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Today's Stichomancy for Colin Powell

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Crito by Plato:

he to betray the right?

CRITO: He ought to do what he thinks right.

SOCRATES: But if this is true, what is the application? In leaving the prison against the will of the Athenians, do I wrong any? or rather do I not wrong those whom I ought least to wrong? Do I not desert the principles which were acknowledged by us to be just--what do you say?

CRITO: I cannot tell, Socrates, for I do not know.

SOCRATES: Then consider the matter in this way:--Imagine that I am about to play truant (you may call the proceeding by any name which you like), and the laws and the government come and interrogate me: 'Tell us, Socrates,' they say; 'what are you about? are you not going by an act of

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:

score or so of ducats -- all I had in my pocket.

"Done," answered Vulich in a hollow voice. "Major, you will be judge. Here are fifteen ducats, the remaining five you owe me, kindly add them to the others."

"Very well," said the major; "though, indeed, I do not understand what is the question at issue and how you will decide it!"

Without a word Vulich went into the major's bedroom, and we followed him. He went up to the wall on which the major's weapons were hang-

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare:

As thou art valiant, for thy Cosens soule Whose 12. strong labours crowne his memory, Lets die together, at one instant, Duke, Onely a little let him fall before me, That I may tell my Soule he shall not have her.


I grant your wish, for, to say true, your Cosen Has ten times more offended; for I gave him More mercy then you found, Sir, your offenses Being no more then his. None here speake for 'em, For, ere the Sun set, both shall sleepe for ever.

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 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:

pursuits but to an eager desire to learn, and not to learn all things indiscriminately. I confess that neither the structure of languages, nor the code of governments, nor the politics of various states possessed attractions for me. It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in it highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.

Meanwhile Clerval occupied himself, so to speak, with the moral relations of things. The busy stage of life, the virtues of heroes,