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A person’s final words often provide profound insight into their character, thoughts, and values as life draws to a close. Throughout history, the famous last words of influential figures have been remembered for generations. From expressions of contentment to philosophical musings, these final utterances offer a glimpse into the minds of historic icons in their concluding moments. Here are the remarkable and resonant last words of 15 notable people that echo through the ages.
The first President of the United States, George Washington, gave his final order with clarity: “I am just going. Have me decently buried and do not let my body be put into the vault in less than three days after I am dead. Tis well.”
Leonardo da Vinci
The Renaissance artist, Leonardo da Vinci, reflected on his contributions to humanity, saying, “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.”
Ludwig van Beethoven
The legendary composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, acknowledged the end of his life’s symphony with the words, “Friends applaud, the comedy is over.”
Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France before the French Revolution, accidentally stepped on her executioner’s foot on her way to the guillotine, uttering, “Pardon me, sir, I did not do it on purpose.”
The renowned English writer, Jane Austen, in her final moments, when asked by her sister Cassandra if there was anything she wanted, replied, “I want nothing but death.”
Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton, the physicist who changed the way we understand the universe, humbly said, “I don’t know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then in finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who led Britain to victory in World War II, expressed his weariness with, “I’m bored with it all.”
Edgar Allan Poe
The master of macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, left the world with a mysterious plea: “Lord help my poor soul.”
In 1913, as Harriet Tubman neared her end, she and her family shared a heartfelt moment singing ‘Swing low, sweet chariot.’ But after this touching melody, she left them with a profound message: ‘Give my love to the churches. Tell the women to stand firm. I go to prepare a place for you.’ A testament to her enduring spirit and faith.
In a final testament to his prophetic abilities, Nostradamus declared, ‘Tomorrow, at sunrise, I shall no longer be here.’ True to his words, he was gone by the next dawn.
In 1883, when his housekeeper asked if he had any last words, German philosopher Karl Marx replied, ‘Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.’ It was a bold statement from a man known for his deep thoughts and ideas.
In 1855, just before her passing and after less than a year of marriage, famed novelist Charlotte Brontë said to her husband, Arthur Bell Nichols, ‘Oh, I am not going to die, am I? He will not separate us, we have been so happy.’ A touching moment from a literary legend.
After a priest told him, “May the Lord have mercy on your soul,” the comedic genius, Charlie Chaplin, replied, “Why not? After all, it belongs to Him.”
As Benjamin Franklin was nearing the end at age 84, his daughter suggested he move to breathe better. His witty reply? “A dying man can do nothing easy”.
The French military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, whispered his last words, “France, the army, head of the army, Joséphine”
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