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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 The Republic by Plato:

but is denoted by the general term appetitive, from the extraordinary strength and vehemence of the desires of eating and drinking and the other sensual appetites which are the main elements of it; also money-loving, because such desires are generally satisfied by the help of money.

That is true, he said.

If we were to say that the loves and pleasures of this third part were concerned with gain, we should then be able to fall back on a single notion; and might truly and intelligibly describe this part of the soul as loving gain or money.

I agree with you.

Again, is not the passionate element wholly set on ruling and conquering


The Republic
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An Episode Under the Terror by Honore de Balzac:

customer by way of finishing her question.

The pastry-cook could only see the old lady's head-dress, a huge black silk bonnet with knots of violet ribbon round it, but he looked at his wife as if to say, "Did you think I should leave such a thing as that lying about in your drawer?" and then vanished.

The old lady kept so still and silent that the shopkeeper's wife was surprised. She went back to her, and on a nearer view a sudden impulse of pity, blended perhaps with curiosity, got the better of her. The old lady's face was naturally pale; she looked as though she secretly practised austerities; but it was easy to see that she was paler than usual from recent agitation of some kind. Her head-dress was so

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Country Doctor by Honore de Balzac:

a good few of them were doing nothing, and sat with their heads strained forward, and their eyes fixed on an old peasant who was telling a story. The men were standing about for the most part, or lying at full length on the trusses of hay. Every group was absolutely silent. Their faces were barely visible by the flickering gleams of the candles by which the women were working, although each candle was surrounded by a glass globe filled with water, in order to concentrate the light. The thick darkness and shadow that filled the roof and all the upper part of the barn seemed still further to diminish the light that fell here and there upon the workers' heads with such picturesque effects of light and shade. Here, it shone full upon the bright

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 Daughter of Eve by Honore de Balzac:

it,--preaching by example. When the countess asked naively, in a small and select circle of these friends, what difference there was between a lover and a husband, all those who wished evil to Felix took care to reply in a way to pique her curiosity, or fire her imagination, or touch her heart, or interest her mind.

"Oh! my dear, we vegetate with a husband, but we live with a lover," said her sister-in-law, the marquise.

"Marriage, my dear, is our purgatory; love is paradise," said Lady Dudley.

"Don't believe her," cried Mademoiselle des Touches; "it is hell."

"But a hell we like," remarked Madame de Rochefide. "There is often