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Essence

  • You cannot keep a squirrel on the ground ...

  • The Arabian horse will not plough well, nor can the plough-horse be rode to play the jereed.

  • With him for a sire and her for a dam, / What should I be but just what I am?

  • A snake will always be a snake, even if you put a chain around its neck and try to make it walk upright.

  • ... cats will be clean in a pigsty while pigs will be dirty in a marble hall.

  • People and dogs and cows are born to be what they are. They may cover it up for a long time, but it will come out sooner or later.

  • Nature forms us in a certain manner, both inwardly and outwardly, and it is in vain to attempt to alter it.

    • Lady Hester Stanhope,
    • c. 1800, in Duchess of Cleveland, The Life and Letters of Lady Hester Stanhope ()
  • Wood may remain twenty years in the water, but it is still not a fish.

  • The hostess as usual acted like a fool, but what can you expect of a pig, but a grunt!

  • You can't get tender shoots from a rotten bamboo stalk.