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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 The Human Drift by Jack London:

and into Prince. If the lash strikes Maid, her thoroughbredness will go up in the air, and I'll have a case of horse hysteria on my hands for the next half hour. But follow. The whole problem is not yet stated. Suppose that I miss Maid and reach the intended target. The instant the lash cracks, the four horses jump, Prince most of all, and his jump, with spread wicked teeth, is for the back of Milda's neck. She jumps to escape--which is her second jump, for the first one came when the lash exploded. The Outlaw reaches for Maid's neck, and Maid, who has already jumped and tried to bolt, tries to bolt harder. And all this infinitesimal fraction of time I am trying to hold the four

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes:


The knights and the squires made two parties, these telling the story of their lives, the others the story of their loves; but the history relates first of all the conversation of the servants, and afterwards takes up that of the masters; and it says that, withdrawing a little from the others, he of the Grove said to Sancho, "A hard life it is we lead and live, senor, we that are squires to knights-errant; verily, we eat our bread in the sweat of our faces, which is one of the curses God laid on our first parents."

"It may be said, too," added Sancho, "that we eat it in the chill of

Don Quixote
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Complete Poems of Longfellow by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Oh, she's no Witch. I'll swear that Goodwife Corey Never did harm to any living creature. She's a good woman, if there ever was one.

GLOYD. Well, we shall see. As for that Bridget Bishop, She has been tried before; some years ago A negro testified he saw her shape Sitting upon the rafters in a barn, And holding in its hand an egg; and while He went to fetch his pitchfork, she had vanished. And now be quiet, will you? I am tired,

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 St. Ives by Robert Louis Stevenson:

more ingenious than the other thought for, and had propped up the weapon in the ground and fallen on the point - 'just like Nebuchadnezzar,' he added, winking to the assistants. The doctor, who was a little, spruce, ruddy man of an impatient temper, pished and pshawed and swore over his patient. 'Nothing to be made of him!' he cried. 'A perfect heathen. If we could only find the weapon!' But the weapon had ceased to exist. A little resined twine was perhaps blowing about in the castle gutters; some bits of broken stick may have trailed in corners; and behold, in the pleasant air of the morning, a dandy prisoner trimming his nails with a pair of scissors!