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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 Vicar of Tours by Honore de Balzac:

it was very evident that Birotteau never intended to give Mademoiselle Gamard such an enormous sum of money for the small amount he might owe her under the terms of the deed; therefore he had, legally speaking, equitable grounds on which to demand an amendment of the agreement; if this were denied, Mademoiselle Gamard was plainly guilty of intentional fraud. The Radical lawyer accordingly began the affair by serving a writ on Mademoiselle Gamard. Though very harsh in language, this document, strengthened by citations of precedents and supported by certain clauses in the Code, was a masterpiece of legal argument, and so evidently just in its condemnation of the old maid that thirty or forty copies were made and maliciously distributed through the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Prufrock/Other Observations by T. S. Eliot:

No I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; Am an attendant lord, one that will do To swell a progress, start a scene or two, Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool, Deferential, glad to be of use, Politic, cautious, and meticulous; Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse; At times, indeed, almost ridiculous-- Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old ... I grow old ... I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.


Prufrock/Other Observations
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:

moment of frenzy he seized the woman and carried her to a sort of boudoir which opened from the salon, and toward which he had more than once turned his eyes. The Italian was armed with a dagger.

" 'If you come hear me,' she said, 'I shall be compelled to plunge this blade into your heart. Go! you would despise me. I have conceived too great a respect for your character to abandon myself to you thus. I do not choose to destroy the sentiment with which you honor me.'

" 'Ah!' said Sarrasine, 'to stimulate a passion is a poor way to extinguish it! Are you already so corrupt that, being old in heart, you act like a young prostitute who inflames the emotions in which she trades?'

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 Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen:

me, but I will willingly say THOU to you, so it is half done!"

So the shadow said THOU to its former master.

"This is rather too bad," thought he, "that I must say YOU and he say THOU," but he was now obliged to put up with it.

So they came to a watering-place where there were many strangers, and amongst them was a princess, who was troubled with seeing too well; and that was so alarming!

She directly observed that the stranger who had just come was quite a different sort of person to all the others; "He has come here in order to get his beard to grow, they say, but I see the real cause, he cannot cast a shadow."


Fairy Tales