Today's Stichomancy for Ludwig Wittgenstein
|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Richard III by William Shakespeare:
If not to bless us and the land withal,
Yet to draw forth your noble ancestry
From the corruption of abusing times
Unto a lineal true-derived course.
MAYOR. Do, good my lord; your citizens entreat you.
BUCKINGHAM. Refuse not, mighty lord, this proffer'd love.
CATESBY. O, make them joyful, grant their lawful suit!
GLOUCESTER. Alas, why would you heap this care on me?
I am unfit for state and majesty.
I do beseech you, take it not amiss:
I cannot nor I will not yield to you.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sons of the Soil by Honore de Balzac:
a great part in the life of the peasantry, and is made by all grocers
and wine-dealers, and wherever a drinking-shop exists. This precious
liquor, made of choice wine, sugar, and cinnamon and other spices, is
preferable to all those disguises or mixtures of brandy called
ratafia, one-hundred-and-seven, brave man's cordial, black currant
wine, vespetro, spirit-of-sun, etc. Boiled wine is found throughout
France and Switzerland. Among the Jura, and in the wild districts
trodden only by a few special tourists, the innkeepers call it, on the
word of commercial travellers, the wine of Syracuse. Excellent it is,
however, and their guests, hungry as hounds after ascending the
surrounding peaks, very gladly pay three and four francs a bottle for
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas:
Nothing had stirred in D'Artagnan's apartment. The valet
placed on watch at the door had neither seen any light, nor
heard any noise. Aramis closed his door carefully, sent the
lackey to bed, and quickly sought his own. D'Artagnan really
suspected nothing, therefore thought he had gained
everything, when he awoke in the morning, about halfpast
four. He ran to the window in his shirt. The window looked
out upon the court. Day was dawning. The court was deserted;
the fowls, even, had not left their roosts. Not a servant
appeared. Every door was closed.
"Good! all is still," said D'Artagnan to himself. "Never
Ten Years Later
|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 Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:
blacks shoving, pushing one another, and the chaffering and
swearing at the stalls. Somehow, the sound, more than anything
else had done, wakened him up,--made the whole real to him. He
was done with the world and the business of it. He let the tin
fall, and looked out, pressing his face close to the rusty bars.
How they crowded and pushed! And he,--he should never walk that
pavement again! There came Neff Sanders, one of the feeders at
the mill, with a basket on his arm. Sure enough, Nyeff was
married the other week. He whistled, hoping he would look up;
but he did not. He wondered if Neff remembered he was there,--
if any of the boys thought of him up there, and thought that he
Life in the Iron-Mills