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Today's Stichomancy for Stephen Colbert

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from On Revenues by Xenophon:

Incidentally the state itself would benefit by this exemption, if the citizens were more in the habit of campaigning with one another, rather than[6] shoulder to shoulder with Lydians, Phrygians, Syrians, and barbarians from all quarters of the world, who form the staple of our resident alien class. Besides the advantage [of so weeding the ranks],[7] it would add a positive lustre to our city, were it admitted that the men of Athens, her sons, have reliance on themselves rather than on foreigners to fight her battles. And further, supposing we offered our resident aliens a share in various other honourable duties, including the cavalry service,[8] I shall be surprised if we do not increase the goodwill of the aliens themselves, whilst at the

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:

have looked at the first electric-eel that was ever brought to him,--a fish armed with the power of a Leyden jar, which is the greatest curiosity of the animal kingdom. After inhaling the incense of his triumph, Cesar got into the coach to go to his own home, where the marriage contract of his dear Cesarine and the devoted Popinot was ready for signature. His nervous laugh disturbed the minds of the three old friends.

It is a fault of youth to think the whole world vigorous with its own vigor,--a fault derived from its virtues. Youth sees neither men nor things through spectacles; it colors all with the reflex glory of its ardent fires, and casts the superabundance of its own life upon the


Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Chance by Joseph Conrad:

figure going away, limping. Why limping? I don't know. That's how I see it. One has a notion of a maiming, crippling process; of the individual coming back damaged in some subtle way. I admit it is a fantastic hallucination, but I can't help it. Of course I know that the proceedings of the best machine-made humanity are employed with judicious care and so on. I am absurd, no doubt, but still . . . Oh yes it's idiotic. When I pass one of these places . . . did you notice that there is something infernal about the aspect of every individual stone or brick of them, something malicious as if matter were enjoying its revenge of the contemptuous spirit of man. Did you notice? You didn't? Eh? Well I am perhaps a little mad on


Chance