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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 Soul of a Bishop by H. G. Wells:

neophytes, without individuality to break up their uniformity of self-devotion. Then afterwards they began to develop little personal traits, and scarcely ever were these pleasing traits. Always one or two of them would begin haunting the bishop, giving way to an appetite for special words, special recognitions. He knew the expression of that craving on their faces. He knew the way-laying movements in room and passage that presently began.

This time in particular there was a freckled underbred young man who handed in what was evidently a carefully prepared memorandum upon what he called "my positions." Apparently he had a muddle of doubts about the early fathers and the dates of the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes:

devoir as a gentleman to be so good as to make a declaration before the alcalde of this village that you never in all your life saw me until now, and that neither am I the Don Quixote in print in the Second Part, nor this Sancho Panza, my squire, the one your worship knew."

"That I will do most willingly," replied Don Alvaro; "though it amazes me to find two Don Quixotes and two Sancho Panzas at once, as much alike in name as they differ in demeanour; and again I say and declare that what I saw I cannot have seen, and that what happened me cannot have happened."

"No doubt your worship is enchanted, like my lady Dulcinea del


Don Quixote
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner:

bears sitting on their tails in a circle?"

"Well, not of ten exactly: but bears do attack travellers every day. It is nothing unheard of," said the German. "A man of such courage, too! Terrible experience that!"

"And how do we know that the story is true, Uncle Otto?"

The German's ire was roused.

"That is what I do hate!" he cried. "Know that is true! How do you know that anything is true? Because you are told so. If we begin to question everything--proof, proof, proof, what will we have to believe left? How do you know the angel opened the prison door for Peter, except that Peter said so? How do you know that God talked to Moses, except that Moses wrote it?

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 Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas:

severe shock, occasioned by the rearing of the horses. The whole vehicle for a moment shook and stopped; but immediately after, passing over something round and elastic, which seemed to be the body of a prostrate man set off again amidst a volley of the fiercest oaths.

"Alas!" said Cornelius, "I am afraid we have hurt some one."

"Gallop! gallop!" called John.

But, notwithstanding this order, the coachman suddenly came to a stop.

"Now, then, what is the matter again?" asked John.

"Look there!" said the coachman.


The Black Tulip