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Today's Stichomancy for Richard Wilhelm

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare:

Whereat amaz'd, as one that unaware Hath dropp'd a precious jewel in the flood, 824 Or 'stonish'd as night-wanderers often are, Their light blown out in some mistrustful wood; Even so confounded in the dark she lay, Having lost the fair discovery of her way. 828

And now she beats her heart, whereat it groans, That all the neighbour caves, as seeming troubled, Make verbal repetition of her moans; Passion on passion deeply is redoubled: 832 'Ay me!' she cries, and twenty times, 'Woe, woe!'

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Three Taverns by Edwin Arlington Robinson:

Home, friends, and honors, -- I that have lost all else For wisdom, and the wealth of it, say now To you that out of wisdom has come love, That measures and is of itself the measure Of works and hope and faith. Your longest hours Are not so long that you may torture them And harass not yourselves; and the last days Are on the way that you prepare for them, And was prepared for you, here in a world Where you have sinned and suffered, striven and seen. If you be not so hot for counting them

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary) by Dante Alighieri:

v. 120. A Salterello and Cianghella.] The latter a shameless woman of the family of Tosa, married to Lito degli Alidosi of Imola: the former Lapo Salterello, a lawyer, with whom Dante was at variance.

v. 125. Mary.] The Virgin was involved in the pains of child-birth Purgatory, Canto XX. 21.

v. 130 Valdipado.] Cacciaguida's wife, whose family name was Aldighieri; came from Ferrara, called Val di Pado, from its being watered by the Po.

v. 131. Conrad.] The Emperor Conrad III who died in 1152. See G. Villani, 1. iv. 34.


The Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary)