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Today's Stichomancy for David Letterman

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Island Nights' Entertainments by Robert Louis Stevenson:

world with him.

At the corner, by the old calaboose, there was the boatswain waiting.

"My wife has the bottle," said Keawe, "and, unless you help me to recover it, there can be no more money and no more liquor to- night."

"You do not mean to say you are serious about that bottle?" cried the boatswain.

"There is the lamp," said Keawe. "Do I look as if I was jesting?"

"That is so," said the boatswain. "You look as serious as a ghost."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum:

her mag-ic pic-ture, and knew you were com-ing here; so she sent Bil-lin-a and me to wel-come you as she could not come her-self; so that--fiz-i-dig-le cum-so-lut-ing hy-ber-gob-ble in-tu-zib-ick--"

"Good gracious! Whatever's the matter now?" cried Dorothy, as the copper man continued to babble these unmeaning words, which no one could understand at all because they had no sense.

"Don't know," said Button-Bright, who was half scared. Polly whirled away to a distance and turned to look at the copper man in a fright.

"His thoughts have run down, this time," remarked Billina composedly, as she sat on Tik-tok's shoulder and pruned her sleek feathers. "When he can't think, he can't talk properly, any more than you can. You'll


The Road to Oz
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Lesser Hippias by Plato:

HIPPIAS: To be sure.

SOCRATES: And the true differ from the false--the true and the false are the very opposite of each other?

HIPPIAS: That is my view.

SOCRATES: Then, according to your view, it would seem that the false are to be ranked in the class of the powerful and wise?

HIPPIAS: Assuredly.

SOCRATES: And when you say that the false are powerful and wise in so far as they are false, do you mean that they have or have not the power of uttering their falsehoods if they like?

HIPPIAS: I mean to say that they have the power.

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 She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith:

MARLOW. (Aside.) Egad, she has hit it, sure enough! (To her.) In awe of her, child? Ha! ha! ha! A mere awkward squinting thing; no, no. I find you don't know me. I laughed and rallied her a little; but I was unwilling to be too severe. No, I could not be too severe, curse me!

MISS HARDCASTLE. O! then, sir, you are a favourite, I find, among the ladies?

MARLOW. Yes, my dear, a great favourite. And yet hang me, I don't see what they find in me to follow. At the Ladies' Club in town I'm called their agreeable Rattle. Rattle, child, is not my real name, but one I'm known by. My name is Solomons; Mr. Solomons, my dear, at your


She Stoops to Conquer