In the movie Spectre, M claims that the French have a saying: "it is the fate of glass to break."
I wanted to learn the original French, and its meaning. I found this:
« Tant va la cruche à l'eau qu'à la fin elle se casse ». Literally : "The jug goes to water so many times it ends up broken". Which means that you can face a danger so many times before it gets you. -- "Gerard"
M's translation and Gerard's seem to me to have importantly different senses. Now I'm curious to know what is the true sense of the French saying.
I read M's version as a nod to entropy: on a long-enough timeline, all of Man's creations will end. Once a thing has been assembled or crafted, the only transition that it can possibly undergo is its dissolution. In the context of Spectre, this sense is apropos: M wants to reassure his agents that their department is being shuttered not because they have failed, but because they have continued to succeed long enough to have outlived their usefulness. It's the kind of message that a dignified leader would deliver to his crew as the ship goes down: this is the finish line, not the grave.
I read Gerard's translation as much less positive. "The jug goes to water so many times it ends up broken" suggests that everything wears out with use, everything can take only so much stress before it cracks, everything breaks if it is used too much. In the context of the movie, it almost sounds like M is blaming his agents for running out of stamina, for losing a contest of endurance with their opponents.
Can anyone shed some light on this? What do the French mean when they say this? Is either of the interpretations I've presented closer than the other?
P.S. I apologize if I've tagged this badly. My French is pretty rusty, and I didn't learn much in the way of meta-linguistic vocabulary.