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Today's Stichomancy for Vladimir Putin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley:

was, as three or four drivers armed with whips lingered up and down the slowly staggering file of Indians, and avenged every moment's lagging, even every stumble, by a blow of the cruel manati-hide, which cracked like a pistol-shot against the naked limbs of the silent and uncomplaining victim.

Suddenly the casus belli, as usually happens, arose of its own accord.

The last but one of the chained line was an old gray-headed man, followed by a slender graceful girl of some eighteen years old, and Amyas's heart yearned over them as they came up. Just as they passed, the foremost of the file had rounded the corner above;

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy:

An old woman now entered upon the scene. She was Mr. Melbury's servant, and passed a great part of her time in crossing the yard between the house-door and the spar-shed, whither she had come now for fuel. She had two facial aspects--one, of a soft and flexible kind, she used indoors when assisting about the parlor or up- stairs; the other, with stiff lines and corners, when she was bustling among the men in the spar-house or out-of-doors.

"Ah, Grammer Oliver," said John Upjohn, "it do do my heart good to see a old woman like you so dapper and stirring, when I bear in mind that after fifty one year counts as two did afore! But your smoke didn't rise this morning till twenty minutes past seven by


The Woodlanders
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe:

expressions, which not even the desire to be graphic in our account shall induce us to transcribe.

1 English Grammar (1795), by Lindley Murray (1745-1826), the most authoritative American grammarian of his day.

His companion, Mr. Shelby, had the appearance of a gentleman; and the arrrangements of the house, and the general air of the housekeeping, indicated easy, and even opulent circumstances. As we before stated, the two were in the midst of an earnest conversation.

"That is the way I should arrange the matter," said Mr. Shelby.

"I can't make trade that way--I positively can't, Mr. Shelby," said the other, holding up a glass of wine between his


Uncle Tom's Cabin
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 Chita: A Memory of Last Island by Lafcadio Hearn:

over the green sea, and over the far-flooded shell-reefs, where the huge white flashes are,--sheet-lightning of breakers,--and over the weird wash of corpses coming in.

It is the steam-call of the relief-boat, hastening to rescue the living, to gather in the dead.

The tremendous tragedy is over!

Out of the Sea's Strength

I.

There are regions of Louisiana coast whose aspect seems not of the present, but of the immemorial past--of that epoch when low flat reaches of primordial continent first rose into form above a