|The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:
AIM, n. The task we set our wishes to.
"Cheer up! Have you no aim in life?"
She tenderly inquired.
"An aim? Well, no, I haven't, wife;
The fact is -- I have fired."
AIR, n. A nutritious substance supplied by a bountiful Providence for
the fattening of the poor.
ALDERMAN, n. An ingenious criminal who covers his secret thieving
with a pretence of open marauding.
ALIEN, n. An American sovereign in his probationary state.
The Devil's Dictionary
|The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Phaedo by Plato:
considering that a poet, if he is really to be a poet, should not only put
together words, but should invent stories, and that I have no invention, I
took some fables of Aesop, which I had ready at hand and which I knew--they
were the first I came upon--and turned them into verse. Tell this to
Evenus, Cebes, and bid him be of good cheer; say that I would have him come
after me if he be a wise man, and not tarry; and that to-day I am likely to
be going, for the Athenians say that I must.
Simmias said: What a message for such a man! having been a frequent
companion of his I should say that, as far as I know him, he will never
take your advice unless he is obliged.
Why, said Socrates,--is not Evenus a philosopher?
|The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Modeste Mignon by Honore de Balzac:
to see if any one could overhear him either from the terrace above or
the path beneath, and when he spoke he lowered his voice as a further
"Exupere," he said to his son, "you must try to carry out
intelligently a little manoeuvre which I shall explain to you, but you
are not to ask the meaning of it; and if you guess the meaning I
command you to toss it into that Styx which every lawyer and every man
who expects to have a hand in the government of his country is bound
to keep within him for the secrets of others. After you have paid your
respects and compliments to Madame and Mademoiselle Mignon, to
Monsieur and Madame Dumay, and to Monsieur Gobenheim if he is at the