by Adam Powell
can never select the time and manner of our end,
so last words tend to be of an undignified nature.
Just as well, as the pre-prepared are either
sentimental or pompous. Take American
Revolutionary Nathan Hales I only
regret that I have one life to lose for my
country. Eisenhower covered all the bases
with, Ive always loved my wife, my
children, and my grandchildren, and Ive
always loved my country. I want to go. God, take
me. It sounded like he was accepting
an Oscar not dying. The list below tells us far
more about the human condition.
1. "Am I dying or is this my birthday?"
Lady Astor, British Politician.
She spoke her last words when, on her
deathbed, she momentarily awoke to find herself
surrounded by her entire family.
2. Jefferson still survives.
John Adams, US President.
John Adams was a bitter old man. Hed been
the only president not to have been re-elected.
His political party, the Federalists, had
collapsed. Worst of all his main political rival,
Thomas Jefferson, had enjoyed a brilliantly
successful career. Jefferson had beaten Adams in
the 1800 Presidential elections and his party,
the Democratic Republicans, now dominated the
political landscape. Adams came to hate Jefferson
with a passion. Even on his deathbed he thought
Jefferson had triumphed once again and outlived
him. Unfortunately, Jefferson had passed away a
few hours earlier, but with communications being
so slow, Adam died in ignorance.
3. Go away, Im alright.
HG Wells, British Science Fiction writer and
For a man famed for his ability to write about
the future, science fiction novelist H.G. Wells
was pretty inept at predicting his own fate.
4. "Waiting are they?~ Waiting are they?~
Well--let 'em wait."~
Ethan Allen U.S. General.
Allen's last words were a deathbed
response to an attending doctor who attempted to
comfort him by saying, " General, I fear the
angels are waiting for you."
5. God damn the whole world and
everyone in it
W.C. Fields, US Comedian.
A wonderfully honest parting shot from
misanthropic comedian. Fields was suffering from
a stomach haemorrhage brought on by years of bad
6. I am still alive.
Caligula, Roman Emperor.
Uttered after assassins had just stabbed the
Roman tyrant. He then died.
7. I think I could eat one of
Bellamys veal pies.
William Pitt the Younger, British Prime Minister.
Sadly, Mr. Pitt didnt have time to eat that
particularly savoury - nor anything else for that
8. Nonsense, they couldnt hit an
elephant at this distance.
General John Sedgwick, American Military
General Sedgwick was standing on the parapet at
the Battle of the Wilderness during the American
Civil War. A subordinate suggested he might be in
danger, but Sedgwick brushed aside any suggestion
that he might be shot by the enemy. He was then
shot by the enemy.
9. Now Im oiled, keep me from the
Pietro Aretino, Italian Satirist.
Renaissance satirist Aretino laughed so hard
at a joke the Duke of Urbino had cracked he had a
stroke. Aretino then revived to utter his last
10. Last words are for fools who
havent said enough.
Karl Marx, German Communist writer.
When asked if he had any last words, Marx
gave this reply. Judging by the list, he was