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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 The Coxon Fund by Henry James:

Saltram's big shawled back as he hoisted himself into the green landau. "She said she wasn't disappointed," Adelaide pursued.

I turned it over. "Did he wear his shawl?"

"His shawl?" She hadn't even noticed.

"I mean yours."

"He looked very nice, and you know he's really clean. Miss Anvoy used such a remarkable expression--she said his mind's like a crystal!"

I pricked up my ears. "A crystal?"

"Suspended in the moral world--swinging and shining and flashing there. She's monstrously clever, you know."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:



Marius liked this candid old man who saw himself gradually falling into the clutches of indigence, and who came to feel astonishment, little by little, without, however, being made melancholy by it. Marius met Courfeyrac and sought out M. Mabeuf. Very rarely, however; twice a month at most.

Marius' pleasure consisted in taking long walks alone on the outer boulevards, or in the Champs-de-Mars, or in the least frequented alleys of the Luxembourg. He often spent half a day in gazing at a market garden, the beds of lettuce, the chickens on the dung-heap, the horse

Les Miserables
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Cavalry General by Xenophon:

so much sense and skill, it is hard if any average man cannot prove himself equally intelligent with creatures which themselves fall victims to the craft of man.

[19] e.g. defiles, bridges, outposts, stores, etc.

[20] e.g. a line of outposts, troops in billets or bivouac, etc.

[21] "It is a maxim, the quarry should be weaker than the pursuer."

[22] Zeune cf. Ael. "N. A." viii. 14, on the skill of wolves in hunting.

[23] For {aposphaxas} Courier suggests {apospasas}, "dragging off what he can."


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 Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence:

scarf and snap-bag and two apples, raked the fire, and went to bed. He was already dead asleep. His narrow black eyebrows were drawn up in a sort of peevish misery into his forehead while his cheeks' down-strokes, and his sulky mouth, seemed to be saying: "I don't care who you are nor what you are, I SHALL have my own way."

Mrs. Morel knew him too well to look at him. As she unfastened her brooch at the mirror, she smiled faintly to see her face all smeared with the yellow dust of lilies. She brushed it off, and at last lay down. For some time her mind continued snapping and jetting sparks, but she was asleep before her husband awoke from the first sleep of his drunkenness.

Sons and Lovers