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Today's Stichomancy for Umberto Eco

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli:

soldiers more license than is consistent with military discipline. For this he was upbraided in the Senate by Fabius Maximus, and called the corrupter of the Roman soldiery. The Locrians were laid waste by a legate of Scipio, yet they were not avenged by him, nor was the insolence of the legate punished, owing entirely to his easy nature. Insomuch that someone in the Senate, wishing to excuse him, said there were many men who knew much better how not to err than to correct the errors of others. This disposition, if he had been continued in the command, would have destroyed in time the fame and glory of Scipio; but, he being under the control of the Senate, this injurious characteristic not only concealed itself, but contributed to his


The Prince
The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Door in the Wall, et. al. by H. G. Wells:

by year, and all the while that it was drifting, drifting towards infinite disaster. But I can't expect you to understand the shades and complications of the year--the year something or other ahead. I had it all--down to the smallest details--in my dream. I suppose I had been dreaming of it before I awoke, and the fading outline of some queer new development I had imagined still hung about me as I rubbed my eyes. It was some grubby affair that made me thank God for the sunlight. I sat up on the couch and remained looking at the woman and rejoicing--rejoicing that I had come away out of all that tumult and folly and violence before it was too late. After all, I thought, this is life--love and beauty, desire and delight,

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde:

I am sorry I sat for it. The memory of the thing is hateful to me. Why do you talk of it? It used to remind me of those curious lines in some play--Hamlet, I think--how do they run?--Like the painting of a sorrow,

A face without a heart.

Yes: that is what it was like."

Lord Henry laughed. "If a man treats life artistically, his brain is his heart," he answered, sinking into an arm-chair.

Dorian Gray shook his head and struck some soft chords on the piano. "'Like the painting of a sorrow,'" he repeated, "'a face without a heart.'"


The Picture of Dorian Gray