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Today's Stichomancy for Matt Damon

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:

open for the reception of the homeless. Neither legal aid nor material assistance in the prosecution of the suit was ever wanting. X, on his side, went about shedding tears publicly over his stepchildren's ingratitude and his wife's blind infatuation; but as at the same time he displayed great cleverness in the art of concealing material documents (he was even suspected of having burned a lot of historically interesting family papers) this scandalous litigation had to be ended by a compromise lest worse should befall. It was settled finally by a surrender, out of the disputed estate, in full satisfaction of all claims, of two villages with the names of which I do not intend to trouble my


A Personal Record
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Alcibiades I by Plato:

ALCIBIADES: Impossible.

SOCRATES: Then you or any one who means to govern and superintend, not only himself and the things of himself, but the state and the things of the state, must in the first place acquire virtue.

ALCIBIADES: That is true.

SOCRATES: You have not therefore to obtain power or authority, in order to enable you to do what you wish for yourself and the state, but justice and wisdom.

ALCIBIADES: Clearly.

SOCRATES: You and the state, if you act wisely and justly, will act according to the will of God?

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Symposium by Xenophon:

In spite of which (retorted Critobulus), I am not for drawing back.[2] I am ready; so come on, and if you have any subtle argument to prove that you are handsomer than I am, now's your time, instruct us. But just stop one minute; have the goodness, please, to bring the lamp a little closer.

[2] Or, "I do; but all the same, I am not for shirking." Cf. Aristoph. "Frogs," 860, {etiomos eum egoge, kouk anaduomai, daknein}: "I'm up to it; I am resolved" (Frere); Dem. "de F. Leg." 406 20: "His resolution never reached that point, but shrank back, for his conscience checked it" (Kennedy).

Soc. Well then, I call upon you first of all, as party to this suit,


The Symposium
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 A Straight Deal by Owen Wister:

country--oh, more than half!--in different or incredulous, nothing prepared, nothing done, no step taken, Theodore Roosevelt's and Leonard Wood's almost the only voices warning us what was bound to happen, and to get ready for it? Do you remember the bulletin boards? Did you grow, as I did, so restless that you would step out of your office to see if anything new had happened during the last sixty minutes--would stop as you went to lunch and stop as you came back? We knew from the faces of our friends what our own faces were like. In company we pumped up liveliness, but in the street, alone with our apprehensions--do you remember? For our future's sake may everybody remember, may nobody forget!