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Today's Stichomancy for Mark Twain

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Collected Articles by Frederick Douglass:

It was the custom in the State of Maryland to require the free colored people to have what were called free papers. These instruments they were required to renew very often, and by charging a fee for this writing, considerable sums from time to time were collected by the State. In these papers the name, age, color, height, and form of the freeman were described, together with any scars or other marks upon his person which could assist in his identification. This device in some measure defeated itself--since more than one man could be found to answer the same general description. Hence many slaves could escape by personating the owner of one set of papers; and this was often done

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Eve and David by Honore de Balzac:

yourself, madame; he is living."

Eve turned to the vinegrower.

"Father," she said, "perhaps you will be good enough to go to my mother; she must hear all that this gentleman has to tell us of Lucien."

The old man went in search of Mme. Chardon, and addressed her in this wise:

"Go and have it out with the Abbe Marron; he is a good sort, priest though he is. Dinner will be late, no doubt. I shall come back again in an hour," and the old man went out. Insensible as he was to everything but the clink of money and the glitter of gold, he left

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Before Adam by Jack London:

laughed and pelted him with twigs and the ends of branches.

This tiger-baiting was common sport among the folk. Sometimes half the horde would follow from overhead a tiger or lion that had ventured out in the daytime. It was our revenge; for more than one member of the horde, caught unexpectedly, had gone the way of the tiger's belly or the lion's. Also, by such ordeals of helplessness and shame, we taught the hunting animals to some extent to keep out of our territory. And then it was funny. It was a great game.