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Today's Stichomancy for Mikhail Gorbachev

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte:

was a boy. Last summer, he gave me a nest full of young sparrows, and he saw me pulling off their legs and wings, and heads, and never said anything; except that they were nasty things, and I must not let them soil my trousers: end Uncle Robson was there too, and he laughed, and said I was a fine boy.'

'But what would your mamma say?'

'Oh, she doesn't care! she says it's a pity to kill the pretty singing birds, but the naughty sparrows, and mice, and rats, I may do what I like with. So now, Miss Grey, you see it is NOT wicked.'

'I still think it is, Tom; and perhaps your papa and mamma would think so too, if they thought much about it. However,' I

Agnes Grey
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare:


[A Battaile strooke within: Then a Retrait: Florish. Then Enter Theseus (victor), (Herald and Attendants:) the three Queenes meete him, and fall on their faces before him.]


To thee no starre be darke.


Both heaven and earth Friend thee for ever.


All the good that may

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac:

anxious beyond words as to his father's future fate, and the daughter on the point of robbing her cousin of her lover.

At seven o'clock the Baron, seeing his brother, his son, the Baroness, and Hortense all engaged at whist, went off to applaud his mistress at the Opera, taking with him Lisbeth Fischer, who lived in the Rue du Doyenne, and who always made an excuse of the solitude of that deserted quarter to take herself off as soon as dinner was over. Parisians will all admit that the old maid's prudence was but rational.

The existence of the maze of houses under the wing of the old Louvre is one of those protests against obvious good sense which Frenchmen

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 1492 by Mary Johntson:

grandeur of time!''

He spoke with a lifted face, eyes upon the mountain crests and the blue they touched. They were nearer us than they had been; the Pass of Elvira was at hand. Yet on I walked, and before me still hung the far ocean west of Palos. I said, ``I know something of the guesses, the chances and the dangers, but I have not spent there years of study--''

He kindled, having an auditor whom he chose to think intelligent. He checked his horse, that fell to grazing the bit of green by the way. ``As though,'' he said, ``I stood in Cipango beneath a golden roof, I know that it can be