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Today's Stichomancy for Mike Myers

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:

commands from the sovereign, collects his army and concentrates his forces.

[Repeated from VII. ss. 1, where it is certainly more in place. It may have been interpolated here merely in order to supply a beginning to the chapter.]

2. When in difficult country, do not encamp. In country where high roads intersect, join hands with your allies. Do not linger in dangerously isolated positions.

[The last situation is not one of the Nine Situations as given in the beginning of chap. XI, but occurs later on (ibid. ss. 43. q.v.). Chang Yu defines this situation as being situated


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 Tapestried Chamber by Walter Scott:

"I trust--I have no doubt--that you will find yourself as comfortable as I wish you, my dear General," said the young nobleman; and once more bidding his guest good-night, he shook him by the hand, and withdrew.

The General once more looked round him, and internally congratulating himself on his return to peaceful life, the comforts of which were endeared by the recollection of the hardships and dangers he had lately sustained, undressed himself, and prepared for a luxurious night's rest.

Here, contrary to the custom of this species of tale, we leave the General in possession of his apartment until the next

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Man against the Sky by Edwin Arlington Robinson:

Llewellyn and the Tree

Could he have made Priscilla share The paradise that he had planned, Llewellyn would have loved his wife As well as any in the land.

Could he have made Priscilla cease To goad him for what God left out, Llewellyn would have been as mild As any we have read about.

Could all have been as all was not, Llewellyn would have had no story;

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 Duchess of Padua by Oscar Wilde:

You love me, Beatrice?

DUCHESS

Ay! is it not strange I should so love mine enemy?

GUIDO

Who is he?

DUCHESS

Why, you: that with your shaft did pierce my heart! Poor heart, that lived its little lonely life Until it met your arrow.

GUIDO