This post was inspired by this last week's episode of QI, in which Stephen Fry ended the show by quoting Ramon Maria Narvaez, 1st Duke of Valencia, who died in 1868. Narvaez was asked, on his deathbed, if he would forgive his enemies. He famously said, "I have none. I've had them all shot."
So please enjoy this collection of (in)famous last words:
1.) Composer Jean-Philippe Rameau (died 1764)
"“What the devil do you mean to sing to me, priest? You are out of tune.”
2.) Louise-Marie-Thérèse de Saint Maurice, Comtesse de Vercellis (date unknown)
"Good. A woman who can fart is not dead.”
3.) Surgeon Joseph Henry Green (died 1863)
*checks his own pulse*
4.) French grammarian Dominique Bouhours (died 1902)
"I am about to – I am going to – die: either expression is correct."
5.) Captain Lawrence Oates, Antarctic explorer (died 1912)
"I am going outside and may be some time."
6.) Lord Henry Temple Palmerston (died 1865).
"Die, my dear Doctor, that's the last thing I shall do!"
7.) William Pitt (died 1806).
"I think I could eat one of Bellamy's veal pies."
8.) General John Sedgwick (died 1865)
"They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."
9.) P.T. Barnum (died 1891)
"How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden?"
Good ole Barnum. A capitalist to the very last.
10.) Kit Carson, American frontiersman (died 1868)
"I just wish I had time for one more bowl of chili."
11.) Georges Danton, leading figure in the French Revolution (died 1794)
"My only regret is that I'm going before that rat, Robespierre! [to his executioner] Don't forget to show my head to the people; it's well worth seeing"
12.) General William Erskine (died 1813)
*jumps from a window*
"Now why did I do that?"
13.) Doc Holliday, Wild West gunfighter (died 1887)
"This is funny".
Note: Holliday always thought, and perhaps hoped, that he would die in a fight or "with his boots on". He died in a hotel bed from tuberculosis. These last words were uttered after seeing his feet with boots off.
14.) Joseph Lucas, manufacturer of automotive parts (died 1902)
"Never drive at night."
15.) Karl Marx (died 1883)
"Get out! Last words are for fools who haven't said enough!"