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Today's Stichomancy for Barack Obama

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

final question. Do you consent to take the name of de Sallenauve and be recognized as his son?"

"I am not a lawyer," I answered; "but it seems to me that, supposing I do not feel honored by this recognition, it does not wholly depend on me to decline it."

"Pardon me," replied Jacques Bricheteau; "under the circumstances you could, if you chose, legally contest the paternity. I will also add,-- and in doing so I am sure that I express the intentions of your father,--if you think that a man who has already spent half a million on furthering your career is not a desirable father, we leave you free to follow your own course, and shall not insist in any way."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift:

The nymph in sober words intreats A truce with all sublime conceits. For why such raptures, flights, and fancies, To her who durst not read romances; In lofty style to make replies, Which he had taught her to despise? But when her tutor will affect Devotion, duty, and respect, He fairly abdicates his throne, The government is now her own; He has a forfeiture incurred,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The People That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

the south.

I turned toward Ajor. She was very white and wide-eyed, for the clutching fingers of death had all but seized her; but a little smile came to her lips and an expression of great pride to her eyes. "My Tom!" she said, and took my hand in hers. That was all--"My Tom!" and a pressure of the hand. Her Tom! Something stirred within my bosom. Was it exaltation or was it consternation? Impossible! I turned away almost brusquely.

"Come!" I said, and strode off toward the Kro-lu prisoner.

The Kro-lu stood watching us with stolid indifference. I presume that he expected to be killed; but if he did, he showed


The People That Time Forgot
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 Sophist by Plato:

STRANGER: Here, then, is another thing which we ought to bear in mind.

THEAETETUS: What?

STRANGER: When we were asked to what we were to assign the appellation of not-being, we were in the greatest difficulty:--do you remember?

THEAETETUS: To be sure.

STRANGER: And are we not now in as great a difficulty about being?

THEAETETUS: I should say, Stranger, that we are in one which is, if possible, even greater.

STRANGER: Then let us acknowledge the difficulty; and as being and not- being are involved in the same perplexity, there is hope that when the one appears more or less distinctly, the other will equally appear; and if we