Even as a fairly devout Catholic, I have to admire the spirit of Revolutionary War general Ethan Allen.
Supposedly, as he lay on his deathbed, an attending clergyman told him that the angels were waiting for him. The exasperated Allen is supposed to have snapped back, “Waiting, are they? Well, let them wait!”
Which Civil war general (I think it was Selfridge) said “Don’t worry men, they can’t hit a thing at this dis—”?
My all-time favorite was former Vice President Alben W. Barkley. During a speech he said “I would rather be a servant in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the seats of the mighty.” Whereupon he promptly collapsed and died.
I think it was the actor George Sanders (Addison DeWitt in “All About Eve”) who committed suicide and left a note stating: “I am departing this world because I am bored with it.” (or something to that effect.)
There was a bit of a controversy (that was quickly swept under the rug) when Mother Theresa died. One of the sisters attending to her grandly proclaimed to reporters that her last words were “I love the lord Jesus!” When same reporters asked the attending physician to verify that, he disputed it. According to him, Mother Theresa’s last words were “I can’t breathe!”
Oops, I meant to add:
Gen. Sedgwick’s last words may not have actually been cut short short by a sniper’s bullet. I remember reading an officer’s account of that a few years ago. He was deriding his men for trying to dodge sharpshooters’ bullets coming from about 1,000 or so yards away. It was about a minute later he was actually hit. I’m trying to remember where that was without Googling it…not Pennsylvania, but it was Something-vania.
Either way, it’s funnier to quote it as an unfinished sentence.
“Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel.”
I’m always suspicious of stories like this. while they may be accurate quotes, I suspect that the words were said some hours or days before actual demise, and that several other remarks passed between times. I suspect that Ibsen did not die immediately after uttering those words.
Let’s just say that these are the last notable words they spoke.