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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 Dreams by Olive Schreiner:


And I asked God what they were doing.

God said, "Shining on the plants that they may grow."

And I saw that some were working in companies, and some alone, but most were in twos, sometimes two men and sometimes two women; but generally there was one man and one woman; and I asked God how it was.

God said, "When one man and one woman shine together, it makes the most perfect light. Many plants need that for their growing. Nevertheless, there are more kinds of plants in Heaven than one, and they need many kinds of light."

And one from among the people came running towards me; and when he came

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

no impression on Ulysses. More probably the prophecy was an afterthought, intercalated, as I have already said, by the authoress when she changed her scheme.

{110} A male writer would have made Ulysses say, not "may you give satisfaction to your wives," but "may your wives give satisfaction to you."

{111} See note {64}.

{112} The land was in reality the shallow inlet, now the salt works of S. Cusumano--the neighbourhood of Trapani and Mt. Eryx being made to do double duty, both as Scheria and Ithaca. Hence the necessity for making Ulysses set out after dark, fall

The Odyssey
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from House of Mirth by Edith Wharton:

on them once for all."

The colour burned in Lily's face as he ended; there was no mistaking the point he meant to make, and to permit it to pass unheeded was a fatal confession of weakness, while to resent it too openly was to risk offending him at a perilous moment. Indignation quivered on her lip; but it was quelled by the secret voice which warned her that she must not quarrel with him. He knew too much about her, and even at the moment when it was essential that he should show himself at his best, he did not scruple to let her see how much he knew. How then would he use his power when her expression of contempt had dispelled his one

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 Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy:

They were more brutal, without refinement, without ornament; but they were short, and generally followed by periods of irritation without cause, irritation fed by the most trivial pretexts. We had spats about the coffee, the table-cloth, the carriage, games of cards,--trifles, in short, which could not be of the least importance to either of us. As for me, a terrible execration was continually boiling up within me. I watched her pour the tea, swing her foot, lift her spoon to her mouth, and blow upon hot liquids or sip them, and I detested her as if these had been so many crimes.

"I did not notice that these periods of irritation depended very

The Kreutzer Sonata