|The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The Hated Son by Honore de Balzac:
gaiety to sadness.
The chamber was one of those which, to this day octogenarian porters
of old chateaus point out to visitors as "the state bedroom where
Louis XIII. once slept." Fine pictures, mostly brown in tone, were
framed in walnut, the delicate carvings of which were blackened by
time. The rafters of the ceiling formed compartments adorned with
arabesques in the style of the preceding century, which preserved the
colors of the chestnut wood. These decorations, severe in tone,
reflected the light so little that it was difficult to see their
designs, even when the sun shone full into that long and wide and
lofty chamber. The silver lamp, placed upon the mantel of the vast
|The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce:
would soil your shoes and stockings."
"Oh, that is of no importance, really," replied the Rich Woman,
with a cheerful smile.
"But, madam, it is needless; from the wharf to the hotel, as you
observe, extends an unbroken line of prostrate newspaper men who
crave the honour of having you walk upon them."
"In that case," she said, seating herself in a doorway and
unlocking her satchel, "I shall have to put on my rubber boots."
Two in Trouble
MEETING a fat and patriotic Statesman on his way to Washington to
beseech the President for an office, an idle Tramp accosted him and
|The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Enemies of Books by William Blades:
of his name, or upon whom the bibliographical mantle had descended.
His post, it seemed, was honorary and a sinecure, being imposed,
as a rule, upon the youngest "Fellow." No one cared
for the appointment, and as a matter of course the keys
of office had but distant acquaintance with the lock.
At last I was rewarded with success, and politely, but mutely,
conducted by the librarian into his kingdom of dust and silence.
The dark portraits of past benefactors looked after us from
their dusty old frames in dim astonishment as we passed,
evidently wondering whether we meant "work"; book-decay--
that peculiar flavour which haunts certain libraries--