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Today's Stichomancy for Madonna

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Hellenica by Xenophon:

Lacedaemonians. Take them at the starting-point and they are but a single community, but as they advance and attach city after city they grow more numerous and more resistless. I observe that when people wish to take wasps' nests--if they try to capture the creatures on the wing, they are liable to be attacked by half the hive; whereas, if they apply fire to them ere they leave their homes, they will master them without scathe themselves. On this principle I think it best to bring about the battle within the hive itself, or, short of that, as close to Lacedaemon as possible."[5]

[5] Or, "if not actually at Lacedaemon, then at least as near as possible to the hornet's nest."

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:

board his ship, to steal anyhow - to murder, perhaps. Her voice sounded weary, and her eyes remained fastened on her child.

"And still Davidson could not accept it somehow; his contempt for these men was too great.

"'Look here, Davy,' she said. 'I'll go outside with them when they start, and it will be hard luck if I don't find something to laugh at. They are used to that from me. Laugh or cry - what's the odds. You will be able to hear me on board on this quiet night. Dark it is too. Oh! it's dark, Davy! - it's dark!'

"'Don't you run any risks,' said Davidson. Presently he called her attention to the boy, who, less flushed now, had dropped into a


Within the Tides
The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin:

tilled? How much of that which is, wisely or well? In the very centre and chief garden of Europe--where the two forms of parent Christianity have had their fortresses--where the noble Catholics of the Forest Cantons, and the noble Protestants of the Vaudois valleys, have maintained, for dateless ages, their faiths and liberties--there the unchecked Alpine rivers yet run wild in devastation; and the marshes, which a few hundred men could redeem with a year's labour, still blast their helpless inhabitants into fevered idiotism. That is so, in the centre of Europe! While, on the near coast of Africa, once the Garden of the Hesperides, an Arab woman, but a few sunsets since, ate her child, for famine. And,