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  • An ass may bray a good while before he shakes the stars down.

  • There is no irritant as painful as an ace up your sleeve that you can never use; it's the kind of thing that causes oysters to produce pearls.

  • You can keep on chewing gum for ten hours, but after about a minute and a half you've got all the good out of it.

    • Twyla Tharp,
    • in Barbara McDowell and Hana Umlauf, Woman's Almanac ()
  • Wisdom never kicks at the iron walls it can't bring down.

  • How long do I try to get water from a stone? / It's like having a bad boyfriend in a good band.

  • She can't win if she's not at the table ...

  • Alas! why were we born to woe and bliss / If life had no more need of us than this?

  • He saw lying behind him the whole futility of his life; it seemed to him now like a mumbled string of meaningless prayers, a foolish litany which ended in the priest falling asleep.

  • You can't make soufflé rise twice.

  • ... you must not use wood to put out the fire.

  • Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.

    • Coco Chanel,
    • in Karen Karbo, The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons From the World's Most Elegant Woman ()