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Today's Stichomancy for Howard Stern

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Polity of Athenians and Lacedaemonians by Xenophon:

path towards iniquity. He knows that a bad man has a better chance of slipping through the fingers of justice in a democratic than in an oligarchical state.

[26] Or, "and which are good for nothing."

[27] Or,"its own friends and supporters."

[28] Reading {ontes} or (if {gnontes}), "who, recognising the nature of the People, have no popular leaning." Gutschmidt conj. {enioi egguoi ontes}, i.e. Pericles.

[29] On the principle that "the knee is nearer than the shin-bone," {gonu knemes}, or, as we say, "charity begins at home."


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

khorion, ouk ekhein de apobasin}, "it was true a tyrrany was a very fair spot, but it had no way down from it" (Clough, i. p. 181).

[21] Or, "how undergo in his own person the imprisonments he has inflicted?" Reading {antipaskhoi}, or if {antiparaskhoi}, transl. "how could he replace in his own person the exact number of imprisonments which he has inflicted on others?"

Ah, no! Simonides (he added), if to hang one's self outright be ever gainful to pour mortal soul, then, take my word for it, that is the tyrant's remedy: there's none better suited[22] to his case, since he alone of all men is in this dilemma, that neither to keep nor lay

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:

at haphazard, without precise instructions as to the time and place of meeting, the enemy will be able to annihilate the army in detail. Chang Yu's note may be worth quoting here: "If we do not know the place where our opponents mean to concentrate or the day on which they will join battle, our unity will be forfeited through our preparations for defense, and the positions we hold will be insecure. Suddenly happening upon a powerful foe, we shall be brought to battle in a flurried condition, and no mutual support will be possible between wings, vanguard or rear, especially if there is any great distance between the foremost and hindmost divisions of the army."]

The Art of War
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 A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:

moral is set forth at the end. Unable to see a joke, insensible to irony, it has, in a word, been badly brought up. It has not yet learned that in a decent book, as in decent society, open invective can have no place; that our present-day civilisa- tion has invented a keener weapon, none the less deadly for being almost invisible, which, under the cloak of flattery, strikes with sure and irre- sistible effect. The Russian public is like a simple-minded person from the country who, chancing to overhear a conversation between two