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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 Danny's Own Story by Don Marquis:

brother. And they are all three in there straighten- ing themselves out and finding where everybody gets off at, and why. One of these here serious times you read about. And you and me are missing it all, like a couple of gumps. How can we hear?"

Martha says she don't know.

"You THINK," I told her. "We've wasted five good minutes already. I've GOT to hear the rest of it. Where would they be?"

Martha guesses they will all be in the sitting room, which has got the best chairs in it.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley:

cannot grow. Without potash, without magnesia, both of which are in your veins and mine--without silicates (as they are called), which give flint to the stems of corn and of grass, and so make them stiff and hard, and able to stand upright--and very probably without the carbonic acid gas, which comes out of the volcanos, and is taken up by the leaves of plants, and turned by Madam How's cookery into solid wood--without all these things, and I suspect without a great many more things which come out of volcanos--I do not see how this beautiful green world could get on at all.

Of course, when the lava first cools on the surface of the ground it is hard enough, and therefore barren enough. But Madam How

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

"If I had not a son in the magistracy, and a daughter married," said the good old man, "you would have found in old Mathias, believe me, Monsieur le comte, something better than mere hospitality. Why have you come to Bordeaux at the very moment when posters are on all the walls of the seizure of your farms at Grassol and Guadet, the vineyard of Belle-Rose and the family mansion? I cannot tell you the grief I feel at the sight of those placards,--I, who for forty years nursed that property as if it belonged to me; I, who bought it for your mother when I was only third clerk to Monsieur Chesnau, my predecessor, and wrote the deeds myself in my best round hand; I, who have those titles now in my successor's office; I, who have known you

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 Plutarch's Lives by A. H. Clough:

have already done, but as a pledge given by themselves of what they will perform hereafter, ashamed now to forsake or underlive the credit they have won, or, rather, not to exceed and obscure all that is gone before by the luster of their following actions. Marcius, having a spirit of this noble make, was ambitious always to surpass himself, and did nothing, how extraordinary soever, but he thought he was bound to outdo it at the next occasion; and ever desiring to give continual fresh instances of his prowess he added one exploit to another, and heaped up trophies upon trophies, so as to make it a matter of contest also among his commanders, the later still vying with the earlier, which should pay him the greatest honor and speak highest in his commendation. Of