The weakest of all weak things is a virtue which has not been tested in the fire.
(Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. 1899. The aggrieved stranger, in "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg," p. 426, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, & Essays, 1891-1910, Library of America (1992).)
The thornbush is the old obstacle in the road. It must catch fire if you want to go further.
(Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, November 18, 1917. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).)
I've fired my last shot. I think I should have another round in my belt.
(Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. William Leutchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: 1932-1940, p. 292, Harper & Row (1963).
This is what the President told a group of Senators when he was attempting to get the arms embargo legislation repealed. He wished to use the ability of the United States to produce weapons to provide defensive armaments to the European nations threatened by the Axis powers. His appeal fell on deaf ears as they did not believe there would be a war. Six weeks later Hitler attacked Poland.)