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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 Georgics by Virgil:

Their life-juice to the tender blades may win; Or that it hardens more and helps to bind The gaping veins, lest penetrating showers, Or fierce sun's ravening might, or searching blast Of the keen north should sear them. Well, I wot, He serves the fields who with his harrow breaks The sluggish clods, and hurdles osier-twined Hales o'er them; from the far Olympian height Him golden Ceres not in vain regards; And he, who having ploughed the fallow plain And heaved its furrowy ridges, turns once more


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

always unsightly?

THEAETETUS: Exactly.

STRANGER: And do we not see that opinion is opposed to desire, pleasure to anger, reason to pain, and that all these elements are opposed to one another in the souls of bad men?

THEAETETUS: Certainly.

STRANGER: And yet they must all be akin?

THEAETETUS: Of course.

STRANGER: Then we shall be right in calling vice a discord and disease of the soul?

THEAETETUS: Most true.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes:

that wheat I told you of, the thick dust she raised came before her face like a cloud and dimmed it."

"What! dost thou still persist, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "in saying, thinking, believing, and maintaining that my lady Dulcinea was sifting wheat, that being an occupation and task entirely at variance with what is and should be the employment of persons of distinction, who are constituted and reserved for other avocations and pursuits that show their rank a bowshot off? Thou hast forgotten, O Sancho, those lines of our poet wherein he paints for us how, in their crystal abodes, those four nymphs employed themselves who rose from their loved Tagus and seated themselves in a verdant meadow to


Don Quixote
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 An Old Maid by Honore de Balzac:

all the pleasures, all the joys, and all the fatigues of motherhood.

Mademoiselle Cormon did not possess in her person an obliging auxiliary to her desires. She had no other beauty than that very improperly called la beaute du diable, which consists of a buxom freshness of youth that the devil, theologically speaking, could never have,--though perhaps the expression may be explained by the constant desire that must surely possess him to cool and refresh himself. The feet of the heiress were broad and flat. Her leg, which she often exposed to sight by her manner (be it said without malice) of lifting her gown when it rained, could never have been taken for the leg of a woman. It was sinewy, with a thick projecting calf like a sailor's. A