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Today's Stichomancy for Stephen Colbert

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Vailima Prayers & Sabbath Morn by Robert Louis Stevenson:

constant to ourselves and our beloved.

FOR FRIENDS

FOR our absent loved ones we implore thy loving-kindness. Keep them in life, keep them in growing honour; and for us, grant that we remain worthy of their love. For Christ's sake, let not our beloved blush for us, nor we for them. Grant us but that, and grant us courage to endure lesser ills unshaken, and to accept death, loss, and disappointment as it were straws upon the tide of life.

FOR THE FAMILY

AID us, if it be thy will, in our concerns. Have mercy on this

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:

--a plump, full figure, finely shaped arms, rounded cheeks, and clear, pure eyes, lighted at this instant with flashes of despair. Below the throat, a firm, fair skin, not tanned by the sun, betrayed the presence of a white and rosy flesh where the form was hidden.

The married daughters wept; their husbands, patient farmers, were grave and serious. The three brothers, profoundly sad, did not raise their eyes from the ground. In the midst of this dreadful picture of dumb despair and desolation, Denise and her mother alone showed symptoms of revolt.

The other inhabitants of the village united in the affliction of this respectable family with a sincere and Christian pity which gave the

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates by Howard Pyle:

alone to rave away his life in madness, or to sit sunken in his gloomy despair till death mercifully released him from torment. It rarely if ever happened that anything was known of him after having been marooned. A boat's crew from some vessel, sailing by chance that way, might perhaps find a few chalky bones bleaching upon the white sand in the garish glare of the sunlight, but that was all. And such were marooners.

By far the largest number of pirate captains were Englishmen, for, from the days of good Queen Bess, English sea captains seemed to have a natural turn for any species of venture that had a smack of piracy in it, and from the great Admiral Drake of the


Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
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 Within the Tides by Joseph Conrad:

behind a ventilator and pulling the trigger till his revolver clicked, and then throwing it down to take the other in his right hand.

"He had been hearing in the din the Frenchman's infuriated yells 'TUEZ-LE! TUEZ-LE!' above the fierce cursing of the others. But though they fired at him they were only thinking of clearing out. In the flashes of the last shots Davidson saw them scrambling over the rail. That he had hit more than one he was certain. Two different voices had cried out in pain. But apparently none of them were disabled.

"Davidson leaned against the bulwark reloading his revolver without


Within the Tides