Deathbed Quotes and Epitaphs
"I have a long journey to take, and must bid the company farewell."
Walter Raleigh (1554-1618), English explorer
"If this is dying, I don't think much of it."
Lytton Strachey (1880-1932), British writer
"Dear me, I believe I am becoming a god. An emperor ought at least to die on his feet."
Vespasian (9-79 AD), Roman emperor
"Either that wallpaper goes, or I do."
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish dramatist. As he lay dying in Paris
"I feel nothing, apart from a certain difficulty in continuing to exist."
Bernard de Fontenelle (1657-1757), French philosopher.
"Why are you weeping? Did you imagine that I was immortal?"
Louis XIV (1638-1715), Well known French king, as his servants cried for him.
"Here am I, dying of a hundred good symptoms."
Alexander Pope (1688-1744), British poet
"Why, I did not know we had quarreled."
Henry David Thoreau, when asked by his aunt if he had made his peace with God.
We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies it is the first law of nature.
"Turn up the lights, I don't want to go home in the dark."
O. Henry (William Sidney Porter 1862-1910), US story writer
"On the contrary!"
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906), Norwegian dramatist on a suggestion he was better,
"Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six."
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian author, comment on the the Russian Orthodox Church as he lay dying
"I'm so bored with it all."
"Too late for fruit, too soon for flowers."
Walter De La Mare (1873-1956), Response from the British poet when asked if he would like some fruit or flowers
"This is no time to make new enemies." - Voltaire, when asked on his deathbed to forswear Satan
"Si monumentum requiris, circumspice."
Sir Christopher Wren (1632 - 1723). In English: If you would see his monument look around. Inscription at St Paul's Cathedral, London
"Good friend for Jesus's sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosed here
Blest be the man that spares these stones
And cursed be he that moves my bones".
William Shakespeare's epitaph
- on his grave in Stratford upon Avon church.
"Where fierce indignation can no longer tear his heart"
Jonathan Swift's epitaph.
"Here lies one whose name was writ in water"
John Keats - Poet, his own epitaph.
"Here lies the body of Jonathan Ground
Who was lost at sea and never found"
Captain Underwood (drowned).
"I told you I was ill" - original Gaelic "Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite"
- Spike Milligan, comedian
"Thomas Jefferson still lives."
- John Adams who did not know that Jefferson, old ally and enemy had died earlier the same day, coincidentally July 4!
Epitaph of Robert Louis Stevenson, British writer and poet, 1850-1894; on his tombstone in Samoa:
Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you \'grave for me:
Here he lies where he long\'d to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
- King George V on his deathbed when it was suggested that he might recuperate by going to Bognor Regis.
"Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees..."
- General Stonewall Jackson