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Famous Last Words

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198855.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:04 pm Reply with quote

I can't believe that no one has already suggested this topic. It is going to be a goldmine*!

William Pitt the Younger's have been reported as "Oh, my country! How I leave my country!" or possibly "Oh, my country! How I love my country!". However, it si thought that these were invented later. One suggestion for his actual real last words is "I think I could eat one of Bellamy's veal pies".

The all time best ever last words must be those reportedly uttered by Adam Faith. "Channel 5 is all shit, isn't it? Christ, the crap they put on there. It's a waste of space""

*Possibly a fool's gold mine!

198857.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:08 pm Reply with quote

"Lets do it" - Gary Gilmore awaiting execution by firing squad

Awaits klaxons

198860.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:11 pm Reply with quote

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

198872.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:58 pm Reply with quote

Was it Noel Coward that said Either the curtains go or I do?

198875.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:27 pm Reply with quote

No, it was Oscar Wilde and wallpaper.

King George VI (to his doctor): What are you going to do with that needle?
King George V: Bugger Bognor!

198887.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:44 pm Reply with quote

I knew it was one or the other

198896.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:18 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Was it Noel Coward that said Either the curtains go or I do?

Noel Coward's were "Goodnight my darlings, I'll see you tomorrow".

198921.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:18 pm Reply with quote

"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


198924.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:24 pm Reply with quote

"I owe much; I have nothing; the rest I leave to the poor."
François Rabelais

198929.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:32 pm Reply with quote

"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."
Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, assassinated July 23rd 1923.

198966.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:32 pm Reply with quote

Keynes, John Maynard (1883-1946)
"I wish I'd drunk more champagne."

Olivier, Laurence (1907-1989)
"This isn't Hamlet, you know,
it's not meant to go into the bloody ear."
(To his nurse, who had spilt water on him .)

Thomas, Dylan (1914-1953)
"I have just had eighteen whiskeys in a row. I do believe that is a record."

Voltaire (1694-1778)
"This is no time to make new enemies."
(Asked on his deathbed to forswear Satan)

198968.  Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:08 pm Reply with quote

I can't sleep.
Who: J.M. Barrie

Je vais ou je vas mourir, l'un et l'autre se dit ou se disent. ( French )
Translation : I am about to -- or I am going to -- die: either expression is correct.
Who: Dominique Bouhours, French grammarian (someone after the hearts of many here on QI!)

Now why did I do that?
Who: General William Erskine, after he jumped from a window in Lisbon, Portugal in 1813.

198981.  Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:28 am Reply with quote

The last words of the great philosopher Socrates, as recorded by Plato:

"Crito, I owe a cock to Asclepius; will you remember to pay the debt?"

Apparently Asclepius was a Greek demigod of medicine and healing and Socrates was asking for an animal sacrifice to him.

The last words of the Emperor Vespasian were "vae, puto, deus fio" or "Oh dear, I think I'm becoming a god" referring to the belief that Roman Emperors experienced apotheosis upon death.

Nero famously said "What an artist the world is losing in me" according to Cassius Dio.

And John Lennon's last words were, perhaps unsurprisingly, "I'm shot"

198987.  Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:43 am Reply with quote

" Why, my man, I am ashamed of you, dodging that way. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."

General John Sedgwick @ the Battle of Spotsylvania, 1864.

I gave the necessary order to move the troops to the right, and as they rose to execute the movement the enemy opened a sprinkling fire, partly from sharp-shooters. As the bullets whistled by, some of the men dodged. The general said laughingly, " What! what! men, dodging this way for single bullets! What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." A few seconds after, a man who had been separated from his regiment passed directly in front of the general, and at the same moment a sharp-shooter's bullet passed with a long shrill whistle very close, and the soldier, who was then just in front of the general, dodged to the ground. The general touched him gently with his foot, and said, " Why, my man, I am ashamed of you, dodging that way," and repeated the remark, " They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." The man rose and saluted and said good-naturedly, " General, I dodged a shell once, and if I hadn't, it would have taken my head off. I believe in dodging." The general laughed and replied, "All right, my man; go to your place."
For a third time the same shrill whistle, closing with a dull, heavy stroke, interrupted our talk; when, as I was about to resume, the general's face turned slowly to me, the blood spurting from his left cheek under the eye I'm a steady stream. He fell in my direction ; I was so close to him that my effort to support him failed, and I fell with him.

(Ok, his actual last words, according to this, were "All right my man, go to your place" which isn't quite as good as the usual interpretation which is "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...".)

199166.  Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:53 am Reply with quote

Thomas J. Grasso* was executed by lethal injection in March 1995 for his role in the murder of an elderly woman from Tulsa. His last words were:

I did not get my Spaghetti-O's, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.

*Grasso is Italian for "fat". Interesting choice of surname for whichever of his ancestors "plumped" for it :)


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