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Today's Stichomancy for Josh Hartnett

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Art of War by Sun Tzu:

of our generals who failed most conspicuously in this war, tried once, I remember, to defend him to me on the ground that he was always "so good to his men." By this plea, had he but known it, he was only condemning him out of Sun Tzu's mouth.]

13. These are the five besetting sins of a general, ruinous to the conduct of war. 14. When an army is overthrown and its leader slain, the cause will surely be found among these five dangerous faults. Let them be a subject of meditation.

[1] "Marshal Turenne," p. 50.

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The Art of War
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Market-Place by Harold Frederic:

it was questionable if for the next twenty years they would not represent a deficit on the income-sheet. But, now that he had laid hold of the local character, it pleased him that it should be so. He would not for the world have his gentle, woolly-minded, unprofitable cottagers transformed into "hustlers"; it would wound his eye to see the smoke of any commercial chimney, the smudge of any dividend-paying factory, staining the pure tints of the sylvan landscape. He had truly learned to love it.

Yet now, as he strolled on the terrace with his first


The Market-Place
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft:

adjudged a sort of diary because of the spacing and the variations in ink and penmanship, presented a baffling puzzle to those who found it on the old bureau which served as its owner's desk. After a week of debate it was sent to Miskatonic University, together with the deceased's collection of strange books, for study and possible translation; but even the best linguists soon saw that it was not likely to be unriddled with ease. No trace of the ancient gold with which Wilbur and Old Whateley had always paid their debts has yet been discovered. It was in the dark of September ninth that the horror broke loose. The hill noises had been very


The Dunwich Horror
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 Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy:

shawl to his wife.

'The young people are getting out of hand,' said the old man.

'And how they do!' said the neighbour. 'There's no managing them! They know too much. There's Demochkin now, who broke his father's arm. It's all from being too clever, it seems.'

Nikita listened, watched their faces, and evidently would have liked to share in the conversation, but he was too busy drinking his tea and only nodded his head approvingly. He emptied one tumbler after another and grew warmer and warmer and more and more comfortable. The talk continued on the same subject for a long time--the harmfulness of a household


Master and Man