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Today's Stichomancy for Dick Cheney

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

in some bewilderment.

"What would Madame la Baronne de Stael say if she could know that you make such nonsense of a word that means noble family, of patrician rank?"

"She would say that you were an ass!" said I in a muttered tone.

"Master Poet, you will stay in for a week," replied the master, who unfortunately overheard me.

Lambert simply repeated, looking at me with inexpressible affection, "/Vir nobilis/!"

Madame de Stael was, in fact, partly the cause of Lambert's troubles. On every pretext masters and pupils threw the name in his teeth,


Louis Lambert
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:

example, the mind is viewed as the complex of ideas, or the difference between things and persons denied, such an analysis may be justified from the point of view of Hegel: but we shall find that in the attempt to criticize thought we have lost the power of thinking, and, like the Heracliteans of old, have no words in which our meaning can be expressed. Such an analysis may be of value as a corrective of popular language or thought, but should still allow us to retain the fundamental distinctions of philosophy.

In the Hegelian system ideas supersede persons. The world of thought, though sometimes described as Spirit or 'Geist,' is really impersonal. The minds of men are to be regarded as one mind, or more correctly as a

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:

turned to walk that way. The brasses of the wheel glittered too, with the dimly lit figure of the man detached, as if phosphorescent, against the black and spangled background of the horizon.

Young Powell, in the silence of the ship, reinforced by the great silent stillness of the world, said to himself that there was something mysterious in such beings as the absurd Franklin, and even in such beings as himself. It was a strange and almost improper thought to occur to the officer of the watch of a ship on the high seas on no matter how quiet a night. Why on earth was he bothering his head? Why couldn't he dismiss all these people from his mind? It was as if the mate had infected him with his own diseased


Chance
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 Philebus by Plato:

some third thing, which was different from them, and better than either. If this be clearly established, then pleasure will lose the victory, for the good will cease to be identified with her:--Am I not right?

PROTARCHUS: Yes.

SOCRATES: And there will cease to be any need of distinguishing the kinds of pleasures, as I am inclined to think, but this will appear more clearly as we proceed.

PROTARCHUS: Capital, Socrates; pray go on as you propose.

SOCRATES: But, let us first agree on some little points.

PROTARCHUS: What are they?

SOCRATES: Is the good perfect or imperfect?