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Today's Stichomancy for Robert Oppenheimer

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Agesilaus by Xenophon:

family. It is notable that never throughout these ages has Lacedaemon, out of envy of the privilege accorded to her kings, tried to dissolve their rule; nor ever yet throughout these ages have her kings strained after greater powers than those which limited their heritage of kingship from the first. Wherefore, while all other forms of government, democracies and oligarchies, tyrannies and monarchies, alike have failed to maintain their continuity unbroken, here, as the sole exception, endures indissolubly their kingship.[2]

[2] See "Cyrop." I. i. 1.

And next in token of an aptitude for kingship seen in Agesilaus, before even he entered upon office, I note these signs. On the death

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Damaged Goods by Upton Sinclair:

"You must take back your word."

"You still insist?" exclaimed George, in despair. "But then, suppose that it were possible, how could I take back my signature which I put at the bottom of the deed? I have pledged myself to pay in two months for the attorney's practice I have purchased!"

"Sir," said the doctor, "all these things--"

"You are going to tell me that I was lacking in prudence, that I should never have disposed of my wife's dowry until after the honeymoon!"

"Sir," said the doctor, again, "all these considerations are foreign to me. I am a physician, and nothing but a physician,

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

troubles as are common to the life of man in Lethe's bowl;[4] or ofttimes till we had steeped our souls in song and dance[5] and revelry; ofttimes till the flame of passion kindled in the breasts of my companions and my own.[6] But now, welladay, I am deprived of those who took delight in me, because I have slaves instead of friends as my companions; I am robbed of my once delightful intercourse with them, because I discern no vestige of goodwill towards me in their looks. And as to the wine-cup and slumber--these I guard against, even as a man might guard against an ambuscade. Think only! to dread a crowd, to dread solitude, to dread the absence of a guard, to dread the very guards that guard, to shrink from having those about one's self

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 Lucile by Owen Meredith:

On what?


The advice that I gave you--


Advice?--let me see? You ALWAYS are giving advice, Jack, to me. About Parliament, was it?


Hang Parliament! no, The Bank, the Bank, Alfred!