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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 Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll:

Alice considered a little. `I like birthday presents best,' she said at last.

`You don't know what you're talking about!' cried Humpty Dumpty. `How many days are there in a year?'

`Three hundred and sixty-five,' said Alice.

`And how many birthdays have you?'

`One.'

`And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five, what remains?'

`Three hundred and sixty-four, of course.'

Humpty Dumpty looked doubtful. `I'd rather see that done on


Through the Looking-Glass
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells:

ward. The coast grew faint, and at last indistinguishable amid the low banks of clouds that were gathering about the sinking sun.

Then suddenly out of the golden haze of the sunset came the vibration of guns, and a form of black shadows moving. Everyone struggled to the rail of the steamer and peered into the blinding furnace of the west, but nothing was to be dis- tinguished clearly. A mass of smoke rose slanting and barred the face of the sun. The steamboat throbbed on its way through an interminable suspense.

The sun sank into grey clouds, the sky flushed and dark-


War of the Worlds
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll:

LESS BREAD! MORE TAXES!

--and then all the people cheered again, and one man, who was more excited than the rest, flung his hat high into the air, and shouted (as well as I could make out) "Who roar for the Sub-Warden?" Everybody roared, but whether it was for the Sub-Warden, or not, did not clearly appear: some were shouting "Bread!" and some "Taxes!", but no one seemed to know what it was they really wanted.

All this I saw from the open window of the Warden's breakfast-saloon, looking across the shoulder of the Lord Chancellor, who had sprung to his feet the moment the shouting began, almost as if he had been expecting it, and had rushed to the window which commanded the best


Sylvie and Bruno
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 The Unseen World and Other Essays by John Fiske:

admit its supernatural character, considered the powers of hell rather than those of heaven to have been the prime instigators. In their eyes Jeanne was a witch, and it was at least their cue to exhibit her as such. They might have put her to death when she first reached Rouen. Some persons, indeed, went so far as to advise that she should be sewed up in a sack and thrown at once into the Seine; but this was not what the authorities wanted. The whole elaborate trial, and the extorted recantation, were devised for the purpose of demonstrating her to be a witch, and thus destroying her credit with the common people. That they intended afterwards to burn her cannot for an instant be doubted; that was


The Unseen World and Other Essays