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Today's Stichomancy for Neal Stephenson

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson:

complete although unready sympathies, and fine, full, discriminative flow of language, fit him out to be the best of talkers; so perhaps he is with some, not quite with me - PROXIME ACCESSIT, I should say. He sings the praises of the earth and the arts, flowers and jewels, wine and music, in a moonlight, serenading manner, as to the light guitar; even wisdom comes from his tongue like singing; no one is, indeed, more tuneful in the upper notes. But even while he sings the song of the Sirens, he still hearkens to the barking of the Sphinx. Jarring Byronic notes interrupt the flow of his Horatian humours. His mirth has something of the tragedy of the world for its perpetual background;

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Marie by H. Rider Haggard:

"But now we are together once more and all is right, just as what your reverend father always said it would be with those who go to church on Sunday, like me when there was nothing else to do." And again he fell to kissing my foot.

"Hans," I said, "you saw the camp. Was the Missie Marie there?"

"Baas, how can I tell, who never went into it? But the wagon she slept in was not there; no, nor that of the Vrouw Prinsloo or of the Heer Meyer."

"Thank God!" I gasped, then added: "Where were you trying to get to, Hans, when you ran away from the camp?"

"Baas, I thought perhaps that the Missie and the Prinsloos and the


Marie
The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:

Cerizet to sound you as to a marriage--"

"Which I refused," interrupted la Peyrade, "and which I now refuse again, more vehemently than ever."

"That's the question," said the old man. "I think, on the contrary, that you will accept it; and it is to talk over this affair with you that I have so long desired a meeting."

"But this crazy girl that you are flinging at my head," said la Peyrade, "what is she to you? She can't be your daughter, or you would put more decency into your hunt for a husband."

"This young girl," replied du Portail, "is the daughter of one of my friends who died about ten years ago; at his death I took her to live