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Today's Stichomancy for Niccolo Machiavelli

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:

of having got rusty. He surveyed through the park railings the evidences of the town's opulence and luxury with an approving eye. All these people had to be protected. Protection is the first necessity of opulence and luxury. They had to be protected; and their horses, carriages, houses, servants had to be protected; and the source of their wealth had to be protected in the heart of the city and the heart of the country; the whole social order favourable to their hygienic idleness had to be protected against the shallow enviousness of unhygienic labour. It had to - and Mr Verloc would have rubbed his hands with satisfaction had he not been constitutionally averse from every superfluous exertion. His


The Secret Agent
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Son of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

literally translated into human speech; but as near as may be this is what Akut said to the boy.

The two proceeded in silence for some time after Akut had spoken. The boy was immersed in deep thought--bitter thoughts in which hatred and revenge predominated. Finally he spoke: "Very well, Akut," he said, "we will find our friends, the great apes."

The anthropoid was overjoyed; but he gave no outward demonstration of his pleasure. A low grunt was his only response, and a moment later he had leaped nimbly upon a small and unwary rodent that had been surprised at a fatal distance from its burrow. Tearing the unhappy creature in two Akut handed the lion's share to the lad.


The Son of Tarzan
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Cavalry General by Xenophon:

"every man a standard to himself,"[1] applies, and your sensations are an index to prevent your fellows being overdone through inadvertence.

[1] The phrase is proverbial. Cf. Plat. "Theaet." 183 B.

But now supposing you are on the march in some direction, and it is uncertain whether you will stumble on the enemy, your duty is to rest your squadrons in turn; since it will go hard with you, if the enemy come to close quarters when the whole force is dismounted.[2] Or, again, suppose the roads are narrow, or you have to cross a defile, you will pass, by word of mouth, the command to diminish the front;[3] or given, again, you are debouching on broad roads, again the word of command will pass by word of mouth, to every squadron, "to increase

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 Door in the Wall, et. al. by H. G. Wells:

removed from the machine, were hastily covered by the porter with a coffee-stained tablecloth. Somebody, by a happy inspiration, fetched a medical man. The expert was chiefly anxious to get the machine at work again, for seven or eight trains had stopped midway in the stuffy tunnels of the electric railway. Azuma-zi, answering or misunderstanding the questions of the people who had by authority or impudence come into the shed, was presently sent back to the stoke-hole by the scientific manager. Of course a crowd collected outside the gates of the yard--a crowd, for no known reason, always hovers for a day or two near the scene of a sudden death in London; two or three reporters percolated somehow into the