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Today's Stichomancy for Theodore Roosevelt

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Letters from England by Elizabeth Davis Bancroft:

I could sit by everybody at the same time, and I could often employ a dozen heads, if I had them, instead of my poor, miserable one. From Sir William Hooker I learned as much about the VEGETABLE world, as Mr. Bancroft did from the Dean of Ely on ARCHITECTURE, when he expounded to him the cathedral of Ely; pointing out the successive styles of the Gothic, and the different periods in which the different parts were built. Books are dull teachers compared with these gifted men giving you a lecture upon subjects before your eyes.

On Sunday we dined with out own party; on Monday some diplomatic people, the Lisboas and one of Mr. Bates's partners, and on Tuesday

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Roads of Destiny by O. Henry:

such as, while loafing in cities, he had seen warily transferred between express waggons and bank doors. The remaining space in the vehicle was filled with parcels of various sizes and shapes.

As the surrey swept even with the sidetracked tramp, the bright-eyed girl, seized by some merry, madcap impulse, leaned out toward him with a sweet, dazzling smile, and cried, "Mer-ry Christ-mas!" in a shrill, plaintive treble.

Such a thing had not often happened to Whistling Dick, and he felt handicapped in devising the correct response. But lacking time for reflection, he let his instinct decide, and snatching off his battered derby, he rapidly extended it at arm's length, and drew it back with a

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

as soon as possible. You know the young lady, so you can appreciate the situation. Do you remember little Blanche Evers, whom we used to see three years ago at Baden-Baden? Of course you remember her, for I know you used often to talk with her. You will be rather surprised, perhaps, at my having selected her as the partner of a life-time; but we manage these matters according to our lights. I am very much in love with her, and I hold that an excellent reason. I have been ready any time this year or two to fall in love with some simple, trusting, child-like nature. I find this in perfection in this charming young girl. I find her so natural and fresh.

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 Iliad by Homer:

in her own room, working at a great web of purple linen, on which she was embroidering the battles between Trojans and Achaeans, that Mars had made them fight for her sake. Iris then came close up to her and said, "Come hither, child, and see the strange doings of the Trojans and Achaeans. Till now they have been warring upon the plain, mad with lust of battle, but now they have left off fighting, and are leaning upon their shields, sitting still with their spears planted beside them. Alexandrus and Menelaus are going to fight about yourself, and you are to be the wife of him who is the victor."

Thus spoke the goddess, and Helen's heart yearned after her


The Iliad