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contrivance
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Proverbs, aphorisms, quotations (English) by Linux fortune

Johnson's First Law:
        When any mechanical contrivance fails, it will do so at the
        most inconvenient possible time.
Her days were spent in a kind of slow bustle; always busy without getting
on, always behind hand and lamenting it, without altering her ways;
wishing to be an economist, without contrivance or regularity; dissatisfied
with her servants, without skill to make them better, and whether helping, or
reprimanding, or indulging them, without any power of engaging their respect.
                -- J. Austen
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