face to face with his heavy task--a task which, as he had truly said in his speech at Springfield, was greater than that which rested upon Washington.

Then, as never before, he must have realized the peril of the nation, with its credit gone, its laws defied, its flag insulted. The South had carried out its threat, and seven million Americans were in revolt against the idea that "all men are created equal," while twenty million other Americans were bent upon defending that idea. For the moment both sides had paused to see how the new President would treat this attempt at secession. It must be

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Youth by Joseph Conrad:

n it. Remember I was twenty, and it was my first second mate's billet, and the East was waiting for me.

"We went out and anchored in the outer roads with a fresh crew--the third. She leaked worse than ever. It was as if those confounded shipwrights had actually made a hole in her. This time we did not even go outside. The crew simply refused to man the windlass.

"They towed us back to the inner harbor, and we be- came a fixture, a feature, an institution of the place. People pointed us out to visitors as 'That 'ere bark


Youth
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lemorne Versus Huell by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard:

tone; for I was Huell *vs.* Brown's daughter. "Oh!" said Mr. Uxbridge bowing, and looking at me gravely. I looked at him also; he was a pale, stern-looking man, and forty years old certainly. I derived the impression at once that he had a domineering disposition, perhaps from the way in which he controlled his horse.

"Nice beast that," said Mr. Van Horn.

"Yes," he answered, laying his hand on its mane, so that the action brought immediately to my mind the recollection that I had done so too. I would not meet his eye again, however.

"How long shall you remain, Uxbridge?"

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 Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather:

him indulgently out of her shrewd eyes. "Come, don't be angry, but don't try to pose for me, or to be anything but what you are. If you care to come, it's yourself I'll be glad to see, and you thinking well of yourself. Don't try to wear a cloak of humility; it doesn't become you. Stalk in as you are and don't make excuses. I'm not accustomed to inquiring into the motives of my guests. That would hardly be safe, even for Lady Walford, in a great house like this."


Alexander's Bridge