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Today's Stichomancy for Robert A. Heinlein

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Voice of the City by O. Henry:

they explored the caverns of an immense safe. Forth they dragged, as trophy of their search a big envelope sealed with wax. This they forcibly invaded, and wagged their venerable heads together over its con- tents. Then Tolman became spokesman.

"Mr. Gillian," he said, formally, "there was a codicil to your uncle's will. It was intrusted to us privately, with instructions that it be not opened until you had furnished us with a full account of your handling of the $1,000 bequest in the will. As you have fulfilled the conditions, my partner and I have


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

to see the fairy, who, in her swift rush through the sparkling atmosphere, collects and binds with the golden thread of harmony, the gems of melody she smilingly sheds on us? Have you ever felt the touch of her wand, as she says to Curiosity, 'Awake!' The divinity rises up radiant from the depths of the brain; she flies to her store of wonders and fingers them lightly as an organist touches the keys. Suddenly, up starts Memory, bringing us the roses of the past, divinely preserved and still fresh. The mistress of our youth revives, and strokes the young man's hair. Our heart, too full, overflows; we see the flowery banks of the torrent of love. Every burning bush we ever knew blazes afresh, and repeats the heavenly words we once heard

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Captain Stormfield by Mark Twain:

and was on hand at the booking-office once more. Says I to the head clerk -

"I begin to see that a man's got to be in his own Heaven to be happy."

"Perfectly correct," says he. "Did you imagine the same heaven would suit all sorts of men?"

"Well, I had that idea - but I see the foolishness of it. Which way am I to go to get to my district?"

He called the under clerk that had examined the map, and he gave me general directions. I thanked him and started; but he says -

"Wait a minute; it is millions of leagues from here. Go outside

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 Laches by Plato:

decidedly of the pursuits which are advantageous or hurtful to a young man. I repose confidence in both of them; but I am surprised to find that they differ from one another. And therefore, Lysimachus, as Laches suggested that you should detain me, and not let me go until I answered, I in turn earnestly beseech and advise you to detain Laches and Nicias, and question them. I would have you say to them: Socrates avers that he has no knowledge of the matter--he is unable to decide which of you speaks truly; neither discoverer nor student is he of anything of the kind. But you, Laches and Nicias, should each of you tell us who is the most skilful educator whom you have ever known; and whether you invented the art yourselves, or learned of another; and if you learned, who were your