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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 Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:

But I'll keep my temper, and proceed in the narration.

I could not stir out of doors for the space of three months after this, but presently one comes up to me in the street; Mr Partridge, that coffin you was last buried in I have not been yet paid for: Doctor, cries another dog, How d'ye think people can live by making of graves for nothing? Next time you die, you may e'en toll out the bell yourself for Ned. A third rogue tips me by the elbow, and wonders how I have the conscience to sneak abroad without paying my funeral expences. Lord, says one, I durst have swore that was honest Dr. Partridge, my old friend; but poor man, he is gone. I beg your pardon, says another, you look so like my

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Nana, Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille by Emile Zola:

noticed the fair-haired Labordette, comfortably installed in the Count de Vandeuvres's stage box and chatting at very close quarters with Blanche de Sivry.

"Gad," he said after rejoining his cousin, "that Labordette knows all the girls then! He's with Blanche now."

"Doubtless he knows them all," replied Fauchery quietly. "What d'you want to be taken for, my friend?"

The passage was somewhat cleared of people, and Fauchery was just about to go downstairs when Lucy Stewart called him. She was quite at the other end of the corridor, at the door of her stage box. They were getting cooked in there, she said, and she took up the

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Love and Friendship by Jane Austen:

that white Cottage." (replied she pointing to a neat Building which rose up amidst the grove of Elms and which I had not before observed--) I agreed and we instantly walked to it--we knocked at the door--it was opened by an old woman; on being requested to afford us a Night's Lodging, she informed us that her House was but small, that she had only two Bedrooms, but that However we should be wellcome to one of them. We were satisfied and followed the good woman into the House where we were greatly cheered by the sight of a comfortable fire--. She was a widow and had only one Daughter, who was then just seventeen--One of the best of ages; but alas! she was very plain and her name was


Love and Friendship
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 The Augsburg Confession by Philip Melanchthon:

of the living and the dead by the outward act justification comes of the work of Masses, and not of faith, which Scripture does not allow.

But Christ commands us, Luke 22, 19: This do in remembrance of Me; therefore the Mass was instituted that the faith of those who use the Sacrament should remember what benefits it receives through Christ, and cheer and comfort the anxious conscience. For to remember Christ is to remember His benefits, and to realize that they are truly offered unto us. Nor is it enough only to remember the history; for this also the Jews and the ungodly can remember. Wherefore the Mass is