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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 Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving:

holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvelous beliefs; are subject to trances and visions, and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the favorite scene of her gambols.

The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Lily of the Valley by Honore de Balzac:

of action and movement it is soon told, but when it passes in the higher regions of the soul its story becomes diffuse. Henriette's letter put the star of hope before my eyes. In this great shipwreck I saw an isle on which I might be rescued. To live at Clochegourde with Madeleine, consecrating my life to hers, was a fate which satisfied the ideas of which my heart was full. But it was necessary to know the truth as to her real feelings. As I was bound to bid the count farewell, I went to Clochegourde to see him, and met him on the terrace. We walked up and down for some time. At first he spoke of the countess like a man who knew the extent of his loss, and all the injury it was doing to his inner self. But after the first outbreak of

The Lily of the Valley
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Ruling Passion by Henry van Dyke:

revilings, by so much as they spend their wit and labour to make them shrewd and bitter, do draw all the sweet and wholesome sap out of their lives and turn it into poison; and so they become vessels of mockery and wrath, remembered chiefly for the evil things that they have said with cleverness.

"For be sure of this, Scholar, the more a man giveth himself to hatred in this world, the more will he find to hate. But let us rather give ourselves to charity, and if we have enemies (and what honest man hath them not?) let them be ours, since they must, but let us not be theirs, since we know better.

"There was one Franck, a trooper of Cromwell's, who wrote ill of me,

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 Summer by Edith Wharton:

flashed full on the descending passengers, and among them Charity caught sight of Julia Hawes, her white feather askew, and the face under it flushed with coarse laughter. As she stepped from the gang-plank she stopped short, her dark-ringed eyes darting malice.

"Hullo, Charity Royall!" she called out; and then, looking back over her shoulder: "Didn't I tell you it was a family party? Here's grandpa's little daughter come to take him home!"

A snigger ran through the group; and then, towering above them, and steadying himself by the hand-rail in a