Best last words....

I’ve heard that Oscar Wilde said something about changing the wallpaper just before he died. I’m wondering what some of the best “last words” are…

Urban legend, sorta. I read a biography that said Oscar Wlde had written in a letter a few days before he died, “I am fighting a battle to the death with the wallpaper. One of us has got to go,” but they weren’t actually his last words.

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

Famous Last Words is a perennial thread in any RPG forum guaranteed to bring forth some wonderfully amusing stories.

Michael Smith, Co-Pilot, Space Shuttle Challenger

silenus took my first choice, so I’ll go with Dominique Bouhours, grammarian to the last.
“I am about to, or I am going to, die; either expression is used.”

I don’t know if he actually said the semicolon.


I always thought my uncle’s last words were pretty cool, even though he wasn’t anyone famous.

“I hear taps…”

“This is funny.”

–Doc Holiday

I’d always heard it as “Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.” I’ve also wondered whether even Wilde could go out with such timing, but it pleases me to spread the story, because se non e vero, e ben trovato. I think he’d approve.

My God. What’s happened?

Diana, Princess of Wales

I think the best last words are this combo:

Is it the Fourth?- Thomas Jefferson, former US President, July 4, 1826

Jefferson then died, later that day, on a different location:

Thomas Jefferson–still survives…

  • John Adams, former US President, dies on the same day.

It remains one of the most amazing coincidences in the history of the USA.

Couple of good ones from Confederate generals…

Stonewall Jackson: “Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.”

Robert E. Lee: “Strike the tent.”

“I think I’m becoming a god.”
–Emperor Vespasian

General Braddock, after getting waxed by the Frenchies in the French and Indian War: “Who would have thought it?”

Marco Polo, given one last chance to recant his “fables” on his deathbed: “I haven’t told the half of what I’ve seen.”

“What an artist dies with me!”

  • Nero

Val Kilmer channeling Socrates - “I drank what?”

H.G. Wells, last words

Voltaire (1694 - 1778), when asked on his deathbed to forswear Satan.

Now I’m goint to have to look for my copy of Passages by Connie Willis. Each chapter started with someone’s last words or last recorded words.

Back soon.