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Today's Stichomancy for Donald Rumsfeld

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Stories From the Old Attic by Robert Harris:

reason with him.

"We are all scientists here, all educated men. All of us agree that it is impossible for a heavier-than-air device to fly on its own through the air. Don't you see that? This is against the laws of nature--it violates the law of gravity."

"Well," said the traveler, "perhaps there is another law, or perhaps there is a higher law than the law of gravity, which, when it is understood, will explain how planes can fly."

"That's just what I'd expect a religious fanatic to say," said a man who had been listening in. "Science can jump into the trash as far as you religious types are concerned."

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

devotion and virtue of love. But Orpheus, the son of Oeagrus, the harper, they sent empty away, and presented to him an apparition only of her whom he sought, but herself they would not give up, because he showed no spirit; he was only a harp-player, and did not dare like Alcestis to die for love, but was contriving how he might enter Hades alive; moreover, they afterwards caused him to suffer death at the hands of women, as the punishment of his cowardliness. Very different was the reward of the true love of Achilles towards his lover Patroclus--his lover and not his love (the notion that Patroclus was the beloved one is a foolish error into which Aeschylus has fallen, for Achilles was surely the fairer of the two, fairer also than all the other heroes; and, as Homer informs us, he was

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from House of Mirth by Edith Wharton:

equally necessary to her host and hostess; and if only she had seen any perfectly irreproachable means of drawing a financial profit from the situation, there would have been no cloud on her horizon. The truth was that her funds, as usual, were inconveniently low; and to neither Dorset nor his wife could this vulgar embarrassment be safely hinted. Still, the need was not a pressing one; she could worry along, as she had so often done before, with the hope of some happy change of fortune to sustain her; and meanwhile life was gay and beautiful and easy, and she was conscious of figuring not unworthily in such a setting.

She was engaged to breakfast that morning with the Duchess of

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 Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso:

XXX Mongst these Alarco fierce, and Odemare The muster master was, and Hidraort, And Rimedon, whose rashness took no care To shun death's bitter stroke, in field or fort, Tigranes, Rapold stem, the men that fare By sea, that robbed in each creek and port, Ormond, and Marlabust the Arabian named, Because that land rebellious he reclaimed.

XXXI There Pirga, Arimon, Orindo are,