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Today's Stichomancy for Osama bin Laden

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Secrets of the Princesse de Cadignan by Honore de Balzac:

pause. "We are both still beautiful enough to inspire love, but we could never convince any one of our innocence and virtue."

"If it were a lie, how easy to dress it up with commentaries, and serve it as some delicious fruit to be eagerly swallowed! But how is it possible to get a truth believed? Ah! the greatest of men have been mistaken there!" added the princess, with one of those meaning smiles which the pencil of Leonardo da Vinci alone has rendered.

"Fools love well, sometimes," returned the marquise.

"But in this case," said the princess, "fools wouldn't have enough credulity in their nature."

"You are right," said the marquise. "But what we ought to look for is

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lay Morals by Robert Louis Stevenson:

his perceptions, that they stand between him and all the rest; they are larger to his eye than the sun, he hears them more plainly than thunder, with them, by them, and for them, he must live and die. And hence the laws that affect his intercourse with his fellow-men, although merely customary and the creatures of a generation, are more clearly and continually before his mind than those which bind him into the eternal system of things, support him in his upright progress on this whirling ball, or keep up the fire of his bodily life. And hence it is that money stands in the first rank of considerations and so powerfully affects the choice.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tattine by Ruth Ogden [Mrs. Charles W. Ide]:

wraps on the white coverlid of the great high feather-bed in the little spare room, and then Mrs. Kirk sat them down to three little blue bowls of bread-and-milk, remarking, "shure you must be after being hungry from your long drive," and the children ate it with far more relish than home bread-and-milk was ever eaten.

"Now I'm doubting"" said Patrick, standing with his back to the cooking-stove and with a corn-cob pipe in his mouth, "if it's the style to have bread-and-milk at 'At Homes' in the city."

"Patrick," answered Tattine seriously, "we do not want this to be a city 'At Home.' I don't care for them at all. Everybody stays for just a little while, and everybody talks at once, and as loudly as they can, and at some of them

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 Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy:

and that a girl like Liddy should talk about it. So Liddy's idea was at first rather harassing than piquant. "No, I won't do that. He wouldn't see any humour in it." "He'd worry to death." said the persistent Liddy. "Really, I don't care particularly to send it to Teddy." remarked her mistress. "He's rather a naughty child sometimes." "Yes -- that he is." "Let's toss as men do." said Bathsheba, idly. "Now then, head, Boldwood; tail, Teddy. No, we won't toss


Far From the Madding Crowd