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Today's Stichomancy for Muhammad Ali

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ion by Plato:

you would acknowledge that we did?

ION: Yes.

SOCRATES: Tell me, then, what I was intending to ask you,--whether this holds universally? Must the same art have the same subject of knowledge, and different arts other subjects of knowledge?

ION: That is my opinion, Socrates.

SOCRATES: Then he who has no knowledge of a particular art will have no right judgment of the sayings and doings of that art?

ION: Very true.

SOCRATES: Then which will be a better judge of the lines which you were reciting from Homer, you or the charioteer?

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Illustrious Gaudissart by Honore de Balzac:

wears a profusion of trinkets, overawes the common people, passes for a lord in the villages, and never permits himself to be "stumped,"--a slang expression all his own. He knows how to slap his pockets at the right time, and make his money jingle if he thinks the servants of the second-class houses which he wants to enter (always eminently suspicious) are likely to take him for a thief. Activity is not the least surprising quality of this human machine. Not the hawk swooping upon its prey, not the stag doubling before the huntsman and the hounds, nor the hounds themselves catching scent of the game, can be compared with him for the rapidity of his dart when he spies a "commission," for the agility with which he trips up a rival and gets

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare:

I did by imitation.

PALAMON.

More by vertue; You are modest, Cosen.

ARCITE.

When I saw you charge first, Me thought I heard a dreadfull clap of Thunder Breake from the Troope.

PALAMON.

But still before that flew The lightning of your valour. Stay a little,

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 Middlemarch by George Eliot:

a gentleman. Good-night, sir."

Bulstrode was going to speak, but Will, with determined quickness, was out of the room in an instant, and in another the hall-door had closed behind him. He was too strongly possessed with passionate rebellion against this inherited blot which had been thrust on his knowledge to reflect at present whether he had not been too hard on Bulstrode--too arrogantly merciless towards a man of sixty, who was making efforts at retrieval when time had rendered them vain.

No third person listening could have thoroughly understood the impetuosity of Will's repulse or the bitterness of his words. No one but himself then knew how everything connected with the


Middlemarch