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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 Lady Susan by Jane Austen:

for the conclusion of my marriage, nor look forward with much impatience to the time when Reginald, according to our agreement, is to be in town. I shall probably put off his arrival under some pretence or other. He must not come till Mainwaring is gone. I am still doubtful at times as to marrying; if the old man would die I might not hesitate, but a state of dependance on the caprice of Sir Reginald will not suit the freedom of my spirit; and if I resolve to wait for that event, I shall have excuse enough at present in having been scarcely ten months a widow. I have not given Mainwaring any hint of my intention, or allowed him to consider my acquaintance with Reginald as more than the commonest flirtation, and he is tolerably appeased. Adieu, till we meet; I am enchanted with my lodgings.


Lady Susan
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:

or of all men is one and yet infinite.

PROTARCHUS: Very true.

SOCRATES: And yet not by knowing either that sound is one or that sound is infinite are we perfect in the art of speech, but the knowledge of the number and nature of sounds is what makes a man a grammarian.

PROTARCHUS: Very true.

SOCRATES: And the knowledge which makes a man a musician is of the same kind.

PROTARCHUS: How so?

SOCRATES: Sound is one in music as well as in grammar?

PROTARCHUS: Certainly.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The United States Constitution:

and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use


The United States Constitution
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 Malbone: An Oldport Romance by Thomas Wentworth Higginson:

impossible. She only grew credulous and absorbed and blind. A kind of gentle obstinacy, too, developed itself in her nature, and all suggestion of defects in him fell off from her as from a marble image of Faith. If he said or did anything, there was no appeal; that was settled, let us pass to something else.

I almost blush to admit that Aunt Jane--of whom it could by no means be asserted that she was a saintly lady, but only a very charming one--rather rejoiced in this transformation.

"I like it better, my dear," she said, with her usual frankness, to Kate. "Hope was altogether too heavenly for my style. When she first came here, I secretly thought I never