Famous Last Words

Here’s a little Web 1.0 curiosity that for some reason always manages to stick around in my text files. It’s macabre, and I haven’t verified the authenticity of any of them, but it’s interesting nonetheless. -N
Tombstone

That old campaign was downright Victorian… (Photo credit: William Allen, Image Historian)

Thomas Jefferson–still survives…
~~ John Adams, US President, d. July 4, 1826
(Actually, Jefferson had died earlier that same day, which was of course the 50-year anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.)

This is the last of earth! I am content.
~~ John Quincy Adams, US President, d. February 21, 1848

See in what peace a Christian can die.
~~ Joseph Addison, writer, d. June 17, 1719

Is it not meningitis?
~~ Louisa M. Alcott, writer, d. 1888

Waiting are they? Waiting are they? Well–let ’em wait.
In response to an attending doctor who attempted to comfort him by saying, “General, I fear the angels are waiting for you.”
~~ Ethan Allen, American Revolutionary general, d. 1789

Am I dying or is this my birthday?
When she woke briefly during her last illness and found all her family around her bedside.
~~ Lady Nancy Astor, d. 1964

Nothing, but death. When asked by her sister, Cassandra, if there was anything she wanted.
~~ Jane Austen, writer, d. July 18, 1817

Codeine . . . bourbon.
~~ Tallulah Bankhead, actress, d. December 12, 1968

How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?
~~ P. T. Barnum, entrepreneur, d. 1891

I can’t sleep.
~~ James M. Barrie, author, d. 1937

Is everybody happy? I want everybody to be happy. I know I’m happy.
~~ Ethel Barrymore, actress, d. June 18, 1959

Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.
~~ John Barrymore, actor, d. May 29, 1942

I am ready to die for my Lord, that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.
~~ Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, d.1170

Now comes the mystery.
~~ Henry Ward Beecher, evangelist, d. March 8, 1887

Friends applaud, the comedy is finished.
~~ Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, d. March 26, 1827

I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.
~~ Humphrey Bogart, actor, d. January 14, 1957

Josephine…
~~ Napoleon Bonaparte, French Emperor, May 5, 1821

I am about to — or I am going to — die: either expression is correct.
~~ Dominique Bouhours, French grammarian, d. 1702

Ah, that tastes nice. Thank you.
~~ Johannes Brahms, composer, d. April 3, 1897

Oh, I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy.
Spoken to her husband of 9 months, Rev. Arthur Nicholls.
~~ Charlotte Bronte, writer, d. March 31, 1855

Beautiful.
In reply to her husband who had asked how she felt.
~~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, writer, d. June 28, 1861

Now I shall go to sleep. Goodnight.
~~ Lord George Byron, writer, d. 1824

Et tu, Brute?
Assassinated.
~~ Gaius Julius Caesar, Roman Emperor, d. 44 BC

I am still alive!
Stabbed to death by his own guards – (as reported by Tacitus)
~~ Gaius Caligula, Roman Emperor, d.41 AD

And so I leave this world, where the heart must either break or turn to lead.
Suicide note.
~~ Nicolas-Sebastien Chamfort, French writer, d. 1794

Don’t let poor Nelly  starve.
Referring to his mistress, Nell Gwynne
~~ Charles II, King of England and Scotland, d. 1685

Ay Jesus.
~~ Charles V, King of France, d. 1380

I am dying. I haven’t drunk champagne for a long time.
~~ Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, writer, d. July 1, 1904

The earth is suffocating . . . Swear to make them cut me open, so that I won’t be buried alive.
Dying of tuberculosis.
~~ Frederic Chopin, composer, d. October 16, 1849

And now, in keeping with Channel 40’s policy of always bringing you the latest in blood and guts, in living color, you’re about to see another first – an attempted suicide.
Shot herself during broadcast.
~~ Christine Chubbuck, newscaster, d. July 15, 1974

I’m bored with it all.
Before slipping into a coma. He died 9 days later.
~~ Winston Churchill, statesman, d. January 24, 1965

This time it will be a long one.
~~ Georges Clemenceau, French premier, d. 1929

I have tried so hard to do the right.
~~ Grover Cleveland, US President, d. 1908

That was the best ice-cream soda I ever tasted.
~~ Lou Costello, comedian, d. March 3, 1959

Goodnight my darlings, I’ll see you tomorrow.
~~ Noel Coward, writer, d. 1973

Goodbye, everybody!
Last words as he jumped off the cruise ship “Orizaba.” (His body was never found.)
~~ Hart Crane, poet, d. April 27, 1932

Damn it . . . Don’t you dare ask God to help me.
To her housekeeper, who had begun to pray aloud.
~~ Joan Crawford, actress, d. May 10, 1977

That was a great game of golf, fellers.
~~ Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby, singer / actor, d. October 14, 1977

I am not the least afraid to die. ~~ Charles Darwin, d. April 19, 1882

My God. What’s happened?
~~ Diana (Spencer), Princess of Wales, d. August 31, 1997

I must go in, the fog is rising.
~~ Emily Dickinson, poet, d. 1886

Adieu, mes amis. Je vais la gloire. (Farewell, my friends! I go to glory!)
~~ Isadora Duncan, dancer, d. 1927

Please know that I am quite aware of the hazards. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.
Last letter to her husband before her last flight.
KHAQQ calling Itasca. We must be on you, but cannot see you. Gas is running low.
Last radio communiqué before her disappearance.
~~ Amelia Earhart, d. 1937

To my friends: My work is done. Why wait? Suicide note. ~~ George Eastman, inventor, d. March 14, 1932 It is very beautiful over there.
~~ Thomas Alva Edison, inventor, d. October 18, 1931

No, I shall not give in. I shall go on. I shall work to the end.
~~ Edward VII, King of Britain, d. 1910

All my possessions for a moment of time.
~~ Elizabeth I, Queen of England, d. 1603

Goodbye, my friend, goodbye
My love, you are in my heart.
It was preordained we should part
And be reunited by and by.
Goodbye: no handshake to endure.
Let’s have no sadness — furrowed brow.
There’s nothing new in dying now
Though living is no newer.
Written in his own blood, and given to a friend the day before he hanged himself.
~~ Sergei Esenin, Russian poet, d. Dec. 28, 1925

I’ve never felt better.
~~ Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., actor, d. December 12, 1939

I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.
~~ Richard Feynman, physicist, d. 1988

I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
~~ Errol Flynn, actor, d. October 14, 1959

A dying man can do nothing easy.
~~ Benjamin Franklin, statesman, d. April 17, 1790

How about this for a headline for tomorrow’s paper? French fries.
Executed in electric chair in Oklahoma.
~~ James French, d. 1966

Come my little one, and give me your hand.
Spoken to his daughter, Ottilie.
~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer, d. March 22, 1832

I did not get my Spaghetti-O’s, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this. Executed by injection, Oklahoma. ~~ Thomas J. Grasso, d. March 20, 1995

I know you have come to kill me. Shoot coward, you are only going to kill a man.
Facing his assassin, Mario Teran, a Bolivian soldier.
~~ Ernesto “Che” Guevara, d. October 9, 1967

Yes, it’s tough, but not as tough as doing comedy.
When asked if he thought dying was tough.
~~ Edmund Gwenn, actor, d. September 6, 1959

Let’s see if I’ve got one for me.
Accidental suicide as he shot himself with a blank-loaded pistol on the set of TV spy show “Cover Up.” The concussion forced a piece of his skull into his brain; he died six days later.
~~ Jon-Erik Hexum, actor, d. October 18, 1984

God will pardon me, that’s his line of work.
~~ Heinrich Heine, poet, d. February 15, 1856

Turn up the lights, I don’t want to go home in the dark.
~~ O. Henry (William Sidney Porter), writer, d. June 4, 1910

All is lost. Monks, monks, monks!
~~ Henry VIII, King of England, d. 1547

I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.
~~ Thomas Hobbes, writer, d. 1679

I see black light.
~~ Victor Hugo, writer, d. May 22, 1885

Oh, do not cry – be good children and we will all meet in heaven.
~~ Andrew Jackson, US President, d. 1845

Let us cross over the river and sit in the shade of the trees.
Killed in error by his own troops at the battle of Chancellorsville during the US Civil War.
~~ General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, d. 1863

Is it the Fourth?
~~ Thomas Jefferson, US President, d. July 4, 1826

Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
From Luke 23:46
~~ Jesus Christ

Does nobody understand?
~~ James Joyce, writer, d. 1941

Such is Life
Executed by hanging.
~~ Ned Kelly, Australian bushranger, d. 1880

Why not? Yeah.
~~ Timothy Leary, d. May 31, 1996

Now I have finished with all earthly business, and high time too. Yes, yes, my dear child, now comes death.
~~ Franz Leher, composer, d. October 24, 1948

They tried to get me – I got them first!
Suicide by drinking Lysol.
~~ Vachel Lindsay, poet, d. December 4, 1931

A King should die standing.
~~ Louis XVIII, King of France, d. 1824

Why do you weep. Did you think I was immortal?
~~ Louis XIV, King of France, d. 1715

I die innocent of all the crimes laid to my charge; I Pardon those who have occasioned my death; and I pray to God that the blood you are going to shed may never be visited on France.
Executed by guillotine
~~ Louis XVI of France, d. January 21, 1793

I am a Queen, but I have not the power to move my arms.
~~ Louise, Queen of Prussia, d. 1820

Too late for fruit, too soon for flowers.
~~ Walter De La Mare, writer, d. 1956

Let’s cool it brothers…
Spoken to his assassins, 3 men who shot him 16 times.
~~ Malcolm X, Black leader, d. 1966

Farewell, my children, forever. I go to your Father. Monsieur, I beg your pardon.
Spoken to the executioner, after she stepped on his foot.
~~ Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, d. October 16, 1793

Go on, get out – last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.
To his housekeeper, who urged him to tell her his last words so she could write them down for posterity.
~~ Karl Marx, revolutionary, d. 1883

I forgive everybody. I pray that everybody may also forgive me, and my blood which is about to be shed will bring peace to Mexico. Long live Mexico! Long Live Independence!
~~ Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, (Archduke Maximilian of Austria), d. June 11, 1867

Nothing matters. Nothing matters.
~~ Louis B. Mayer, film producer, d. October 29, 1957

It’s all been very interesting.
~~ Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, writer, d. 1762

Shoot me in the chest!
To his executioners.
~~Benito Mussolini, Italian dictator, d.1945

I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room – and God damn it – died in a hotel room.
~~ Eugene O’Neill, writer, d. November 27, 1953

Good-bye . . . why am I hemorrhaging?
~~ Boris Pasternak, writer, d. 1959

Get my swan costume ready.
~~ Anna Pavlova, ballerina, d. 1931

I am curious to see what happens in the next world to one who dies unshriven.
Giving his reasons for refusing to see a priest as he lay dying.
~~ Pietro Perugino, Italian painter, d. 1523

Lord help my poor soul.
~~ Edgar Allan Poe, writer, d. October 7, 1849

I love you Sarah. For all eternity, I love you. Spoken to his wife.
~~ James K. Polk, US President, d. 1849

Here am I, dying of a hundred good symptoms.
~~ Alexander Pope, writer, d. May 30, 1744

I owe much; I have nothing; the rest I leave to the poor.
~~ François Rabelais, writer, d. 1553

So the heart be right, it is no matter which way the head lieth.
Executed by beheading.
~~ Sir Walter Raleigh, d. October 29, 1618

I have a terrific headache.
He died of a cerebral hemorrhage.
~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt, US President, d. 1945

Put out the light.
~~ Theodore Roosevelt, US President, d. 1919

They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist-
Killed in battle during US Civil War.
~~ General John Sedgwick, Union Commander, d. 1864

Sister, you’re trying to keep me alive as an old curiosity, but I’m done, I’m finished, I’m going to die.
Spoken to his nurse.
~~ George Bernard Shaw, playwright, d. November 2, 1950

When I am dead, and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain drenched hair,
Tho’ you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.
For I shall have peace. As leafy trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough.
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.
Suicide note to her lover who left her.
~~ Sara Teasdale, poet, d. 1933

I’ve had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that’s the record…
~~ Dylan Thomas, poet, d. 1953

Moose… Indian…
~~ Henry David Thoreau, writer, d. May 6, 1862

God bless… God damn.
~~ James Thurber, humorist, d. 1961

I feel here that this time they have succeeded.
~~ Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary, d. 1940

Don’t worry chief, it will be alright.
~~ Rudolph Valentino, actor, d. August 23, 1926

Woe is me. Me thinks I’m turning into a god.
~~ Vespasian, Roman Emperor, d. 79 AD

Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.
~~ Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, d. 1923

I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.
~~ Leonardo da Vinci, artist, d. 1519

I die hard but am not afraid to go.
~~ George Washington, US President, d. December 14, 1799

Go away. I’m all right.
~~ H. G. Wells, novelist, d. 1946

Either that wallpaper goes, or I do.
~~ Oscar Wilde, writer, d. November 30, 1900

I am ready.
~~ Woodrow Wilson, US President, d. 1924

I feel certain that I’m going mad again. I feel we can’t go thru another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices
Suicide note
~~ Virginia Woolf, author, d. March 28, 1941

Curtain! Fast music! Light! Ready for the last finale! Great! The show looks good, the show looks good!
~~ Florenz Ziegfeld, showman, d. July 22, 1932

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