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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 Princess by Alfred Tennyson:

Veneered with sanctimonious theory. But while they talked, above their heads I saw The feudal warrior lady-clad; which brought My book to mind: and opening this I read Of old Sir Ralph a page or two that rang With tilt and tourney; then the tale of her That drove her foes with slaughter from her walls, And much I praised her nobleness, and 'Where,' Asked Walter, patting Lilia's head (she lay Beside him) 'lives there such a woman now?'

Quick answered Lilia 'There are thousands now

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain:

worked him Sundays and all; he was going, Sundays, the same as week days, and it was no use to waste the power. These shirts cost me nothing but just the mere trifle for the materials -- I furnished those myself, it would not have been right to make him do that -- and they sold like smoke to pilgrims at a dollar and a half apiece, which was the price of fifty cows or a blooded race horse in Arthurdom. They were regarded as a perfect protection against sin, and advertised as such by my knights everywhere, with the paint-pot and stencil-plate; insomuch that there was not a cliff or a

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton:

never was. Along those sultry velvet-carpeted halls, in that great flowered and scented dining-room, there was always a come- and-go of rich aimless people, the busy people who, having nothing to do, perpetually pursue their inexorable task from one end of the earth to the other.

Oh, the monotony of those faces--the faces one always knew, whether one knew the people they belonged to or not! A fresh disgust seized her at the sight of them: she wavered, and then turned and fled. But on the threshold a still more familiar figure met her: that of a lady in exaggerated pearls and sables, descending from an exaggerated motor, like the motors in

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 Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:

remitted, and I'll answer for a hundred thousand bottles in six months. I'll attack apothecaries, grocers, perfumers! Give 'em forty per cent, and they'll bamboozle the public."

The three young fellows devoured their dinner like lions, and drank like lords to the future success of Cephalic Oil.

"The oil is getting into my head," said Finot.

Gaudissart poured out a series of jokes and puns upon hats and heads, and hair and hair-oil, etc. In the midst of Homeric laughter a knock resounded, and was heard, in spite of an uproar of toasts and reciprocal congratulations.

"It is my uncle!" cried Popinot. "He has actually come to see me."

Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau