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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 Nana, Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille by Emile Zola:

back in their seats and applauded.

"That's it! Well done! Bravo!"

Nana, in the meantime, seeing the house laughing, began to laugh herself. The gaiety of all redoubled itself. She was an amusing creature, all the same, was that fine girl! Her laughter made a love of a little dimple appear in her chin. She stood there waiting, not bored in the least, familiar with her audience, falling into step with them at once, as though she herself were admitting with a wink that she had not two farthings' worth of talent but that it did not matter at all, that, in fact, she had other good points. And then after having made a sign to the conductor which plainly

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Copy-Cat & Other Stories by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:

boys," said Aunt Janet, reflectively.

"No, ma'am," said Johnny. He finished winding the watch, and gave, as was the custom, the key to Aunt Janet, lest he lose it.

"I will see if I cannot find some books of travels for you, John," said Janet. "I think travels would be good reading for a boy. Good night, John."

"Good night. Aunt Janet," replied Johnny. His aunt never kissed him good night, which was one reason why he liked her.

On his way to bed he had to pass his mother's room,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter:

other and more little mice, who hopped away down off the dresser and under the wainscot.

The tailor sat down, close over the fire, lamenting: "One-and-twenty buttonholes of cherry-coloured silk! To be finished by noon of Saturday: and this is Tuesday evening. Was it right to let loose those mice, undoubtedly the property of Simpkin? Alack, I am undone, for I have no

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 Philebus by Plato:

greatly fostered and strengthened. So far from being inconsistent with religion, the greatest happiness principle is in the highest degree agreeable to it. For what can be more reasonable than that God should will the happiness of all his creatures? and in working out their happiness we may be said to be 'working together with him.' Nor is it inconceivable that a new enthusiasm of the future, far stronger than any old religion, may be based upon such a conception.

But then for the familiar phrase of the 'greatest happiness principle,' it seems as if we ought now to read 'the noblest happiness principle,' 'the happiness of others principle'--the principle not of the greatest, but of the highest pleasure, pursued with no more regard to our own immediate