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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 All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare:

HELENA. What's his name?

DIANA. Monsieur Parolles.

HELENA. O, I believe with him, In argument of praise, or to the worth Of the great count himself, she is too mean To have her name repeated; all her deserving Is a reserved honesty, and that I have not heard examin'd.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Out of Time's Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

the black tube and began a hurried descent toward the river. An instant later he stood waist deep in water beside the girl. Impulsively she reached toward him and grasped his arm. A strange thrill ran through him at the contact; but he only cut the rope from about her body and lifted her to the little shelf at the river's side.

"How can we leave here?" she asked.

"By the river," he replied; "but first I must go back to the Blue Place of Seven Skulls and get the poor devil I left there. I'll have to wait until after dark, though, as I cannot pass through the open stretch of river in the temple gardens by day."


Out of Time's Abyss
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Human Drift by Jack London:

For an immense period of time China's population has remained at 400,000,000--the saturation point. The only reason that the Yellow River periodically drowns millions of Chinese is that there is no other land for those millions to farm. And after every such catastrophe the wave of human life rolls up and now millions flood out upon that precarious territory. They are driven to it, because they are pressed remorselessly against subsistence. It is inevitable that China, sooner or later, like Japan, will learn and put into application our own superior food-getting efficiency. And when that time comes, it is likewise inevitable that her population will increase by unguessed millions until it again

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 The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane:

be derided.

In regard to his companions his mind wa- vered between two opinions, according to his mood. Sometimes he inclined to believing them all heroes. In fact, he usually admitted in secret the superior development of the higher qualities in others. He could conceive of men going very insignificantly about the world bearing a load of courage unseen, and although he had known many of his comrades through boyhood, he be- gan to fear that his judgment of them had been


The Red Badge of Courage