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Today's Stichomancy for Robert E. Lee

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Under the Red Robe by Stanley Weyman:

bracken and furze, sweating at every pore with our exertions, and hearing the troop come every moment nearer on the road below. Doubtless they knew exactly whither to go! Forced to stop and take breath when we had scrambled up fifty yards or so, I saw their lanthorns shining like moving glow-worms; I could even hear the clink of steel. For all I could tell, the hut might be down there, and we be moving from it. But it was too late to go back now--they were close to the fern-stack; and in despair I turned to the hill again. A dozen steps and I stumbled. I rose and plunged on again; again stumbled. Then I found that I was treading level earth. And--was it water I saw before me, below

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

"Ozma will be pleased with anything her loving friends give her," said the girl. "What I'M worried about, Scarecrow, is what to give Ozma that she hasn't got already."

"That's what worried me, until I thought of the slippers," said the Scarecrow. "You'll have to THINK, Dorothy; that's the only way to get a good idea. If I hadn't such wonderful brains, I'd never have thought of those straw foot-decorations."

Dorothy left him and went to her room, where she sat down and tried to think hard. A Pink Kitten was curled up on the window-sill and Dorothy asked her:

"What can I give Ozma for her birthday present?"


The Magic of Oz
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Domestic Peace by Honore de Balzac:

taken place during the usual interval between two dances, in front of the fireplace of the great drawing-room of Gondreville's mansion. The questions and answers of this very ordinary ballroom gossip had been almost whispered by each of the speakers into his neighbor's ear. At the same time, the chandeliers and the flambeaux on the chimney-shelf shed such a flood of light on the two friends that their faces, strongly illuminated, failed, in spite of their diplomatic discretion, to conceal the faint expression of their feelings either from the keen-sighted countess or the artless stranger. This espionage of people's thoughts is perhaps to idle persons one of the pleasures they find in society, while numbers of disappointed numskulls are bored

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 Recruit by Honore de Balzac:

for his spectacles and rubbed their glasses, she raised her eyes to him, and seemed to study him with curiosity; then she said in an altered voice, and very softly,--

"I trust you."

"I am here to share your crime," replied the good man, simply.

She quivered. For the first time in that little town, her soul sympathized with that of another. The old man now understood both the hopes and the fears of the poor woman. The letter was from her son. He had returned to France to share in Granville's expedition, and was taken prisoner. The letter was written from his cell, but it told her to hope. He did not doubt his means of escape, and he named to her