Impossibility

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Impossibility

See also Unattainability.
belling the cat
mouse’s proposal for warning of cat’s approach; application fatal. [Gk. Lit.: Aesop’s Fables]
east and west
since one direction is relative to the other, “never the twain shall meet.” [Pop. Usage: Misc.]
leopard’s spots
beast powerless to change them. [O.T.: Jeremiah 13:23]
References in classic literature ?
In general, the impossible must be justified by reference to artistic requirements, or to the higher reality, or to received opinion.
Things are censured either as impossible, or irrational, or morally hurtful, or contradictory, or contrary to artistic correctness.
Pygmalion Higgins is not a portrait of Sweet, to whom the adventure of Eliza Doolittle would have been impossible; still, as will be seen, there are touches of Sweet in the play.
Finally, and for the encouragement of people troubled with accents that cut them off from all high employment, I may add that the change wrought by Professor Higgins in the flower girl is neither impossible nor uncommon.
And if it is impossible, well, haven't I achieved it?"
Yet as you said yourself, it was impossible for me to go away, so I had to stay.
The petitioner, the widow of a staff captain Kalinin, came with a request impossible and unreasonable; but Stepan Arkadyevitch, as he generally did, made her sit down, heard her to the end attentively without interrupting her, and gave her detailed advice as to how and to whom to apply, and even wrote her, in his large, sprawling, good and legible hand, a confident and fluent little note to a personage who might be of use to her.
"To go, or not to go!" he said to himself; and an inner voice told him he must not go, that nothing could come of it but falsity; that to amend, to set right their relations was impossible, because it was impossible to make her attractive again and able to inspire love, or to make him an old man, not susceptible to love.
Hence Bagration with his four thousand hungry, exhausted men would have to detain for days the whole enemy army that came upon him at Hollabrunn, which was clearly impossible. But a freak of fate made the impossible possible.
He also observed that if the projectile did not succeed in reaching its destination (a result absolutely impossible), it must inevitably fall back upon the earth, and that the shock of such a mass, multiplied by the square of its velocity, would seriously endanger every point of the globe.
Jones now declared that they must certainly have lost their way; but this the guide insisted upon was impossible; a word which, in common conversation, is often used to signify not only improbable, but often what is really very likely, and, sometimes, what hath certainly happened; an hyperbolical violence like that which is so frequently offered to the words infinite and eternal; by the former of which it is usual to express a distance of half a yard, and by the latter, a duration of five minutes.
"I should like to very much; but no, no, no, it is quite impossible; I dare not.