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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 Paradise Lost by John Milton:

From his strong hold of Heaven, high over-ruled And limited their might; though numbered such As each divided legion might have seemed A numerous host; in strength each armed hand A legion; led in fight, yet leader seemed Each warriour single as in chief, expert When to advance, or stand, or turn the sway Of battle, open when, and when to close The ridges of grim war: No thought of flight, None of retreat, no unbecoming deed That argued fear; each on himself relied,


Paradise Lost
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Phaedrus by Plato:

infer that I have been filled through the ears, like a pitcher, from the waters of another, though I have actually forgotten in my stupidity who was my informant.

PHAEDRUS: That is grand:--but never mind where you heard the discourse or from whom; let that be a mystery not to be divulged even at my earnest desire. Only, as you say, promise to make another and better oration, equal in length and entirely new, on the same subject; and I, like the nine Archons, will promise to set up a golden image at Delphi, not only of myself, but of you, and as large as life.

SOCRATES: You are a dear golden ass if you suppose me to mean that Lysias has altogether missed the mark, and that I can make a speech from which all

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

Which my dead father did bequeath to me, With this strict charge, even as he left his life. 'Keep it, my Pericles; it hath been a shield 'Twixt me and death;' -- and pointed to this brace; -- For that it saved me, keep it; in like necessity -- The which the gods protect thee from! -- may defend thee.' It kept where I kept, I so dearly loved it; Till the rough seas, that spare not any man, Took it in rage, though calm'd have given't again: I thank thee for 't: my shipwreck now's no ill, Since I have here my father's gift in's will.

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 Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare:

Their sense thus weake, lost with their feares thus strong, Made senslesse things begin to do them wrong. For briars and thornes at their apparell snatch, Some sleeues, some hats, from yeelders all things catch, I led them on in this distracted feare, And left sweete Piramus translated there: When in that moment (so it came to passe) Tytania waked, and straightway lou'd an Asse

Ob. This fals out better then I could deuise: But hast thou yet lacht the Athenians eyes, With the loue iuyce, as I bid thee doe?


A Midsummer Night's Dream