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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 Edition of The Ambassadors by Henry James:

myself," he then went on; "I've really, within the last half-hour, got hold of it. I understand it in short at last; which at first-- when you originally spoke to me--I didn't. Nor when Chad originally spoke to me either."

"Oh," said little Bilham, "I don't think that at that time you believed me."

"Yes--I did; and I believed Chad too. It would have been odious and unmannerly--as well as quite perverse--if I hadn't. What interest have you in deceiving me?"

The young man cast about. "What interest have I?"

"Yes. Chad MIGHT have. But you?"

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson:

O the smooth stream!

Sailing blossoms, silver fishes, Pave pools as clear as air-- How a child wishes To live down there!

We can see our colored faces Floating on the shaken pool Down in cool places, Dim and very cool;

Till a wind or water wrinkle, Dipping marten, plumping trout,

A Child's Garden of Verses
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Statesman by Plato:

portion of servile or ministerial science, and are thought to be the interpreters of the gods to men.


STRANGER: There is also the priestly class, who, as the law declares, know how to give the gods gifts from men in the form of sacrifices which are acceptable to them, and to ask on our behalf blessings in return from them. Now both these are branches of the servile or ministerial art.

YOUNG SOCRATES: Yes, clearly.

STRANGER: And here I think that we seem to be getting on the right track; for the priest and the diviner are swollen with pride and prerogative, and they create an awful impression of themselves by the magnitude of their

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 Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom by William and Ellen Craft:

more--I thought they had found him out; so I anxiously inquired what was the matter. The guard said, "He thinks you have run away from him." This made me feel quite at ease. I said, "No, sir; I am satisfied my good master doesn't think that." So off I started to see him. He had been fearfully nervous, but on seeing me he at once felt much better. He merely wished to know what had become of me.

On returning to my seat, I found the conductor and two or three other persons amusing themselves

Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom