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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 Finished by H. Rider Haggard:

Martini rifle from a dead soldier, together with a score or so of cartridges that remained in his belt, for apparently he must have been killed rather early in the fight.

Thus equipped I mounted the pony and once more bethought me of escaping to Natal. A look towards the nek cured me of that idea, for coming over it I saw the plumed heads of a whole horde of warriors. Doubtless these were returning from the unsuccessful attack on Rorke's Drift, though of that I knew nothing at the time. So whistling to the dog I bore to the left for the Nqutu Hills, riding as fast as the rough ground would allow, and in half an hour was out of sight of that accursed plain.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Mosses From An Old Manse by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

quantities of soot clustered above it seemed to have been burning for ages. There was a distilling apparatus in full operation. Around the room were retorts, tubes, cylinders, crucibles, and other apparatus of chemical research. An electrical machine stood ready for immediate use. The atmosphere felt oppressively close, and was tainted with gaseous odors which had been tormented forth by the processes of science. The severe and homely simplicity of the apartment, with its naked walls and brick pavement, looked strange, accustomed as Georgiana had become to the fantastic elegance of her boudoir. But what chiefly, indeed almost solely, drew her attention, was the aspect of Aylmer himself.


Mosses From An Old Manse
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tom Grogan by F. Hopkinson Smith:

kitchen porch, were on the roof of the tool-house, fighting the sparks that fell on the shingles.

By this time the neighbors began to arrive from the tenements. Tom took charge of every man as soon as he got his breath, stationed two at the pump-handle, and formed a line of bucket-passers from the water-trough to Carl and Cully, who were spreading the blankets on the roof. The heat now was terrific; Carl had to shield his face with his sleeve as he threw the water. Cully lay flat on the shingles, holding to the steaming blankets, and directing Carl's buckets with his outstretched finger when some greater spark lodged and gained headway. If they could keep

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 Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:

miles away, is quite unlike the brood which is out to-day on one's own river. For not only do most of these flies vary in colour in different soils and climates, but many of them change their hue during life; the Ephemerae, especially, have a habit of throwing off the whole of their skins (even, marvellously enough, to the skin of the eyes and wings, and the delicate "whisks" at their tail), and appearing in an utterly new garb after ten minutes' rest, to the discomfiture of the astonished angler.

The natural history of these flies, I understand from Mr. Stainton (one of our most distinguished entomologists), has not yet been worked out, at least for England. The only attempt, I believe, in