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Today's Stichomancy for Colin Powell

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Critias by Plato:

a vestige of a widely-spread tradition. Others, adopting a different vein of reflection, regard the Island of Atlantis as the anticipation of a still greater island--the Continent of America. 'The tale,' says M. Martin, 'rests upon the authority of the Egyptian priests; and the Egyptian priests took a pleasure in deceiving the Greeks.' He never appears to suspect that there is a greater deceiver or magician than the Egyptian priests, that is to say, Plato himself, from the dominion of whose genius the critic and natural philosopher of modern times are not wholly emancipated. Although worthless in respect of any result which can be attained by them, discussions like those of M. Martin (Timee) have an interest of their own, and may be compared to the similar discussions regarding the Lost Tribes (2

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Paz by Honore de Balzac:

and looked at her with a glance which two years of married life had not yet chilled. Already the little countess had made herself mistress of the situation, for she scarcely paid attention to her husband's admiration. In fact, in the look which she occasionally cast at him, there seemed to be the consciousness of a Frenchwoman's ascendancy over the puny, volatile, and red-haired Pole.

"Here comes Paz," said the count, hearing a step which echoed through the gallery.

The countess beheld a tall and handsome man, well-made, and bearing on his face the signs of pain which come of inward strength and secret endurance of sorrow. He wore one of those tight, frogged overcoats

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Tapestried Chamber by Walter Scott:

That is the picture of a wretched ancestress of mine, of whose crimes a black and fearful catalogue is recorded in a family history in my charter-chest. The recital of them would be too horrible; it is enough to say, that in yon fatal apartment incest and unnatural murder were committed. I will restore it to the solitude to which the better judgment of those who preceded me had consigned it; and never shall any one, so long as I can prevent it, be exposed to a repetition of the supernatural horrors which could shake such courage as yours."

Thus the friends, who had met with such glee, parted in a very different mood--Lord Woodville to command the Tapestried Chamber