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Today's Stichomancy for Bob Dylan

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Iron Puddler by James J. Davis:

peanuts in which a lot of the shells haven't any goodies." I made up my mind then that if I ever wrote a book I would have a fight in the first chapter.

So I will tell right here how I whipped the town bully in Sharon, Pennsylvania. I'll call him Babe Durgon. I've forgotten his real name, and it might be better not to mention it anyhow. For though I whipped him thirty years ago, he might come back now in a return match and reverse the verdict, so that my first chapter would serve better as my last one. Babe was older than I, and had pestered me from the time I was ten. Now I was eighteen and a man. I was a master puddler in the mill and a musician in

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:

I suppose, replied my father,--making some pause first,--he'll be exactly like other people's children.--

Exactly, said my mother.--

--Though I shall be sorry for that, added my father: and so the debate stopp'd again.--

--They should be of leather, said my father, turning him about again.--

They will last him, said my mother, the longest.

But he can have no linings to 'em, replied my father.--

He cannot, said my mother.

'Twere better to have them of fustian, quoth my father.

Nothing can be better, quoth my mother.--

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne:

but the latter, lying on his back, perceived his master in the gallery. He could not help starting, which so changed the position of his nose as to bring the "pyramid" pell-mell upon the stage.

All this Passepartout learned from Aouda, who recounted to him what had taken place on the voyage from Hong Kong to Shanghai on the Tankadere, in company with one Mr. Fix.

Passepartout did not change countenance on hearing this name. He thought that the time had not yet arrived to divulge to his master what had taken place between the detective and himself; and, in the account he gave of his absence, he simply excused himself for having been overtaken by drunkenness, in smoking opium


Around the World in 80 Days
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 A Start in Life by Honore de Balzac:

pettifogging; if he does well, if he distinguishes himself, if he likes his profession and I am still alive, each of my children shall, when the proper time comes, lend him a quarter of the cost of a practice; and I will be security for him. You will only have to feed and clothe him. Of course he'll sow a few wild oats, but he'll learn life. Look at me: I left Lyon with two double louis which my grandmother gave me, and walked to Paris; and what am I now? Fasting is good for the health. Discretion, honesty, and work, young man, and you'll succeed. There's a great deal of pleasure in earning one's fortune; and if a man keeps his teeth he eats what he likes in his old age, and sings, as I do, 'La Mere Godichon.' Remember my words: