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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 The Golden Sayings of Epictetus by Epictetus:

rather: He is in error; for my desires, my impulses are unaltered. I give in my adhesion to what I did before; nor has my mode of dealing with the things of sense undergone any change.

CX

When a friend inclined to Cynic views asked Epictetus, what sort of person a true Cynic should be, requesting a general sketch of the system, he answered:--"We will consider that at leisure. At present I content myself with saying this much: If a man put his hand to so weighty a matter without God, the wrath of God abides upon him. That which he covets will but bring upon him public shame. Not even on finding himself in a well-ordered house


The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from 1492 by Mary Johntson:

Waves of fragrance struck us. ``Ha!'' cried the Admiral. ``Can you not smell cinnamon, spikenard, nutmeg, cloves and galingal?'' His faith was so strong that we did smell. From one of these islands, the _Cordera_ lying at anchor and a boat going ashore, we took a number of pigeons. So unafraid were these birds that our men approached them easily and beat them down with a pike. We had them for supper, and when their crops were opened, the cook found and brought to the Admiral a number of brown seeds. The Admiral dropped them into clear water, then smelled and tasted. ``Cloves? Are they not cloves?'' He gave to Juan

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Pupil by Henry James:

Pemberton's return - he had to keep thinking of their affection less, had less sense of obligation. Pemberton laughed out at this last reason, and Morgan blushed and said: "Well, dash it, you know what I mean." Pemberton knew perfectly what he meant; but there were a good many things that - dash it too! - it didn't make any clearer. This episode of his second sojourn in Paris stretched itself out wearily, with their resumed readings and wanderings and maunderings, their potterings on the quays, their hauntings of the museums, their occasional lingerings in the Palais Royal when the first sharp weather came on and there was a comfort in warm emanations, before Chevet's wonderful succulent window. Morgan

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 A Distinguished Provincial at Paris by Honore de Balzac:

wealthiest English purchaser, and persuaded Lucien to go to bed to take a preliminary nap; and Lucien, in truth, was quite willing to sleep on the couch that he had been admiring. Berenice had read his wish, and felt glad for her mistress.

At half-past ten that night Lucien awoke to look into eyes brimming over with love. There stood Coralie in most luxurious night attire. Lucien had been sleeping; Lucien was intoxicated with love, and not with wine. Berenice left the room with the inquiry, "What time to-morrow morning?"

"At eleven o'clock. We will have breakfast in bed. I am not at home to anybody before two o'clock."