Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is
particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself,
to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.
But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands
shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit
me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
-- Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"