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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 The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

kept something back. That's true, isn't it?"

"There were details," he said uncomfortably. "It wasn't necessary -"

"Here's what I want to know. If he has gone back to the time - you know, wouldn't he go back to caring for the people he loved then?" Then, suddenly, her childish appeal ceased, and she slid from the chair and stood before him. "I must know, father. I can bear it. The thing you have been keeping from me was another woman, wasn't it?"

"It was so long ago," he temporized. "Think of it, Elizabeth. A boy of twenty-one or so."

"Then there was?"

"I believe so, at one time. But I know positively that he hadn't


The Breaking Point
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An Old Maid by Honore de Balzac:

to Mademoiselle Armande, sister of the most distinguished noble in the town; to which offer he received a refusal. He consoled himself as best he could in the society of a dozen rich families, former manufacturers of the old point d'Alencon, owners of pastures and cattle, or merchants doing a wholesale business in linen, among whom, as he hoped, he might find a wealthy wife. In fact, all his hopes now converged to the perspective of a fortunate marriage. He was not without a certain financial ability, which many persons used to their profit. Like a ruined gambler who advises neophytes, he pointed out enterprises and speculations, together with the means and chances of conducting them. He was thought a good administrator, and it was often

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Beauty and The Beast by Bayard Taylor:

Prince Alexis howled with rage and disappointment.

"The Devil take you, for a pack of whimpering hounds!" he cried. "Holy Saints! they are afraid to make a reisak!"

Ivan crossed himself and sprang. He cleared the rocks, but, instead of bursting through the ice with his head, fell at full length upon his back.

"O knave!" yelled the Prince,--"not to know where his head is! Thinks it's his back! Give him fifteen stripes."

Which was instantly done.

The second attempt was partially successful. One of the hunters broke through the ice, head foremost, going down, but he failed to

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 Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbot:

Instead of its being sufficient to feel, or estimate by sight, a single angle in order to determine the form of an individual, it would be necessary to ascertain each angle by the experiment of Feeling. But life would be too short for such a tedious grouping. The whole science and art of Sight Recognition would at once perish; Feeling, so far as it is an art, would not long survive; intercourse would become perilous or impossible; there would be an end to all confidence, all forethought; no one would be safe in making the most simple social arrangements; in a word, civilization would relapse into barbarism.

Am I going too fast to carry my Readers with me to these


Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions