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The Last Words of Famous People / Phenomenon
Dying words are a very special form of quotation. Some are rehearsed and contrived; others are spontaneous and witty. Whatever the motivation or preparedness, ‘famous last words’ may be in the form of epitaphs, letters or even suicide notes, but are often impromptu sayings coined by and spoken by the dying person for the first (and, of course, last) time on their deathbed.
The list below gives us a glimpse into the character of the celebrated individuals who uttered their ‘famous last words’ before expiring.
The final words of Salvador Dali (painter, 1904-1989) aren’t known but, in 1958, he offered what might be thought of as a suitable epitaph: “I do not believe in my death.”
In the 1980s, towards the end of his life Dali did become clearly deranged. Gala had become senile and is thought to have been dosing the artist with unprescribed medication. After Gala’s death in 1980, Dali went downhill rather quickly. He had several accidents and illnesses which may well have been self-inflicted and/or suicide attempts. Dali died of heart failure on 23rd January 1989, at his home town of Figueres, a short walk from where he was born.
"Pardon me, sir. I did not do it on purpose.”
After she accidentally stepped on the foot of her executioner as she went to the guillotine.
~~ Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, 1755 – 1793
Upon checking his own pulse
~~Joseph Henry Green, British surgeon, 1791-1863
“This is absurd! This is absurd!”
~~Sigmund Freud, German psychoanalyst, 1856 – 1939
“Friends applaud, the comedy is finished.”
~~ Ludwig van Beethoven, composer, 1770-1827
“I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis.”
~~ Humphrey Bogart, actor, 1899-1957
~~ Napoleon Bonaparte, French Emperor, 1769-1821
“I am about to -- or I am going to -- die: either expression is correct.”
~~ Dominique Bouhours, French grammarian, 1628-1702...
Продолжение читайте в журнале English4U №12 (декабрь 2010) на который можно подписаться или купить здесь.