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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 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain:

could head off a company of travelers who would be rare customers for prophylactics and tooth-wash. With characteristic zeal Sir Madok had plunged away at once upon this quest, and after three hours of awful crosslot riding had overhauled his game. And behold, it was the five patriarchs that had been released from the dungeons the evening before! Poor old creatures, it was all of twenty years since any one of them had known what it was to be equipped with any remaining snag or remnant of a tooth.

"Blank-blank-blank him," said Sir Madok, "an I


A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Travels of Sir John Mandeville by Sir John Mandeville:

of mare's milk. And men put a mare beside him with her foal, and an horse saddled and bridled. And they lay upon the horse gold and silver, great quantity. And they put about him great plenty of straw. And then men make a great pit and a large, and with the tent and all these other things they put him in earth. And they say that when he shall come into another world, he shall not be without an house, ne without horse, ne without gold and silver; and the mare shall give him milk, and bring him forth more horses till he be well stored in the tother world. For they trow that after their death they shall be eating and drinking in that other world, and solacing them with their wives, as they did here.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

"It would save you from slavery, for one thing, and you could enjoy all the fine things of Oz people have."

"Beasts wouldn't know what to do with the things people use," said the Gray Ape.

"But this is only part of my plan," insisted the Nome. "Listen to the rest of it. We two Li-Mon-Eags are powerful magicians. When you have conquered the Oz people we will transform them all into beasts, and send them to the forests to live, and we will transform all the beasts into people, so they can enjoy all the wonderful delights of the Emerald City."

For a moment no beast spoke. Then the King said: "Prove it."


The Magic of Oz
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 Gambara by Honore de Balzac:

that his eyes were moist. The Neapolitan cook was startled by the magnetic influence of the ideas expressed by Gambara's convulsive accents.

The composer looked round, saw the group, and smiled.

"At last you understand me!" said he.

No conqueror, led in pomp to the Capitol under the purple beams of glory, as the crown was placed on his head amid the acclamations of a nation, ever wore such an expression. The composer's face was radiant, like that of a holy martyr. No one dispelled the error. A terrible smile parted Marianna's lips. The Count was appalled by the guilelessness of this mania.


Gambara