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Today's Stichomancy for James Joyce

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin:

is extremely improbable that his daughter should have imitated him at so early an age; for, as he remarks, she could not possibly have often seen this gesture in him. Moreover, if the habit had been acquired through imitation, it is not probable that it would so soon have been spontaneously discontinued by this child, and, as we shall immediately see, by a second child, though the father still lived with his family. This little girl, it may be added, resembles her Parisian grandfather in countenance to an almost absurd degree. She also presents another and very curious resemblance to him, namely, by practising a singular trick. When she impatiently wants something, she holds out her little hand, and rapidly rubs the thumb against the index and middle finger:


Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moral Emblems by Robert Louis Stevenson:

A man with such a fist as me! Bearded and ringed, and big, and brown, I sit and toss the stingo down. Hear the gold jingle in my bag - All won beneath the Jolly Flag!'

Ben moralised and shook his head: 'You wanderers earn and eat your bread. The foe is found, beats or is beaten, And, either how, the wage is eaten. And after all your pully-hauly Your proceeds look uncommon small-ly.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Droll Stories, V. 1 by Honore de Balzac:

herself alone with her maid she made those little jokes that women will when undressing. "Am I not worth 20,000 crowns to-night? Is that overpaid with a castle in Brie?"

And saying this she gently raised two white supports, firm as rocks, which had well sustained many assaults, seeing they had been furiously attacked and had not softened. "My shoulders alone are worth a kingdom; no king could make their equal. But I am tired of this life. That which is hard work is no pleasure." The little maid smiled, and her lovely mistress said to her, "I should like to see you in my place." Then the maid laughed, saying--

"Be quiet, Madame, he is there."


Droll Stories, V. 1
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 Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell:

no distinguishing insignia except here and there a torn hat brim pinned up with a wreathed "C.S.A." Many were barefooted and here and there a dirty bandage wrapped a head or arm. They went past, looking neither to left nor right, so silent that had it not been for the steady tramp of feet they might all have been ghosts.

"Take a good look at them," came Rhett's gibing voice, "so you can tell your grandchildren you saw the rear guard of the Glorious Cause in retreat."

Suddenly she hated him, hated him with a strength that momentarily overpowered her fear, made it seem petty and small. She knew her safety and that of the others in the back of the wagon depended on


Gone With the Wind