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Today's Stichomancy for Italo Calvino

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Common Sense by Thomas Paine:

that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.

Another evil which attends hereditary succession is, that the throne is subject to be possessed by a minor at any age; all which time the regency, acting under the cover a king, have every opportunity and inducement to betray their trust. The same national misfortune happens, when a king, worn out with age and infirmity , enters the last stage of human weakness. In both these cases the public becomes a prey to every miscreant, who can tamper successfully with the follies either of age or infancy.


Common Sense
The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from An International Episode by Henry James:

themselves of a gentleman whose attractions had been thus vividly depicted; all the more so that he lived in the Fifth Avenue, and that the Fifth Avenue, as they had ascertained the night before, was contiguous to their hotel. "Ten to one he'll be out of town," said Percy Beaumont; "but we can at least find out where he has gone, and we can immediately start in pursuit. He can't possibly have gone to a hotter place, you know."

"Oh, there's only one hotter place," said Lord Lambeth, "and I hope he hasn't gone there."

They strolled along the shady side of the street to the number indicated upon the precious letter. The house presented an imposing chocolate-colored expanse, relieved by facings

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Symposium by Xenophon:

[32] "Like your runner of the mile race." Cf. Plat. "Prot." 335 E.

[33] Or, "resolute exercise of the whole body." See Aristot. "Pol." viii. 4. 9; "Rhet." i. 5. 14.

[34] Or, "be dependent on a fellow-gymnast." "Pol. Lac." ix. 5; Plat. "Soph." 218 B; "Laws," 830 B; "Symp." 217 B, C.

[35] Or, "to strip in puiblic when my hair turns gray." Socrates was (421 B.C.) about 50, but is pictured, I think, as an oldish man.

[36] See Aristot. "H. A." ix. 45. 1; "Econ." viii. 13.

[37] Passage referred to by Diog. Laert. ii. 5. 15; Lucian, "de Salt." 25; Plut. "Praec. San." 496.

[38] "Take my exercise."


The Symposium