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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 Historical Lecturers and Essays by Charles Kingsley:

settle the question between Catholics and Huguenots. The Huguenots, guessing how that would end, resolved to settle the question for themselves. They rose in one city after another, sacked the churches, destroyed the images, put down by main force superstitious processions and dances; and did many things only to be excused by the exasperation caused by thirty years of cruelty. At Montpellier there was hard fighting, murders--so say the Catholic historians--of priests and monks, sack of the new cathedral, destruction of the noble convents which lay in a ring round Montpellier. The city and the university were in the hands of the Huguenots, and Montpellier became Protestant on the spot.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from End of the Tether by Joseph Conrad:

day had come.

Mr. Massy shook himself, put on the tweed coat, and, shivering nervously as if from some great shock, made a note of the number. A fortunate, rare hint that. Yes; but to pursue fortune one wanted money--ready cash.

Then he went out and prepared to descend into the engine-room. Several small jobs had to be seen to, and Jack was lying dead drunk on the floor of his cabin, with the door locked at that. His gorge rose at the thought of work. Ay! But if you wanted to do noth-


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

address of Madame de Dey's house was written. The young man read it with an air of curiosity.

"He knows he hasn't far to go," thought the mayor as the recruit left the house. "That's a bold fellow! God guide him! He seemed to have his answers ready. But he'd have been lost if any one but I had questioned him and demanded to see his papers."

At that instant, the clocks of Carentan struck half-past nine; the lanterns were lighted in Madame de Dey's antechamber; the servants were helping their masters and mistresses to put on their clogs, their cloaks, and their mantles; the card-players had paid their debts, and all the guests were preparing to leave together after the established

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 Under the Red Robe by Stanley Weyman:

with wine and meat and bread. She set it down on the table, and with the same wan face, trembling always on the verge of tears, she began to lay out the things. The glasses clinked fitfully against the plates as she handled them; the knives jarred with one another. And I stood by, trembling myself; and endured this strange kind of penance.

She signed to me at last to sit down; and she went herself, and stood in the garden doorway with her back to me. I obeyed. I sat down. But though I had eaten nothing since the afternoon of the day before, I could not swallow. I fumbled with my knife, and drank; and grew hot and angry at this farce; and then looked