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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 The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin:

lover of poetry, reading all he could meet with, and writing some that was tolerable; very ingenious in many little Nicknackeries, and of sensible conversation.

Thomas Godfrey, a self-taught mathematician, great in his way, and afterward inventor of what is now called Hadley's Quadrant. But he knew little out of his way, and was not a pleasing companion; as, like most great mathematicians I have met with, he expected universal precision in everything said, or was for ever denying or distinguishing upon trifles, to the disturbance of all conversation. He soon left us.

Nicholas Scull, a surveyor, afterwards surveyor-general,


The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Rescue by Joseph Conrad:

these, three were passed in observing each other without a question being asked or a hint given as to the object in view. Lingard lounged on the fine mats with which the chief had furnished a small bamboo house outside a fortified enclosure, where a white flag with a green border fluttered on a high and slender pole but still below the walls of long, high-roofed buildings, raised forty feet or more on hard-wood posts.

Far away the inland forests were tinted a shimmering blue, like the forests of a dream. On the seaward side the belt of great trunks and matted undergrowth came to the western shore of the oval lagoon; and in the pure freshness of the air the groups of


The Rescue
The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Secret Places of the Heart by H. G. Wells:

woods and dwindle away before the new peoples that came into the land across the southern sea? I can't remember. . . . "

Sir Richmond turned about. "I would like to dig up the bottom of this ditch here foot by foot--and dry the stuff and sift it--very carefully. . . . Then I might begin to remember things."

Section 5

In the evening, after a pleasant supper, they took a turn about the walls with the moon sinking over beyond Silbury, and then went in and sat by lamplight before a brightly fussy wood fire and smoked. There were long intervals of friendly