|The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The Firm of Nucingen by Honore de Balzac:
grafting one affair upon another to make the gains pay for the losses.
He was always between wind and water, keeping himself afloat by his
bold, sudden strokes and the nervous energy of his play. Hither and
thither he would swim over the vast sea of interests in Paris, in
quest of some little isle that should be so far a debatable land that
he might abide upon it. Clearly Couture was not in his proper place.
As for the fourth and most malicious personage, his name will be
enough--it was Bixiou! Not (alas!) the Bixiou of 1825, but the Bixiou
of 1836, a misanthropic buffoon, acknowledged supreme, by reason of
his energetic and caustic wit; a very fiend let loose now that he saw
how he had squandered his intellect in pure waste; a Bixiou vexed by
|The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Twilight Land by Howard Pyle:
popped the feather cap into one pocket and the round stone into
another, and shouldering his musket marched away until he reached
the town-gate, and there was the old man waiting for him.
"Did you shoot the bird?" said he.
"I did," said the soldier.
"And did you get the cap and the round stone?"
"Then here is your dollar."
"Wait a bit," said the soldier, "I shot greater game that time
than I bargained for, and so it's ten dollars and not one you
shall pay me before you lay finger upon the feather cap and the
|The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Deputy of Arcis by Honore de Balzac:
irritating to Frederic Marest, his superior, because a biting wit
accompanied the rather undisciplined habits and manners of his young
subordinate. Frederic Marest, /procureur-du-roi/, a man about forty
years of age, who had spent six years of his life under the
Restoration in becoming a substitute only to be neglected and left in
Arcis by the government of July, in spite of the fact that he had some
eighteen thousand francs a year of his own, was perpetually kept on
the rack between the necessity of winning the good graces of young
Vinet's father--a touchy attorney-general who might become Keeper of
the Seals--and of keeping his own dignity.
Olivier Vinet, slender in figure, with a pallid face, lighted by a