Second marriages, observed English literary polymath Dr Samuel Johnson, were the triumph of hope over experience.
What then, of a couple who marry, separate, and then re-marry? Even Johnson might struggle to find words of hope and optimism to express the chances of such a union working out again.
But the clamour for the return of Guus Hiddink to the Socceroos coaching position carries particular echoes of Johnson's cautionary advice.
In the present doom-and-gloom aftermath of Australia's 6-0 loss to Brazil, it is tempting to reach for the easy solution, and seek a quick dramatic fix that offers the prospect of hope: especially if it brings with it the rosy glow of previous success.
Hiddink's agent has stoked the flames this week, suggesting that the Dutchman would be open to any inquiries. Why wouldn't he? He's out of work, having quit a highly paid post at big-spending Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in July, and always has an eye for a bumper payday. For all his success with South Korea in 2002 and relative achievements with Australia in 2006, he failed to get Turkey or Russia qualified for the major tournaments - the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championships - that he was charged with doing.
Whether Hiddink, or anyone else, replaces the beleaguered Holger Osieck probably depends on the answer to one question.
Does Football Federation Australia see the 2014 World Cup as an important tournament - now that it can bank the $12.5 million qualifying money for having got there - or does it regard the 2015 Asian Cup as its biggest priority, especially as it will be played on home soil?
If the former, then sacking Osieck and bringing in a heavy-hitting ''super coach'', someone who can apply shock treatment to a bunch of players who are either past it, not good enough or are playing with a sense of entitlement, might have some short-term impact. But would there be any real, lasting impact? It was put to me this week by one of the A-League's most experienced people that ''not even Merlin the magician could come in and make this team competitive in Brazil next year''.
If it's the latter - which I think should be the option taken - then the decision becomes more straightforward. Identify who you want as a long-term coach, tell him that it's all about rebuilding, and use the World Cup, and the lead-up games, as a testing ground for the younger players who will form the bedrock of the squad for the next five years.
It may be that Aurelio Vidmar, the current assistant, is charged with that responsibility. If that's the case, then Osieck can probably be left in situ alongside Vidmar, to carry out that remit through the World Cup lead-up and tournament itself and then depart, leaving Vidmar in charge for 2015.
From FFA's point of view, it would save a hefty payout and an expensive newcomer's salary for perhaps only short-term gain. If Osieck doesn't like his new running orders, he can always walk now.
If it's a clean slate and a rebuild for the 2015 Asian Cup that FFA decides is necessary, then it should axe Osieck now, allowing a new man - perhaps Melbourne Victory boss Ange Postecoglou or someone of his ilk - to come in, begin the rebuild and work to winning the Asian Cup in front of Australian fans. He would have the time to develop a squad that will be competitive not just for that competition, but for the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.
In the end it will come down to the talent at any coach's disposal, and Hiddink knows better than most how thin that Australian pool is. After the 2006 World Cup exit, he spoke to a handful of journalists in a debrief and told us that whoever succeeded him would have a hard job to qualify for 2010 because the squad was ageing, needed rejuvenation and there wasn't much coming through. With so many of those stalwarts from 2006 still there as key players, could Hiddink really be expected to work miracles anyway?