The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Last Words of Distinguished Men and
Women, by Frederic Rowland Marvin

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Title: The Last Words of Distinguished Men and Women
       (Real and Traditional)

Author: Frederic Rowland Marvin

Release Date: February 21, 2012 [EBook #38940]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


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The tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony;
Where words are scarce they're seldom spent in vain,
For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.




Copyright 1901
Frederic Rowland Marvin

To my Wife
this Book is most Lovingly

Neither is there anything of which I am so inquisitive, and delight to inform myself, as the manner of men's deaths, their words, looks, and bearing; nor any places in history I am so intent upon; and it is manifest enough, by my crowding in examples of this kind, that I have a particular fancy for that subject. If I were a writer of books, I would compile a register, with a comment, of the various deaths of men: he who should teach men to die, would at the same time teach them to live.—Montaigne.

1Last Words of Distinguished Men and Women.

Adam (Alexander, Dr., headmaster at the High School in Edinburgh, and the author of "Roman Antiquities"), 1741-1809. "It grows dark, boys. You may go."

"It grows dark, boys. You may go."
(Thus the master gently said,
Just before, in accents low,
Circling friends moaned, "He is dead.")
Unto him, a setting sun
Tells the school's dismissal hour,
Deeming not that he alone
Deals with evening's dark'ning power.
All his thought is with the boys,
Taught by him in light to grow;
Light withdrawn, and hushed the noise,
Fall the passwords, "You may go."
Go, boys, go, and take your rest;
Weary is the book-worn brain:
Day sinks idly in the west,
Tired of glory, tired of gain.
Careless are the shades that creep
O'er the twilight, to and fro;
Dusk is lost in shadows deep:
It grows dark, boys. You may go.
Mary B. Dodge.

2 Abd-er-Rahman III. (surnamed An-Nâsir-Lideen-Illah or Lidinillah, that is to say, "the defender of the religion of God," eighth Sultan and first Caliph of Córdova. Under Abd-er-Rahman III. the Mohammedan empire in Spain attained the height of its glory), 886-961. "Fifty years have passed since I became Caliph. Riches, honors, pleasures—I have enjoyed all. In this long time of seeming happiness I have numbered the days on which I have been happy. Fourteen." Though these sad words correctly express the spirit of the man who is reported to have spoken them, they are purely traditional.

Adams (John, second President of the United States), 1735-1826. "Independence forever!"

He died on the Fourth of July, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence; and it is thought that his last words were suggested by the noise of the celebration. Some say his last words were, "Jefferson survives;" if so, he was mistaken, for Jefferson passed away at an earlier hour the same day.

Adams (John Quincy, sixth President of the United States), 1767-1848. "It is the last of earth! I am content!" On the twenty-first of February, 1848, while in his seat in the Capitol, he was struck with paralysis, and died two days later.

Addison (Joseph, poet and essayist), 1672-1719. "See in what peace a Christian can die!" These3 words were addressed to Lord Warwick, an accomplished but dissolute youth, to whom Addison was nearly related.

Adrian or Hadrian (Publius Ælius, the Roman Emperor), 76-138. "O my poor soul, whither art thou going?"

Adrian wrote both in Greek and Latin. Among his Latin poems (preserved by Spartianus, who wrote his life), are these lines addressed to his own soul:

Animula vagula blandula,
Hospes comesque corporis,
Quæ nunc abibis in loca?
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos.
Soul of me! floating and flitting, and fond!
Thou and this body were house-mates together;
Wilt thou begone now, and whither?
Pallid, and naked, and cold;
Not to laugh, nor be glad, as of old.

Adrian is known in history as one of the greatest of the Roman Emperors. It is hardly too much to say that, by his progress through all the provinces and his policy of peace, he was the consolidater of the empire founded a century and a half before by Augustus. He was the author of the Roman Wall between England and Scotland; he beautified the city of Athens; he founded the modern Adrianople; he built for his own mausoleum what is now the Castle4 of St. Anglo at Rome. He was also a patron of the fine arts and of literature.

Of the famous lines, "The Dying Adrian's Address to His Soul," no fewer than one hundred and sixteen translations into English have been collected, the translators including Pope, Prior, Byron, Dean Merivale, and the late Earl of Carnarvon. It should be added that Pope's familiar version, beginning "Vital spark of heav'nly flame," is a paraphrase rather than a translation. I quote Prior's version:

"Poor little, quivering, fluttering thing,
Must we no longer live together?
And dost thou prune thy trembling wing,
To take thy flight thou know'st not whither?
"Thy humorous vein, thy pleasing folly
Lie all neglected, all forgot:
And pensive, wavering, melancholy,
Thou dread'st and hop'st thou know'st not what."

This is the only certain composition of Adrian that has been preserved, though he is reported to have attempted many forms of literature. The authenticity of a letter ascribed to him with a reference to the Christians, is open to grave doubt. But now the sands of Egypt, which are daily yielding up so many secrets of antiquity, have given us what purports to be a private letter addressed by the Emperor Adrian to his successor, Antoninus Pius, and—what is more interesting—it is written, like the address to his soul, in view of his approaching death. Unfortunately the papyrus is very fragmentary, but5 its general meaning seems clear. We have evidently only the commencement of an elaborate epistle. After the assertion that his death is neither unexpected, nor lamentable, nor unreasonable, he says that he is prepared to die, though he misses his correspondent's presence and loving care. He goes on:

"I do not intend to give the conventional reasons of philosophy for this attitude, but to make a plain statement of facts.... My father by birth died at the age of forty, a private person, so that I have lived more than half as long again as my father, and have reached about the same age as that of my mother when she died."

All this accords with the known facts about Adrian. He died at the age of sixty-two, after a long illness, during which he was assiduously tended by Antoninus. Just before the end he withdrew to Baiae, leaving Antoninus in charge at Rome. His father had died when his son was ten years old; of his mother we know nothing. Prima facie, there is no improbability that letters of Adrian should be in circulation in Egypt, which he visited at least once. His freedman Phlegon is reported to have published a collection of them after his death.

On the other hand, it should be frankly admitted that some suspicious circumstances attach to the letter. Of the antiquity of the papyrus there is no doubt, for the handwriting cannot be later than the end of the second century a. d., bringing it within sixty years (at farthest) from Adrian's death. But6 it is written as a school exercise on the back of a taxing-list, which naturally gives rise to the suspicion that it may be merely the composition of the schoolmaster. The actual form of the document is interesting. At the top are about fifteen lines, written in a clear cursive, or running, hand. Below, the first five lines are repeated in large, irregular uncials, or capital letters. It is impossible not to recognize here an exercise set by a schoolmaster and a copy begun by a pupil.

The papyrus is one of the many found by Messrs. Grenfell and Hunt while excavating in the Fayoum on account of the Egypt Exploration Fund, and appears in the volume issued by the Græco-Roman Branch of Egypt Exploration Fund, called "Fayoum Towns and Their Papyri."

J. S. Cotton in Biblia for November, 1900.

Agis (King of Lacedæmonia, strangled by order of the Ephori. He was charged with subverting the laws of his country, but was in reality a brave and good man according to the light of the age in which he lived. He died with great calmness and courage),—240. "Weep not for me."

Agrippa (Henricus Cornelius, German physician, theologian and astrologer, skilled in alchemy and occult sciences), 1486-1535. "Begone, thou wretched beast, which hast utterly undone me." The story is that he was always accompanied by a devil in the shape of a black dog. When he perceived that death7 was near he wished, by repentance, to free his soul from the guilt of witchcraft, and so took off the collar from his dog's neck. This collar was covered with magical characters. As he removed the collar he muttered these, his last words: "Begone, thou wretched beast, which hast utterly undone me." The familiar dog disappeared with Agrippa's death, and was never more seen. This curious story was for a long time believed by the common people, and is to be found in one form or another in many old books.

Agrippa lectured on theology at Cologne, Pisa, Turin, and Pavia, and practiced medicine in France. Henry VIII. invited him to England, but he preferred the court of Margaret of Austria, regent of the Low Countries. He died poor, leaving behind him a number of books, and among them "On the Vanity of the Sciences," which has been translated into English and other languages.

Agrippina (mother of the Emperor Nero. She was one of the worst of women, and was condemned to death by her own son),—60. "Strike here! Level your rage against the womb which gave birth to such a monster." These words she said, placing her hand over her womb, to the man sent to dispatch her.

Albert (Francis-Augustus-Charles-Emmanuel, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He married Queen Victoria, his cousin, the tenth of February, 1840), 1819-1861. "I have had wealth, rank and8 power, but if these were all I had, how wretched I should be!" A few moments later he repeated the familiar lines:

Rock of Ages cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

Inscription on the "Memorial Cairn" on a high mountain overlooking Balmoral Palace: "To the beloved memory of Albert the great and good Prince Consort, erected by his broken-hearted widow, Victoria R., 21 August, 1862." Upon another dressed slab, a few inches below the above, is this quotation: "He being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a long time: for his soul pleased the Lord, therefore hasted he to take him away from among the wicked."

Wisdom of Solomon, chap. iv: 13, 14.

One year after Prince Albert died, the Queen erected a costly mausoleum in the grounds of Frogmore House, which is legally a part of the domain of Windsor Castle. The mausoleum is cruciform, eighty feet long, with transepts of seventy feet. As soon as it was completed and consecrated by the Bishop of Oxford, the remains of the Prince Consort were there deposited. Over the entrance is a Latin inscription, which in English reads as follows:


9Alexander (Jannæus, son of John Hyrcanus, succeeded his brother Aristobulus as King of Judea in 105 b. c. The Pharisees rose in rebellion against his authority; they hated him during his life, and cursed his memory when he was dead)—b. c. 78 "Fear not true Pharisees, but greatly fear painted Pharisees," to his wife.

Alfieri (Vittorio, eminent Italian tragic poet), 1749-1803. "Clasp my hand, my dear friend, I die!" Addressed to the Countess Stolberg, who derived the title Countess of Albany from being the wife of Charles Edward Stuart, "the Pretender." After the death of Stuart, the countess lived with Alfieri, to whom it is believed she was privately married.

In the church of Santa Croce, Florence, reposes the body of Alfieri, and over it is an imposing monument erected by Canova for the Countess of Albany. It was while walking amongst the tombs of the illustrious dead in the great "Westminster Abbey of Italy" that the poet first dreamed of fame.

Alford (Henry, commonly called "Dean Alford," English poet and divine, Dean of Canterbury), 1810-1871. "Will you tell the Archdeacon?—will you move a vote of thanks for his kindness in performing the ceremony?" He wished the Archdeacon to assist in the services at his funeral.

He had expressed a wish to be buried in St. Martin's churchyard. The spot chosen for his grave is10 beneath a yew-tree on the brow of the hill on the south side of the path which leads from the lich-gate to the western door of the ancient church. At the distance of about half a mile to the west the towers of the Cathedral look down upon his tomb.

Among his papers was found the following memorandum, which, of course, was carefully obeyed:

"When I am gone, and a tomb is to be put up, let there be, besides any indication of who is lying below, these words, and these only:


i. e., the inn of a traveller on his way to Jerusalem."

Ambrose ("Saint," Latin Father, author of many books of varying value and interest, and author of a method of singing known as "the Ambrosian Chant"), 340-397. "I have not so behaved myself that I should be ashamed to live; nor am I afraid to die, because I have so good a Master."

Ames (Fisher, distinguished American statesman, leader of the Federal party in the House of Representatives during the administration of Washington), 1758-1808. "I have peace of mind. It may arise from stupidity, but I think it is founded on a belief of the gospel. My hope is in the mercy of God."

11Anaxagoras (the most illustrious philosopher of the Ionian school, and "The Friend of Pericles"), b. c. 500-428. "Give the boys a holiday."

After his banishment he resided in Lampsacus and there preserved tranquillity of mind until his death. "It is not I who have lost the Athenians; it is the Athenians who have lost me," was his proud reflection. He continued his studies, and was highly respected by the citizens, who, wishing to pay some mark of esteem to his memory, asked him on his death-bed in what manner they could do so. He begged that the day of his death might be annually kept as a holiday in all the schools of Lampsacus. For centuries this request was fulfilled. He died in his seventy-third year. A tomb was erected to him in the city, with this inscription:

This tomb great Anaxagoras confines,
Whose mind explored the heavenly paths of Truth.
Lewes' Biographical History of Philosophy.

André (John, major in the British army at the time of the American Revolution, and executed as a spy, October 2, 1780), 1751-1780. "It will be but a momentary pang."

The order for execution was loudly and impressively read by Adjutant-General Scammel, who at its conclusion informed André he might now speak, if he had anything to say. Lifting the bandage for a moment from his eyes he bowed courteously to Greene and the attending officers, and said with12 firmness and dignity: "All I request of you, gentlemen, is that you will bear witness to the world that I die like a brave man." A moment later he said, almost in a whisper, "It will be but a momentary pang."

The London General Evening Post for November 14, 1780, in an article abusive of Washington, gives a pretended account of André's "last words," in which the unfortunate man is made to say, "Remember that I die as becomes a British officer, while the manner of my death must reflect disgrace on your commander." André uttered no sentiment like this. Miss Seward, his early friend, on reading this account, wrote thus in her "Monody on Major André:"

Oh Washington! I thought thee great and good,
Nor knew thy Nero-thirst for guiltless blood!
Severe to use the pow'r that Fortune gave,
Thou cool, determin'd murderer of the brave!
Lost to each fairer virtue, that inspires
The genuine fervor of the patriot fires!
And you, the base abettors of the doom,
That sunk his blooming honors in the tomb,
Th' opprobrious tomb your harden'd hearts decreed,
While all he asked was as the brave to bleed!
Lossing's Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. i, p. 768.

Andronicus I. (Comnenus, usurper and emperor), 1115-1185. "Lord, have mercy upon me. Wilt thou break a bruised reed?"

So great was his cruelty and so oppressive his tyranny, that his own subjects rose in desperation and slew him.

13Anne (of Austria, daughter of Philip III. of Spain, and mother of Louis XIV. of France, Queen of France), 1601-1666. "Observe how they are swelled; time to depart." These words were spoken as she viewed her hands which had been greatly admired for their beauty.

Anselm ("Saint," Archbishop of Canterbury), 1034-1109. "I shall gladly obey His call; yet I should also feel grateful if He would grant me a little longer time with you, and if I could be permitted to solve a question—the origin of the soul."

Anthony or Antony ("Saint," surnamed Abbas, the reputed founder of monachism), 251-356. "Let this word of mine be kept by you, so that no one shall know in what place my body reposes, for I shall receive it incorruptible from my Saviour in the resurrection of the dead. And distribute my garments thus: To Athanasius, the bishop, give one of my sheepskins, and the cloak under me, which was new when he gave it me, and has become old by my use of it; and to Serapion, the bishop, give the other sheepskin; and do you have the hair-cloth garment. And for the rest, children, farewell, for Anthony is going, and is with you no more."

Antoninus (Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, celebrated for nobleness of character and great wis14dom. He is sometimes called "The Philosopher"), 121-180. "Think more of death than of me."

Notwithstanding the mild and upright character of the emperor, there took place during his reign a severe persecution of the Christians. Efforts have been made to excuse him from responsibility in the matter, but all such efforts have succeeded only in greatly palliating his guilt, which was probably much less than that of many other persecutors of the early followers of our Lord.

Aram (Eugene, executed for the murder of Daniel Clark. The story of Eugene Aram forms the subject of one of Bulwer's novels, and of a poem by Thomas Hood), 1704-1759. "No," on being asked upon the scaffold if he had anything to say.

While acting as an assistant to his father, who was a gardener, he studied mathematics and gave some attention to the languages. On marrying, he became a schoolmaster, and prosecuted his studies with such diligence and success as to obtain a good knowledge of the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Arabic, Welsh and Irish languages. In 1759 he was tried for the murder of Daniel Clark, a shoemaker of Knaresborough, and found guilty. At the trial he made an elaborate and able defence, but after his condemnation he confessed his guilt. On the night before his execution he made an attempt to commit suicide, by opening the veins of his arms; but he was discovered before he had bled to death, and the sentence of the law was carried into effect.—Lippincott.

15paper containing aram's reasons for attempting suicide, found on the table in his cell.

"What am I better than my fathers? To die is natural and necessary. Perfectly sensible of this, I fear no more to die than I did to be born. But the manner of it is something which should, in my opinion, be decent and manly. I think I have regarded both these points. Certainly nobody has a better right to dispose of a man's life than himself; and he, not others, should determine how. As for any indignities offered to my body, or silly reflections on my faith and morals, they are (as they always were) things indifferent to me. I think, though contrary to the common way of thinking, I wrong no man by this, and hope it is not offensive to that Eternal Being that formed me and the world; and as by this I injure no man, no man can be reasonably offended. I solicitously recommend myself to the Eternal and Almighty Being, the God of Nature, if I have done amiss. But perhaps I have not; and I hope this thing will never be imputed to me. Though I am now stained by malevolence, and suffer by prejudice, I hope to rise fair and unblemished. My life was not polluted, my morals irreproachable, and my opinions orthodox.

"I slept soundly till three o'clock, awaked, and then writ these lines:

"Come pleasing rest, eternal slumber fall,
Seal mine, that once must seal the eyes of all;
Calm and compos'd my soul her journey takes,
No guilt that troubles, and no heart that aches:
16 Adieu! thou sun, all bright like her arise;
Adieu! fair friends, and all that's good and wise."

Archibald (eighth Earl of Argyle), 1598-1661. "I die not only a Protestant, but with a heart-hatred of popery, prelacy, and all superstition whatsoever." Spoken upon the scaffold.

Ariosto (Lodovico, Italian poet), 1479-1533. "This is not my home."

Armistead (Lewis Addison, brigadier-general in the Confederate army), 1817-1863. "Give them the cold steel, boys."

Armistead put his hand on the cannon, waved his sword and called out, "Give them the cold steel, boys," then, pierced by bullets, he fell dead along side Cushing. Both lay near the clumps of trees about thirty yards inside the wall, their corpses marking the farthest point to which Picketts' advance penetrated, where the "High Water Mark Monument" at Gettysburg, now marks the top of the flood tide of the rebellion, for afterwards there was a steady ebb.

Baedeker's Handbook of the United States.

Arnold (Thomas, of Rugby, English historian and teacher. In August, 1841, he was appointed regius professor of modern history at Oxford. He is the author of five volumes of sermons, "Introductory Lectures on Modern History," and "The History of Rome"), 1795-1842. "Ah! Very well,"17 to his physician who told him of the serious nature of his complaint, and described to him the remedies to be used.

"The benevolent and accomplished Dr. Arnold was taken from us by angina pectoris. He awoke in the morning with a sharp pain across his chest, which he had felt slightly on the preceding day, before and after bathing. He composed himself to sleep for a short time; but the pain seemed to increase, and to pass down the left arm, which called to Mrs. Arnold's remembrance what she had heard of this fatal disease. Their usual medical attendant, Dr. Bucknill, was sent for, and found Dr. Arnold lying on his back—his countenance much as usual—his pulse, though regular, was very quick, and there was cold perspiration on the brow and cheeks. He apologized in a cheerful manner for troubling Dr. Bucknill at so early an hour, and inquired as to the nature and danger of his illness: he was told it was a spasm of the heart. The physician quitted the house to furnish himself with remedies. On his return, Dr. Arnold said, 'If the pain is again as severe as it was before you left, I do not know how I can bear it.' He again questioned Dr. Bucknill as to the danger of his complaint—he was told of his danger—inquired as to the remedies, and on being told, answered, 'Ah! very well.' The physician, who was dropping the laudanum into a glass, turned around, and saw him quite calm, but his eyes were shut. In another minute he heard a rattle in his throat, and a18 convulsive struggle,—flew to the bed, and called to one of the servants to fetch Mrs. Arnold. The family soon arrived; but the sobs and cries of his children were unable to affect him—the eyes were fixed, the countenance was unmoved, there was a heaving of the chest, deep gasps escaped at prolonged intervals, and just as the usual medical attendant arrived, and as the old school-house servant, in an agony of grief, rushed with the others into the room in the hope of seeing his master once more, he breathed his last."

Stanley's Life of Arnold.

Arria (wife of Cæcina Pætus, a consul under Claudius), died about the year b. c., 42. When her husband was condemned to die by his own hand, seeing that he hesitated, she seized the dagger, and plunged it into her own breast. Then withdrawing it, she presented it to her husband, saying with a smile: "It is not painful, Pætus."

When to her husband Arria gave the steel,
Which from her chaste, her bleeding breast she drew;
She said—"My Pætus, this I do not feel,
But, oh! the wound that must be given by you!"[1]

Augustine ("Saint," Latin Father, able controversialist and eloquent preacher, author of "On 19the City of God," "Confessions," and many other books of value), 354-430. "Oh, Lord, shall I die at all? Shall I die at all? Yes! Why, then, oh, Lord, if ever, why not now?"

His mother, Monica, was a woman of the most devoted piety. His father was a pagan, and from him Augustine inherited a vehement and sensual disposition. While a mere youth he gave way to his unbridled passions and sensual propensities. His mother's patient prayerfulness for both husband and son, which was at last crowned with success, has passed into a touching type of womanly saintliness for all ages.—A. H. Gottschall.

Augustus (Caius Julius Cæsar Octavianus, first Emperor of Rome), b. c. 63-14. "Vos plaudite," after asking how he had acted his part in life. These reputed last words of Augustus rest upon the authority of Cicero.

Suetonius gives his last words thus: "Live mindful of our wedlock, Livia, and so farewell."

Babington (Anthony, English gentleman devoted to the cause of Mary Stuart. Executed for having conspired against the life of Queen Elizabeth),—1586. "The murder of the Queen had been represented to me as a deed lawful and meritorious. I die a firm Catholic." Said on the scaffold.

Bacon (Francis, Baron Verulam, Viscount St. Albans), 1561-1626. "Thy creatures, O Lord, have20 been my books, but Thy Holy Scriptures much more. I have sought Thee in the fields and gardens, but I have found Thee, O God, in Thy Sanctuary—Thy Temple."

"In March, 1626, he came to London, and one day near Highgate was taken with a desire to discover whether snow would act as an antiseptic. He stopped his carriage, got out at a cottage, purchased a fowl, and with his own hands assisted to stuff it with snow. He was seized with a sudden chill and became so seriously unwell that he had to be conveyed to Lord Arundel's house near by. There his illness increased, and he died of bronchitis after a few days of suffering."—Encyclopedia Britannica.

For my burial, I desire it may be in St. Michael's Church, St. Albans; there was my mother buried, and it is the parish church of my mansion-house of Gorhambury, and it is the only Christian Church within the walls of Old Verulam. For my name and memory, I leave it to men's charitable speeches, to foreign nations and the next ages.

From the Will of Lord Bacon.

Bailli or Bailliff (Roche de, known by the name of La Riviere, a distinguished French physician),—1605. "I must now hasten away since my baggage has been sent off before me."

When feeling the approaches of death, he sent for all his servants, and distributed his money and property among them, on condition that they immediately21 left the house, which was so punctually complied with, that when the physicians came on their next visit, they found the doors open, and their patient by himself, with no property left but the bed he lay upon. When the physicians remarked this circumstance to him, he answered that he must now go likewise, "since his baggage was sent off before him," and immediately expired.

The Book of Death.

Bailly (Jean Sylvain, French astronomer and philosopher, first President of the States-General, and later a victim of the Revolution), 1736-1793. "My friend, it is only from cold," to one of the bystanders who, witnessing the refinement of cruelty attending his execution, said, "Bailly, you tremble."

He was led on foot, amidst a drenching fall of snow and sleet, to the banks of the river, where, to parody the scene on Calvary, the heavy beams which support the guillotine were placed on his shoulders. He sank under the weight, but barbarous blows obliged him again to lift it. He fell a second time, and swooned away; yells of laughter arose in the crowd, and the execution was postponed till he revived, and could feel its bitterness. But nothing could subdue his courage. "You tremble, Bailly," said one of the spectators. "My friend," said the old man, "it is only from cold."[2]

22Barneveldt (Johan van Olden, Dutch statesman of liberal principles greatly in advance of his age. He has been called "the father of Dutch freedom and religious liberty." He was beheaded at the Hague in his seventy-first year, and met his fate without regret or a sign of fear), 1549-1619. "Oh God, what then is man!" Some say his last words were these, addressed to the executioners: "Be quick about it. Be quick."

Barre, de la (Jean François le Fèvre, Chevalier. He was condemned to death for having mutilated a crucifix, and was executed in 1766, at the age of nineteen), 1747-1766. "I did not think they would put a young gentleman to death for such a trifle."[3]

Poor young Barre was tortured, strangled and burned for not taking off his hat to a file of greasy monks. He remained covered while the Capuchins carried some mediæval trumpery in procession.

Walter Besant's "French Humorists."

Battie (William, English physician), 1704-1776. "Young man, you have heard, no doubt, how great are the terrors of death: this night will probably afford you some experience; but you may learn, and may you profit by the example, that a conscientious 23endeavor to perform his duties through life, will ever close a Christian's eyes with comfort and tranquillity," to his servant.

Baxter (Richard, noted English nonconformist, author of "The Saints' Everlasting Rest," and "The Call to the Unconverted"), 1615-1691. "I have pain—there is no arguing against sense—but I have peace, I have peace!" A little later he said, "I am almost well."

Bayard (Pierre du Terrail, called "le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche," the knight without fear and without reproach), 1475-1524. "At least, I may die facing the enemy."

At the defeat of Romaguans, Bonnivet, wounded and not able to serve any longer, gave the command of the army up to Bayard; who, as usual, performed prodigies of valor, until he was wounded by a musket shot, which broke the vertebrae of his back. He then caused himself to be helped off his horse, and to be placed at the foot of a tree. "At least," said he, "I may die facing the enemy;" and in a few moments he was dead.

Beard (Dr. George Miller, an American physician and scientist of unusual promise, who died upon the threshold of a great career), 1839-1883. He said to the doctors who endeavored to save his life, "You are good fellows, but you can do nothing for me. My time has come." His last words were,24 "I should like to record the thoughts of a dying man for the benefit of science, but it is impossible."

Dr. Beard had wonderful insight. He exposed and ruined the notorious Eddy Brothers, and comprehended, explained, and paralleled the exploits of Brown, the Mind Reader, showing the simple principle on which they were produced. His defects were too rapid generalization, and too positive and comprehensive assertion of results. Knowing well the uncertainty of average human testimony where the supernatural, or even the mysterious, is involved, he held that experts in the supposed supernatural alone were competent witnesses. Of these he thought that there were but three or four living, nor did he shrink from claiming that he was easily princeps among them. Of course, as there were no experts on earth when the miracles were wrought, he had no evidence of them. He was prone to comprehend as much as possible under one generic term. His work on Neurasthenia did not command general approbation, because it made almost everything a sign of nervous exhaustion. As a writer, he was brilliant and prolific. His fame would be more enduring if he had written five books, instead of fifty.


Beaton or Beatoun or Beton (David, Cardinal and Archbishop, an implacable enemy of Protestants. He knew neither rest nor mercy in his determination to crush the Reformed Faith, and his25 execution of George Wishart drew down upon him the execration of all good men), 1449-1546. "I am a priest! Fie! Fie! All is gone."

Cardinal Beaton was assassinated in May, 1546, in the chamber of his castle, by a band of men who sympathized with the Reformers, headed by Norman Leslie.

Beaufort (Henry, half-brother of Henry IV. He was made cardinal in 1426, and in 1430 he crowned Henry IV. at Notre Dame. He presided over the tribunal that sent the Maid of Orleans to the stake, and is supposed to have participated in the murder of the Duke of Gloucester), 1370-1447. "I pray you all pray for me." Some authorities give his last words thus: "And must I then die? Will not all my riches save me? I could purchase a kingdom, if that would save my life! What! is there no bribing death? When my nephew, the Duke of Bedford, died, I thought my happiness and my authority greatly increased; but the Duke of Gloucester's death raised me in fancy to a level with kings, and I thought of nothing but accumulating still greater wealth, to purchase at last the triple crown. Alas! how are my hopes disappointed! Wherefore, O my friends, let me earnestly beseech you to pray for me, and recommend my departing soul to God!"

Harpsfield: Hist. Eccles. edit. Duaci, 1622, p. 643.

A few minutes before his death, his mind ap26peared to be undergoing the tortures of the damned. He held up his two hands, and cried—"Away! away!—why thus do ye look at me?" He seemed to behold some horrible spectre by his bedside.[4]

Becket (Thomas à, first Saxon archbishop of Canterbury after the Norman conquest), 1117-1170. "For the name of Jesus and the defense of the church I am willing to die."

He was assassinated by four barons, servants of Henry II. The Roman Catholic Church regarded him as a martyr; and in 1172 he was canonized.

Bede (surnamed "The Venerable;" an English monk, and the author of "Historia Ecclesiastica 27 Gentis Anglorum"), 673-735. "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost."

It is related that on the night of his death he continued dictating to his amanuensis a translation of some work, probably of the gospel of St. John, into Anglo-Saxon. He asked the scribe how many chapters remained. "Only one," he replied; "but you are too weak to dictate." "No," said Bede, "take your pen and write quickly." After some time the scribe said, "Master, it is finished;" to which Bede replied, "Thou hast said truly, consummatum est," and shortly after expired.


Beecher (Henry Ward, distinguished American clergyman, for many years pastor of Plymouth Congregational28 Church, Brooklyn, N. Y.), 1813-1887. "Now comes the mystery."

Beethoven (Ludwig van), 1770-1827. "I shall hear in heaven."

When about thirty-five years old, while at work upon his opera of "Leonora," known in English as "Fidelio," he was attacked with deafness. The malady began gradually, but after a year made more rapid progress, and soon his hearing was entirely destroyed.

Some authorities give his last words thus: "Is it not true, dear Hammel, that I have some talent after all?" Hammel was an old friend with whom he had once quarrelled, and who, after being separated from him for a long time, came to him when he was upon his death bed.

Beethoven received the sacraments of the Roman church, and at about one in the afternoon of the same day he sank into apparent unconsciousness, and a distressing conflict with death began which lasted the rest of that day, the whole of the next day, and until a quarter of six on the evening of the day following. As the evening closed in, there came a sudden storm of hail and snow, covering the ground and roofs of the Schwarzspanierplatz, and followed by a flash of lightning, and an instant clap of thunder. So great was the crash as to arouse even the dying man. He opened his eyes, clinched his fist, and shook it in the air above him. This29 lasted a few seconds while the hail rushed down outside, and then the hand fell, and the great composer was no more.

Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Bellarmino (Cardinal Roberto), 1542-1621. "It is safest to trust in Jesus," to one who enquired whether it is safer to trust in the Virgin Mary than in Jesus.

Bentham (Jeremy, English philosopher and jurist, author of "Defence of Usury," "Theory of Penalties and Rewards," "The Rationale of Judicial Evidence," "Panopticon," and many other works of interest and value. He devoted much of his time and ability to the development of the theory that "Utility is the test and measure of virtue"), 1748-1832. "I feel now that I am dying."

Bérenger (de Tours, celebrated French ecclesiastic), 998-1088. "I shall not long hesitate between conscience and the Pope, for I shall soon appear in the presence of God, to be acquitted, I hope; to be condemned, I fear."

"No more 'twixt conscience staggering and the Pope,
Soon shall I now before my God appear:
By him to be acquitted, as I hope;
By him to be condemned, as I fear."—Coleridge.

Bérenger opposed the dogmas of Transubstantiation and the Real-Presence. His teachings were condemned by Pope Leo IX. in 1050.

30Bergerus (councillor to the Emperor Maximilian), "Farewell, O farewell all earthly things, and welcome heaven."

Berkeley (George, Bishop of Cloyne, metaphysical philosopher and author), 1684-1753.

The last words of Berkeley are not recorded, but the peacefulness and suddenness of his death are interesting. One evening he and his family were sitting and drinking tea together; he on one side of the fire, and his wife on the other, and his daughter making the tea at a little round table just behind him. She had given him one dish which he had drunk. She had poured out another which he left standing some time. "Sir," said she, "will you not take your tea?" Upon his making no kind of an answer, she stooped forward and looked at him, and found that he was dead.

Life of Bishop Berkeley.

Berkeley directed in his will that his body should be kept above ground more than five days, and until it became "offensive by the cadaverous smell, and that during the said time it lye unwashed, undisturbed and covered by the same bedclothes, in the same bed, the head raised upon pillows."

Bernard ("Saint," Abbot of Clairvaux and active promoter of the crusade of 1146. He is the author of many beautiful hymns), 1091-1153. "May God's31 will be done," said when he was told that his last hour was at hand.

Berry or Berri (Caroline Ferdinande Louise, Madame de), 1798-1870. "Is not this dying with courage and true greatness?"

Biron (Armand Louis de Gontaut, Duc de Lauzun, French general-in-chief of the army of the Rhine), 1747-1793. "I have been false to my God, to my order, and to my king: I die full of faith and of repentance."

The executioner's messenger surprised him at a breakfast of oysters and white wine, and said he was at the duke's orders; to which the latter rejoined, "No morbleu, 'tis just the other way: I am at yours!" He then asked that he might be permitted to finish his breakfast, after which he answered the summons of the executioner.

Bismarck von Schonhausen (Karl Otto, Prince, the most distinguished of Prussian statesmen), 1813-1898. "Thank you, my child," to his daughter, Countess von Rantzau, who wiped the perspiration from his forehead.

On Thursday evening an improvement set in in the Prince's condition, in which repeated changes for the worse had occurred since October last, and he was able to appear at the table and take part in the conversation, drinking champagne and afterward smoking several pipes, which he had not done lately.

32 His condition was so satisfactory that Dr. Schweninger, after the Prince had gone to bed, went away, with the intention of returning on Saturday. His condition was comparatively satisfactory throughout Friday and Saturday morning. He read the "Nachrichten" and conversed on politics, particularly referring to Russian affairs. In the forenoon he took luncheon, grumbling jocularly at the small proportion of spirits in his drinking water. Then a sudden change for the worse occurred, and in the afternoon he frequently became unconscious.

Recently, besides periods of unusual mental clearness, the Prince had had intervals of drowsiness, falling into long, sound and beneficial sleep, on awaking from which he would be completely refreshed.

On Saturday evening grave symptoms appeared. Death came easily and painlessly. Dr. Schweninger was able to some extent to lighten the last moments, wiping the patient's mouth and enabling him to breathe more freely.

The last words Prince Bismarck uttered were addressed to his daughter, Countess von Rantzau, who wiped the perspiration from his forehead. They were, "Thank you, my child."

The whole family were assembled at the bedside at the time of his death, and Dr. Schweninger, Dr. Chrysander and Baron and Baroness Merck were also present. As no breathing, movement or pulse was perceptible for three minutes, Dr. Schweninger33 declared quietly and simply that the Prince was dead.

Dr. Schweninger telegraphed the news to Emperor William, in Norway.

The Prince lies as he used to sleep, with his head slightly inclined to the left. The expression on his face is mild and peaceful. It is remarked that his head remained warm for an unusually long time.

In accordance with Prince Bismarck's wish, he will be buried upon the hill opposite the castle in the vicinity of Hirschgruppe.

Nachrichten, July 31st, 1898.

Blake (William, English artist and poet), 1757-1828. Blake died singing.

"On the day of his death," writes Smith, who had his account from the widow, "he composed and uttered songs to his Maker, so sweetly to the ear of his Catherine, that when she stood to hear him, he, looking upon her most affectionately, said, 'My beloved! they are not mine. No! they are not mine!' He told her they would not be parted; he should always be about her to take care of her. A little before his death, Mrs. Blake asked where he would be buried, and whether a dissenting minister or a clergyman of the Church of England should read the service. To which he answered, that as far as his own feelings were concerned, she might bury him where she pleased. But that as father, mother,34 aunt and brother were buried in Bunhill Row, perhaps it would be better to lie there. As for service, he should wish for that of the Church of England.

"In that plain, back room, so dear to the memory of his friends, and to them beautiful from association with him—with his serene cheerful converse, his high personal influence, so spiritual and rare—he lay chanting Songs to Melodies, both the inspiration of the moment, but no longer as of old to be noted down. To the pious songs followed, about six in the summer evening, a calm and painless withdrawal of breath; the exact moment almost unperceived by his wife, who sat by his side. A humble female neighbor, her only other companion, said afterwards: 'I have been at the death, not of a man, but of a blessed angel.'"

Gilchrist's Life of William Blake.

"He said he was going to that country, he had all his life wished to see, and expressed himself happy, hoping for salvation through Jesus Christ. Just before he died his countenance became fair, his eyes brightened, and he burst out into singing of the things he saw in heaven. In truth he died like a saint, as a person who was standing by him observed."[5]

From a letter written at the time of Blake's death.

35Blood (Thomas, an Irish adventurer who served in Cromwell's army. He seized the Duke of Ormond in his coach in London, and would have hanged him but for the resistance of his servants. In 1671 he came very near possessing himself of 36the crown jewels), 1628-1680. "I do not fear death."

Blood, that wears treason in his face,
Villain complete in parson's gown,
How much is he at court in grace,
For stealing Ormond and the crown!
Since loyalty does no man good,
Let's steal the king and outdo Blood.
Lord Rochester.

Blum (Robert, German democrat and politician, founder of the Schiller Association and of the German Catholic Church at Leipsic, popular leader of the Liberal party in the Revolution of 1848. On the capture of the city of Windischgrätz he was arrested, tried by court-martial, convicted of having instigated the uprising, and shot), 1807-1848. "I am ready—let there be no mistake and no delay," to the soldiers who were charged with the duty of shooting him.

37 He entreated as a last favor, that he might be permitted to write to his wife, which was agreed to, and the letter concluded with these words: "Let not my fate discourage you; but bring up our children so that they may not bring disgrace on my name." "Now I am ready," said he, addressing the officers of justice, when the letter was done. Arrived at the place of execution, he said to one of the cuirassiers of his escort, "Here, then, we are come to the last stage of my journey." He desired not to have his eyes bandaged; and this being refused, lest his unsteadiness should cause the men to miss their aim, he blindfolded himself, and knelt down with manly courage. He fell pierced by three balls, and died instantly.—Balleydier, ii. 366, 367.

Boehm or Bohme (Jacob, German mystic who believed himself divinely illuminated and gifted with an understanding of the secrets of nature and grace. Some of his writings are so obscure and visionary as to be well nigh incomprehensible, yet he numbered among his admirers many learned and distinguished persons who sat at the feet of the "phylosophical shoemaker of Görlitz," and adopted his most remarkable opinions), 1575-1624. "Do you hear the music? Now I go hence."

Boerhaave (Herman, Dutch physician and philosopher), 1668-1738. "He that loves God ought to think nothing desirable but what is pleasing to the Supreme Goodness."

38 The reputation of Boerhaave as a physician and a man of learning is perhaps without a parallel in history. His fame extended not only to every part of Christendom, but to the farthest bounds of Asia. A Chinese mandarin addressed a letter to him with this superscription, "To Boerhaave, Physician in Europe," and the missive was duly received.... His intense application to study, and the exposure incident to his professional duties, had brought upon him (in 1732) a severe illness, which confined him to his bed for several months. When he recovered, the inhabitants of Leyden celebrated the joyful event by a public illumination.—Lippincott.

Boileau (Boileau-Despréaux, Nicolas, eminent French poet and satirist), 1636-1711. "It is a great consolation for a dying poet to have never written a word against morality."

Boleyn or Bullen (Anne, wife of Henry VIII), 1507-1536. Just before she knelt to lay her head on the block she clasped her neck with her hands, and said: "It is small, very small indeed."

Bolingbroke (Henry St. John, Viscount, English author, orator, and politician), 1678-1751. At last, though the precise words are not preserved, he gave directions that no clergyman should visit him, and avowed his adherence to the deistical principles to which he had held through his life.

His last words to Lord Chesterfield were: "God,39 who placed me here, will do what he pleases with me hereafter, and he knows best what to do. May he bless you."[6]

The dreadful malady under which Bolingbroke lingered, and at length sank—a cancer in the face—he bore with exemplary fortitude, a fortitude drawn from the natural resources of his mind, and unhappily not aided by the consolation of any religion; for, having early cast off the belief in revelation, he had substituted, in its stead, a dark and gloomy naturalism, which even rejected those glimmerings of hope as to futurity not untasted by the wiser of the heathens.—Lord Brougham.

Booth (John Wilkes, American actor, the assassin of President Lincoln),—1865. "Useless! useless!" Said to the officer who demanded that he should surrender.

There has been some strange discussion of a mysterious paper said to have been delivered to Mr. John F. Coyle, editor of "The National Intelligencer" and purporting to be a statement to the 40public from John Wilkes Booth. An eye-witness relates that on the night of the assassination of President Lincoln, a private dinner-party was in progress in a back room at Wormley's restaurant, in Washington, at which were present General Baird, Robert Johnson, the Hon. Samuel J. Randall, John Morrissey, John F. Coyle, editor of "The National Intelligencer," and one other gentleman. During the progress of the dinner a waiter, who had been out on the street, returned and stated that the President had been shot at Ford's Theatre. The news created great consternation in the party, who at first thought the waiter was drunk or crazy. Later, when they were assured that it was a fact, and that John Wilkes Booth was accused of the crime, John F. Coyle, with blanched features and trembling lips, said: "My God, gentlemen! This very day I met John Wilkes Booth on the market-space. He was on a bay mare, and rode up to me and handed me a sealed envelope, saying, as he did so, 'If you hear of me within twenty-four hours, publish this; if you do not hear of me within that time, destroy this,' and he rode away. Here is the package," continued Mr. Coyle, producing a letter envelope from his pocket; "what shall I do with it?" "Destroy it at once," said Mr. Randall. "They will hang anybody who knows anything about the assassination, no matter how innocently he may have come by the knowledge; don't open it—burn it up just as it is!" "Yes," said Mr. Morrissey, "burn it up, for God's41 sake, at once." The doors were carefully locked. A fire was made in the grate, and the mysterious envelope and its contents were carefully burned. Even the ashes were collected and placed in a dish; water was poured upon them, and the two were mixed into a paste, which was afterward put into the fire and burned again.

Borgia (Cesare), killed at the siege of the Castle of Biano in 1507. "I die unprepared."

"Cesare Borgia was one of the most crafty, cruel, and corrupt men of that corrupt age. No crime was too foul for him to perpetrate or be suspected of. He was charged with the murder of his elder brother, Giovanni, duke of Gandia, and of Alfonso, the husband of Lucrezia; with plotting with his father the murder of Cardinal Corneto; and with incest with his sister. In his wars he had garrisons massacred, and carried off bands of women to gratify his lust."—Cate.

Bossuet (Jacques Bénigne, French divine and pulpit orator), 1627-1704. "I suffer the violence of pain and death, but I know whom I have believed."

Bourg du (Anne, French magistrate. He was falsely accused of the assassination of Minard, and was executed in 1559), 1521-1559. "Six feet of earth for my body, and the infinite heavens for my soul, is what I shall soon have."

42Boyle (Robert, chemist and experimental philosopher), 1626-1691. "We shall there desire nothing that we have not, except more tongues to sing more praise to Him."

Boyle learned the Hebrew and Greek languages to qualify himself to write in defence of revealed religion; and printed at his own expense a translation of the gospels into the Malay language. He refused a peerage, which was offered to him repeatedly. It has been remarked that he was born in the year of Bacon's death, as the person destined by nature to succeed him; and he may be accounted the most zealous and successful disciple of Bacon in inductive philosophy. His merits were commemorated by Boerhaave in terms like these: "Mr. Boyle, the ornament of his age and country, succeeded to the genius and talents of Lord Verulam. We owe to him the secrets of fire, air, water, animals, plants and fossils." He was distinguished for his liberality and active benevolence.—Lippincott.

Bozzaris (Marcos, a Greek patriot, celebrated by Fitz-Greene Halleck in a thrilling poem), 1790-1823. "O, to die for Liberty is a pleasure and not a pain."

Bradford (Alden, Secretary of the State of Massachusetts from 1812 to 1824, and author of a history of Massachusetts and other works), 1765-1843. "Peace!"

43Bradford (Andrew, publisher of the "American Weekly Mercury," the first newspaper that appeared in Philadelphia. He was the only printer in Pennsylvania from 1712 to 1723), 1686-1742. "O Lord, forgive the errata!"

Bradford's last words rest upon the doubtful authority of an old letter signed by George E. Clarkson.

Bradford (John, a martyr of the Reformation),—1555. "Be of good comfort, brother, for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night: if there be any way to heaven on horseback or in fiery chariots, this is it." These words were addressed to a fellow martyr.

Brainerd (David, Missionary to the Indians), 1718-1747. "Lord, now let thy servant depart in peace."

Some say his last words were: "I am almost in eternity. I long to be there. My work is done. The watcher is with me; why tarry the wheels of his chariot?"

Bremer (Fredrika, the most celebrated of Swedish novelists, called the "Miss Austen of Sweden"), 1802-1865. "Ah! my child, let us speak of Christ's love—the best, the highest love!"

Brocklesby (Richard, distinguished English physician), 1722-1797. "What an idle piece of ceremony this buttoning and unbuttoning is to me,44 now," to his servants who had undressed him and prepared him for bed.

Bronté (Rev. Patrick, father of Charlotte and Emily), 1774-1861. "While there is life there is will." He died standing.[7]

Bronté (Emily), 1818-1848. "No, no!" to her sister who begged her to allow them to put her to bed. She died sitting upon the sofa.

Brooks (Phillips, Bishop of Massachusetts), 1835-1893. His last written words were, "There is no other life but the eternal."

45 Brown (John, Scottish linguist and preacher), 1720-1787. "My Christ."

Brown (John, hanged December 2, 1859, for his part in the famous Harper's Ferry insurrection), 1800-1859. "I am ready at any time—do not keep me waiting," said to the sheriff who asked him if he should give him a private signal before the fatal moment.

His last request was not complied with. The troops that had formed his escort had to be put in their proper position, and while this was going on he stood for some ten or fifteen minutes blindfolded; the rope round his neck and his feet on the treacherous platform, expecting instantly the fatal act; but he stood for this comparatively long time upright as a soldier in position and motionless.—J. T. L. Preston (an eye-witness of John Brown's death) in the Bivouac for August, 1886.

Browning (Elizabeth Barrett, English poet), 1805-1861. "It is beautiful."

Bruce (Robert, distinguished divine of the Scottish Church), about 1554-1631. "Now God be with you, my dear children; I have breakfasted with you, and shall sup with my Lord Jesus Christ."

Robert Bruce, the morning before he died, being at breakfast, and having, as he used, eaten an egg, said to his daughter: "I think I am yet hungry;46 you may bring me another egg." But, having mused awhile, he said: "Hold, daughter, hold; my Master calls me." With these words his sight failed him, on which he called for the Bible, and said: "Turn to the eighth chapter of Romans and set my finger on the words, 'I am persuaded that neither death, nor life,' etc., 'shall be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'" When this was done, he said: "Now, is my finger upon them?" Being told it was, he added: "Now, God be with you, my dear children; I have breakfasted with you, and shall sup with my Lord Jesus Christ this night." And then he expired.

Bruno (Giordano, philosopher of an independent and speculative mind. He was burned at Rome in 1600 by the Inquisition on the charges of heresy and apostasy), 1550-1600. "I die a martyr and willingly—my soul shall mount up to heaven in this chariot of smoke."[8]

47Brutus (Decimus Junius, one of the murderers of Cæsar),—b. c. 33. Dion Cassius (Lib. xlvii) represents Brutus as quoting, just before his death, the following passage from Euripides, "O wretched virtue! thou art a bare name! I mistook thee for a substance; but thou thyself art the slave of fortune."

Bryant (William Cullen, American poet and journalist), 1794-1878. "Whose house is this? What street are we in? Why did you bring me here?"

His death was caused by a blow on the head received in falling upon the stone steps in front of Mr. James Grant Wilson's house in New York City. He was carried into Mr. Wilson's house, where he soon recovered sufficiently to be removed to his own home. But his thoughts were clouded, and he did not know where he was.

Buchanan (George, Scottish historian, scholar, and Latin poet), 1506-1582. "It matters little to me; for if I am but once dead they may bury me or not bury me as they please. They may leave my corpse to rot where I die if they wish." To his servant, whom he had directed to distribute his property among the poor, and who thereupon asked him, "Who will defray the expenses of your burial?"

48Buchanan (James, fifteenth President of the United States), 1791-1868. "O Lord Almighty, as thou wilt!"

Buckle (Henry Thomas, author of "The History of Civilization"), 1822-1862. "Poor little boys!"

Bull (George, Bishop of Saint David's, author of "The Defence of the Nicene Faith"), 1634-1710. "Amen."

Bunyan (John, author of "Pilgrim's Progress"), 1628-1688. "Weep not for me, but for yourselves. I go to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who no doubt will receive me, though a sinner, through the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ; where I hope we shall ere long meet to sing the new song and remain happy forever—forever, world without end. Amen!"

Buonarotti (Michael Angelo), 1474-1564. "My soul I resign to God, my body to the earth, and my worldly possessions to my relations; admonishing them that through their lives and in the hour of death they think upon the sufferings of Jesus Christ. And I do desire that my body be taken to the city of Florence for its last rest."—Vasari xii: 269.

It was now necessary to convey the mortal remains to Florence. Opposition was feared from the49 Romans. It was asserted that it was not Michael Angelo's last wish to be buried in his native city. His friends went secretly to work. The coffin was conveyed as merchandise out of the gates.

On the eleventh of March it arrived at Florence. After thirty years of voluntary exile, Michael Angelo returned, when dead, to his native city. Only a few knew that it was he who entered the gate in that covered coffin.

In the sacristy the coffin was opened for the first time. The people had forced their way into the church. There he lay; and, in spite of three weeks having elapsed since his death, he seemed unchanged, and bore no symptom of decay; the features undisfigured, as if he had just died.

Grimm: "Life of Michael Angelo."

About the year 1720 the vault in Santa Croce was opened, and the remains of Michael Angelo were found not to have lost their original form. He was habited in the costume of the ancient citizens of Florence, in a gown of green velvet, and slippers of the same.—Bottari.

Burke or Bourke (Edmund, orator, and statesman), 1730-1797. "God bless you."

Burn (Andrew, major-general in the Royal Marines), 1742-1814. "Nobody, nobody but Jesus50 Christ. Christ crucified is the stay of my poor soul," to one who asked him if he wished to see any one.

Burns (Robert, the great peasant poet of Scotland), 1759-1796. "Oh, don't let the awkward squad fire over me!" He alluded to a body of Dumfries militia, of which he was a member, and of which he entertained a very poor opinion.[9]

Burr (Aaron, third Vice-President of the United States. In 1804 he fought his famous duel with Hamilton), 1756-1836. "Madame."

Burton (Sir Richard F.), 1821-1890. "Oh Puss, chloroform—ether—or I am a dead man," said to his wife who feared to administer an anæsthetic without the direction of a physician. Dr. Barker 51in a letter to Lady Stisled says that a moment later "suddenly the breathing became labored, there were a few moments of awful struggle for air, then, conscious to the last, he exclaimed, 'I am a dead man,' fell back on his pillow and expired."

Butler (Benjamin Franklin, attorney-general of the United States, from 1831 to 1834), 1795-1858. "I have peace, perfect peace. 'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.'"

Butler (Joseph, English Bishop, and author of the celebrated "Analogy of Religion"), 1692-1752. "I have often read and thought of that scripture, but never till this moment did I feel its full power, and now I die happy." These words were spoken to his chaplain who read him John vi., and called attention to the 37th verse: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

Byron (George Gordon Noel, Lord, one of the greatest of English poets), 1788-1824. "I must sleep now."

It has been asserted, upon what authority the compiler does not know, that the last words of Byron were, "Shall I sue for mercy?" After a long pause he added, it is said, "Come, come, no weakness: let me be a man to the last."

52Caesar (Caius Julius), b. c. 100-44. "Et tu Brute!" to Marcus Brutus, on discovering him among the assassins.

Authorities differ: some have it, "What! art thou, too, one of them! Thou, my son!" and others omit the words "my son." If, however, the last two words are to be retained, they express only the difference of age between Cæsar and Brutus. There is no good reason for regarding them as an avowal that Brutus was the fruit of the connection between Julius and Servilia.

He died in the fifty-sixth year of his age, and was ranked amongst the gods, not only by a formal decree, but in the belief of the vulgar. For during the first games which Augustus, his heir, consecrated to his memory, a comet blazed for seven days together, rising always about eleven o'clock; and it was supposed to be the soul of Cæsar, now received into heaven; for which reason, likewise, he is represented in his statue with a star on his brow. The senate-house in which he was slain was ordered to be shut up, and a decree was made that the ides of March should be called parricidal, and that the senate should never more assemble on that day.

J. Eugene Reed: "The Twelve Cæsars."

Calderon (Don Rodrigo, adventurer, who under the title of Marques de Siete Iglesias, rose to the first place in Spanish influence and power, in the time of Philip III.),—1621. "All my life I have53 carried myself gracefully," to his confessor who reproved him for his ill-timed regard for appearances when about to die upon the scaffold.

Cadogan (William Bromley, English clergyman), 1751-1797. "I thank you for all your faithful services; God bless you," to a servant who had been with him many years.

Calhoun (John Caldwell, Vice-President of the United States, called the "Father of State-rights"), 1782-1850. "The South! The South! God knows what will become of her!"

"He died under the firm impression that the South was betrayed and gone."

An unpublished letter from Senator Hunter of Virginia.

Calhoun (Simeon Howard, missionary in the Holy Land for nearly forty years. He was a thorough scholar in Arabic and Turkish languages, and assisted Dr. Goodell in making the first translation of the Bible into Turkish), 1804-1876. "Were the church of Christ what she should be, twenty years would not pass away without the story of the cross being uttered in the ear of every living person."

Calvin (John, one of the greatest of the Protestant Reformers, and "The Father of Presbyterianism"), 1509-1564. "Thou, Lord, bruisest me; but I am abundantly satisfied, since it is from thy hand."

54 On the day of his death, he appeared stronger, and spoke with less difficulty; but this was the last effort of nature, for about eight o'clock in the evening, certain symptoms of dissolution manifested themselves. When one of his domestics brought one of the brethren, and me, who had only just left him, this intelligence, I returned immediately with all speed, and found he had died in so very tranquil a manner, that without his feet and hands being in any respect discomposed, or his breathing increased, his senses, judgment and in some measure his voice, remaining entire to his very last gasp, he appeared more to resemble one in a state of sleep than death.... At two o'clock in the afternoon on Sunday, his body was carried to the common burying-place, called Plein Palais, without extraordinary pomp. His funeral, however, was attended by the members of the senate, the pastors, all the professors of the college, and a great portion of the citizens. The abundance of tears shed on this occasion afforded the strongest evidence of the sense which they entertained of their loss. According to his own directions, no hillock, no monument was erected to his memory.—Theodore Beza: "Life of John Calvin."

Campbell (Thomas, English poet), 1777-1844. "No; it was one Tom Campbell." Campbell's friends were doubtful whether he was conscious or not of what was going on in his presence, and had recourse to an artifice to learn. One of them spoke55 of the poem "Hohenlinden," and pretending to forget the author's name, said he had heard it was by Mr. Robinson. Campbell saw the trick, was amused, and said playfully, but in a calm and distinct tone, "No; it was one Tom Campbell."

Some time before he uttered his last words he said:—

"When I think of the existence which shall commence when the stone is laid over my head, how can literary fame appear to me, to any one, but as nothing? I believe, when I am gone, justice will be done to me in this way—that I was a pure writer. It is an inexpressible comfort, at my time of life, to be able to look back and feel that I have not written one line against religion or virtue."

Cano (Alonzo, the "Michael Angelo of Spain"), 1601-1667. "Vex me not with this thing, but give me a simple cross, that I may adore it, both as it is in itself and as I can figure it in my mind," to a priest who gave him an elaborate but badly carved cross. He had previously refused the sacrament from the hand of a priest who had administered it to converted Jews.

Carlyle (Thomas, essayist, translator, and historian), 1795-1881. His mind was wandering when Froude went to his bedside, but he recognized him and said: "I am very ill. Is it not strange that these people should have chosen the very oldest man in all Britain to make suffer in this way?" Froude56 answered, "We do not know exactly why those people act as they do. They may have reasons we cannot guess at." "Yes," said Carlyle, "it would be rash to say that they have no reasons." When Froude saw him next, his speech was gone.[10]

Carnot (Marie François Sadi-Carnot, President of the French Republic, assassinated by Cesare Giovanni57 Santo in Lyons, June 24, 1894), 1837-1894. "I am grateful for your presence." These words were in response to those of Dr. Poncet who leaned over the bed on which the President was lying, and said, "Your friends are here, Monsieur le President."

Cary (Alice, American poetess and magazine writer), 1820-1871. "I want to go away."

Cavour (Camillo Benso, Count de, Italian statesman), 1810-1861. "No, your Majesty, to-morrow you will not see me here," to Victor Emmanuel, who, as he turned away in tears, said to Cavour, "I shall come to see you again to-morrow."

He secured liberty of the press, and favored religious toleration and free trade. Among the important measures of his administration were his rebellion against papal domination, and his alliance with France and England in the war against Russia in 1855. After the close of the war he devoted his efforts to the liberation and unity of Italy, undismayed by the angry fulminations of the Vatican.


Cazotte (Jacques, French poet and royalist, executed by the revolutionists September 25th, 1792), 1720-1792. "My dear wife, my dear children, do not weep: do not forget me, but above all, remember never to offend God."

58Channing (William Ellery, distinguished Unitarian clergyman and writer of rare grace and beauty. He has been called the "Father of American Unitarianism"), 1780-1842. "You need not be anxious concerning to-night. It will be very peaceful and quiet with me."

He turned his face toward that sinking orb, and he and the sun went away together. Each, as the other, left the smile of his departure spread on all around,—the sun on the clouds; he on the heart.

Theodore Parker.

His remains were brought to Boston, and committed to the grave amidst the regrets of all classes and parties; and, as the procession moved from the church, the bell of the Catholic Cathedral tolled his knell,—a fact never perhaps paralleled in the history of Romanism. And so departed one of the great men of the Republic,—one who, amidst its servility to mammon and slavery, ceased not to recall it to the sense of its honor and duty,—a man whose memory his countrymen will not willingly let die. As the visitor wanders among the shaded aisles of the western part of Mount Auburn, he sees a massive monument of marble, designed by Allston, the poet-painter. Generous and brave men, from whatever clime, resort to it, and go from it more generous and brave; for there reposes the great and good man whom we have commemorated. The early beams, intercepted by neighboring heights, fall not upon the spot; but the light of high noon and the later and59 benigner rays of the day play through the foliage in dazzling gleams upon the marble,—a fitting emblem of his fame; for, when the later and better light which is yet to bless our desolate race shall come, it will fall with bright illustration on the character of this rare man, and on the great aims of his life.

Methodist Quarterly Review, January, 1849.

Charles I. (Charles Stuart, King of England), 1600-1649. "Remember!" to William Juxon, Archbishop of Canterbury, who declared to the Commissioners of the Commons that the king's last words were meant as a message to his son, and were intended to enjoin forgiveness of his enemies by his son in the future. Some say his last words were, "I fear not death; death is not terrible to me." He was executed January 30, 1649.[11]

60Charles II. (of England, "The Merry Monarch"), 1630-1685. "Don't let poor Nelly starve!" The king referred to Margaret Symcott, known as Eleanor Gwynne or Nell Gwynn. She commenced life as an orange-girl in the streets of London. Later she sang in taverns, and after a time became a popular actress in the Theatre Royal. She is remembered as the mistress of Charles II. She seems to have been a very kind and good-hearted woman. She was faithful to her royal lover, and upon his death retired from the world and lived in seclusion.[12]

61Charles V. (of France, called "The Wise." He was the son of John II. who was made prisoner by the Black Prince at Poitiers), 1337-1380. "Ah, Jesus!"

Charles IX. (of France, second son of Henry II. and Catharine de' Médici), 1550-1574. "Nurse, nurse, what murder! what blood! Oh! I have done wrong. God pardon me!" The king referred, no doubt, to the massacre of St. Bartholomew, which he occasioned. Voltaire tells us his dying remorse was so great that "blood oozed from his pores."[13] There are recorded other examples of bloody sweat. It is said of a man at Lyons that when sentenced to62 death a bloody sweat covered his body. In the Medical Gazette, December, 1848, is an account by Dr. Schneider of some Norwegian sailors who, in a tremendous storm, sweated blood from extreme terror. See also the British Critic, 1831, p. 1. When our Saviour bore the sins of the world in the Garden of Gethsemane, "his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke xxii., 44.)

Charles V. (Don Carlos I. of Spain, afterwards Emperor of Germany), 1500-1558. "Now, Lord, I go!" a moment later, with eyes fixed upon the crucifix, he added, "Ay, Jesus!" and expired.

Charlemagne (Charles I., King of France and Emperor of the West), 742-814. "Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

Charlotte (Augusta, commonly called the Princess, daughter of George IV. and Queen Caroline), 1796-1817. "You make me drink. Pray leave me quiet. I find it affects my head." She died in child-bed.

Chastelard, de (Pierre de Boscosel, a young French poet and musician who became enamoured of Mary Queen of Scots, and concealing himself in her bedchamber, attempted her honor. Mary pardoned his offence, but upon his repeating it, he was63 executed at Edinburgh), 1540-1563. He died chanting a love-song, having on the way to the scaffold prepared his mind for the work of the executioner by reading Ronsard's hymn on death.

Chaucer (Geoffrey, "Father of English Poetry"), 1328-1400. Chaucer died repeating the "Balade made by Geoffrey Chaucyer, when upon his dethe-bedde, lying in his grete anguysse."

Chénier (André), 1762-1794. He was waiting for his turn to be dragged to the guillotine, when he commenced this poem:

"Comme un dernier rayon, comme un dernier zéphyre
Anime la fin d'un beau jour;
Au pied de l'échafaud j'essaie encore ma lyre,
Peut-être est ce bientôt mon tour;
"Peut-être avant que l'heure en cercle promenée
Ait posé sur l'émail brillant,
Dans les soixante pas où sa route est bornée,
Son pied sonore et vigilant,
"Le sommeil du tombeau pressera me paupière—"

Here, at this pathetic line, was André Chénier summoned to the guillotine! Never was a more beautiful effusion of grief interrupted by a more affecting incident.—Curiosities of Literature.

Chesterfield (Philip Dormer Stanhope), 1694-1773. "Give Day Rolles a chair."

64Chopin (Frederick, distinguished Polish pianist and composer), 1810-1849. "Who is near me?" he was told Gutman—his favorite pupil. He bent his head to kiss the hand of his dear friend and pupil, and in that act of love and devotion died.

Chrysostom (John, called "Saint"), 350-407. He died at the close of church-service, with the words, "Glory to God for all things, Amen."

Splendor of intellect, mellowness of heart, and gorgeousness of fancy were the characteristics of this greatest of preachers.

Chudleigh (Elizabeth, Duchess of Kingston. She was an adventuress famous throughout England for her wonderful beauty and for her wild and wayward life), 1720-1788. "I will lie down on the couch; I can sleep, and after that I shall be entirely recovered."

Cleopatra (Queen of Egypt, daughter of Ptolemy Auletes), b. c. 69-30. "Here thou art, then!" These words, which are traditional, she is said to have addressed to the asp with which she committed suicide.

When she heard that it was Cæsar's intention to send her into Syria, she asked permission to visit Antony's tomb, over which she poured forth most bitter lamentations. "Hide me, hide me," she exclaimed, "with thee in the grave; for life, since thou hast left it, has been misery to me." After crown65ing the tomb with flowers, she kissed it, and ordered a bath to be prepared. She then sat down to a magnificent supper, after which a peasant came to the gate with a small basket of figs covered with leaves, which was admitted into the monument. Amongst the figs and under the leaves was concealed the asp which Cleopatra applied to her bosom. She was found dead, attired in one of her most gorgeous dresses, decorated with brilliants, and lying on her golden bed.—Winslow: "Anatomy of Suicide."

Coke (Sir Edward, Lord Chief Justice of England, and author of the celebrated work, "Coke upon Littleton"), 1552-1633. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done."

Collingborn (William), "Lord Jesus! Yet more trouble?" These words he is reported to have spoken after the executioner had opened his body to extract his heart.

William Collingborn was condemned for making this rhyme on King Richard III.,

The cat, the rat, and Lovel, our dog,
Rule all England, under the hog.

Collingborn was hanged and cut down alive, his bowels ripped out and cast into the fire; when the executioner put his hand into the bulk of his body, to pull out his heart, he said, "Lord Jesus! Yet66 more trouble?" and so died, to the great sorrow of many people.—Fab. Chron., p. 519.

Collins (Anthony, essayist and deist), 1676-1729. "I have always endeavored, to the best of my ability, to serve God, my king and my country. I go to the place God has designed for those who love him." Some say his last words were, "The Catholic faith is, to love God and to love man. This is the best faith, and to its entertainment I exhort you all."

Columbus (Christopher, discovered America October 12th, 1492), 1435-1506. "In manus tuos, Domine, commendo spiritum meum."

Columbus died at Valladolid, a disappointed, broken-hearted old man; little comprehending what he had done for mankind, and still less the glory and homage that through all future generations awaited his name.—Ticknor.

Confucius (His name was Kong, but his disciples called him Kong-Fu-tse, which is "Kong the Master," and this the Jesuit missionaries Latinized into Confucius), b. c., 551-479. "I have taught men how to live."

Early one morning, it is said, he rose, and with his hands behind his back dragging his staff, moved about by his door, crooning, "The great mountain must crumble, the strong heart must break, and the wise man wither away like a plant. In all the provinces of the empire there arises not one intelligent67 monarch who will make me his master. My time has come to die." He went to his couch and never left it again.... His mind was magnanimous and his heart was serene. He was a lonely old man—parents, wife, child, friends, all gone—but this made the fatal message so much the more welcome. Without any expectation of a future life, uttering no prayer, betraying no fear, he approached the dark valley with the strength and peace of a well-ordered will resigned to Heaven, beyond a doubt treasuring in his heart the assurance of having served his fellow-men in the highest spirit he knew, and with the purest light he had.

For twenty-five centuries he has been as unreasonably venerated as he was unjustly neglected in his life. His name is on every lip throughout China, his person in every imagination. The thousands of his descendants are a titled and privileged class by themselves. The diffusion and intensity of the popular admiration and honor for him are wonderful. Countless temples are reared to him, millions of tablets inscribed to him. His authority is supreme. He is worshiped by the pupils of the schools, the magistrates, the emperor himself in full pomp. Would that a small share of this superfluity had solaced some of the lonesome hours he knew while yet alive!—Alger's "Genius of Solitude."

Conradin (Konradin of Swabia, the last descendant of the imperial House of Hohenstaufen, son of 68Konrad IV.), 1252-1268. "O my mother! how deep will be thy sorrow at the news of this day!"

A few minutes before his execution, Conradin, on the scaffold, took off his glove and threw it into the midst of the crowd as a gage of vengeance, requesting that it might be carried to his heir, Peter of Arragon. This duty was undertaken by the Chevalier de Walburg, who, after many hairbreadth escapes, succeeded in fulfilling his prince's last command.

Chambers' Encyclopædia.

Cookman (Alfred, American clergyman connected with the Presbyterian church), 1828-1871. "I am sweeping through the gates, washed in the blood of the Lamb."

Corday d'Armans, de (Marie Anne Charlotte, usually called Charlotte Corday, a young woman of noble family and of a courageous and lofty spirit. She stabbed Marat, one of the most bloodthirsty of all the vile monsters of the French Revolution), 1768-1793. "This is the toilette of death, arranged by somewhat rude hands, but it leads to immortality." She must have spoken later, perhaps many times, but the words recorded are the last of which we can be certain.

One description of Charlotte Corday says that she was of medium height, with an oval face, fine features, blue eyes, a good nose, beautiful mouth, chest69nut hair, lovely hands and arms; another says that she was a virago, awkward, dirty, insolent, rubicund, and fat; and that if she had been pretty she would have been more anxious to live.

La Démagogie.

We read in the Moniteur, "Charlotte Corday has been executed, the 17th, about seven p. m., in the Place de la Révolution, in the (red) garb of assassins, and her goods confiscated to the Republic." The executioner ... struck the bleeding head, when he showed it, according to custom, to those present; the cheeks were still crimson, and it was said that they were so in consequence of the insult thus offered to them.[14]La Démagogie.

Cosin or Cozen (Dr. John, English divine), 1594-1672. "Lord!"

70 He raised his hand and cried, "Lord!" After this he expired without pain. It is thought that he wished to repeat his frequent prayer, "Lord Jesus, come quickly!" He desired above all things to die suddenly and without distress of body or mind.

Cowper (William, distinguished English poet), 1731-1800. "What can it signify?" Said to Miss Perowne, one of his attendants, who offered him some refreshments. He died in the gloom of a deep melancholy from which he had suffered during a considerable portion of his life.

Crates (of Thebes, Cynic philosopher), about b. c. 330—he was living in b. c. 307. "Ah! poor humpback! thy many long years are at last conveying thee to the tomb: thou shalt soon visit the palace of Pluto."

Crates was deformed and ugly in shape and features, and to render himself still more hideous he sewed sheepskins on his coat, so that it was difficult at first sight to say to what species of animal he belonged. He was, however, noted for self-control, abstinence, and simplicity of life.

Cranmer (Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury), 1489-1556. "This unworthy right hand."

When the fagots were lighted he stretched out his right hand, which had signed the recantation, into the flames, and there held it firmly till it was a mere71 cinder. This took place before his body was reached by the fire.[15]

Cromwell (Oliver), 1599-1658. "My desire is to make what haste I may to be gone." Cromwell died of grief at the loss of his favorite daughter.

Some say his last words were, "Then I am safe," in response to his chaplain who assured him that, "once in grace is always in grace."

72Crome (John, English landscape painter), 1766-1821. "O Hobbima, Hobbima, how I do love thee!"

Crosby (Howard, Presbyterian clergyman, Chancellor of the University of New York, and a man of great classical learning), 1826-1891. "My heart is resting sweetly with Jesus, and my hand is in his."

73Cullen (William, distinguished physician), 1712-1790. "I wish I had the power of writing, for then I would describe to you how pleasant a thing it is to die."

Cummings (George David, first Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church), 1822-1876. "Jesus! precious Saviour!"

His last message to his church was: "Tell them to go forward and do a good work."

Cushman (Charlotte Saunders, distinguished American actress), 1816-1876. Her last words are not recorded, but on the night before her death she asked to have Lowell's poem "Columbus" read to her, and from time to time she prompted the reader when a word or line was missing.

Cuvier (George Chrétien Léopold Frédéric Dagobert, Baron, one of the greatest naturalists of modern times, and founder of the science of comparative anatomy), 1769-1832. "It is delightful to see those whom I love still able to swallow," to his daughter-in-law, to whom he handed a glass of lemonade he found himself unable to swallow.

Cyprian (Thascius Cæcilius Cyprianus, "Saint," Bishop of Carthage, Latin Father and martyr. He is the author of numerous epistles and tracts), 200-258. "Thanks be to God," to the heathen judge, on hearing from him the sentence of death.

74Cyrus (Cyrus the Elder, surnamed "the Great," founder of the Persian empire, and the greatest of Persian monarchs. He appears in Sacred History as the conqueror of Belshazzar. Herodotus represents him as killed in battle, but Xenophon records that he died a natural death),—b. c. 559.

Xenophon (Cyropædia B. viii. 7) gives the speech which Cyrus is said to have made upon his death-bed. These are the closing sentences in that speech:

"When I am dead, my children, do not enshrine my body in gold, or in silver, or in any other substance; but restore it to the earth as soon as possible; for what can be more desirable than to be mixed with the earth, which gives birth and nourishment to everything excellent and good? I have always hitherto borne an affection to men, and I feel that I should now gladly be incorporated with that which is beneficial to men. And now my soul seems to be leaving me, in the same manner as, it is probable, it begins to leave others. If, therefore, any one of you is desirous of touching my right hand, or is willing to see my face, while it has life, let him come near me; but when I shall have covered it, I request of you, my sons, let no man, not even yourselves, look upon my body. Summon, however, all the Persians, and the allies, to my tomb, to rejoice for me, as I shall then be safe from suffering any evil, whether I be with the divine nature, or be reduced to nothing. As many as come, do not dismiss until you have bestowed on them whatever favors are customary at75 the funeral of a rich man. And remember this, as my last admonition: by doing good to your friends, you will be able also to punish your enemies. Farewell, dear children, and say farewell to your mother as from me; farewell, all my friends, present and absent."

Having said this, and taken every one by the right hand, he covered his face and expired.

Damiens (Robert François, known for his attempt to assassinate Louis XV., and called, because of his crimes, Robert le Diable), 1715-1757. "Oh death, why art thou so long in coming?"

The punishment inflicted upon Damiens for his attack upon the king was horrible. The hand by which he attempted the murder was burned at a slow fire; the fleshy parts of his body were then torn off by pincers; and finally, he was dragged about for an hour by four strong horses, while into his numerous wounds were poured molten lead, resin, oil and boiling wax. Towards night, the poor wretch expired, having by an effort of will almost superhuman, kept his resolution of not confessing who were his accomplices if, indeed, he had any. His remains were immediately burned, his house was destroyed, his father, wife and daughter were banished from France forever, and his brothers and sisters compelled to change their names.—Chambers.

From his arrest to his death—nearly three months—he was in torture; bound in chains, and frequently76 taken to the torture room, and there treated as the North American savages were wont to treat their victims, and with the aid of more skillful appliances for inflicting pain than Indians have. By a circuitous journey he was taken to the place of execution, guarded by a small army, all Paris ready to see the show. For half an hour he was kept waiting in view of the preparations for his murder, and in the presence of an immense assemblage—many of them delicate ladies of high rank—he was bound naked upon a table placed on a high platform. The ladies and gentry looked on with joy; those who had succeeded, through influence in gaining good positions for seeing the spectacle, saw his right hand (the one with which he had struck the King) burned off; the pieces of flesh torn from him by red-hot pincers, and melted lead and resin poured into his wounds; a powerful horse was attached to each of his four limbs, but it was impossible to tear him to pieces, and a request was sent to cut the muscles; but not until the request was repeated was permission given, and he did not expire until both legs and one arm had been torn from the body. His execution lasted over an hour. His body was burned, his house purchased and destroyed; and the leaders in this murder were munificently rewarded. To the two judges who pronounced sentence were given life pensions of six thousand francs a year; the lawyers, the clerks, the torturers and the executioners also had their reward.... Damiens was a monomaniac of the style77 of Guiteau, driven insane, or excited to this special development of insanity by the political excitement of the time. It is probable, also, that he was a religious monomaniac, for he was a pious fanatic—a Jacobinist—and in his pocket were found a copy of the New Testament, and thirty gold pieces. He had no accomplices, no plan, no motives that could appeal to a sane mind, any more than had Guiteau.

Dr. George M. Beard.

Danton (George Jacques), 1759-1794. "You will show my head to the people—it will be worth the display!" Said to the executioner.

When the judges asked him his name, residence, etc., he answered, "My name is Danton; my dwelling will soon be in annihilation; but my name will live in the Pantheon of history!"—Lamartine.

Darwin (Charles, one of the most eminent of English naturalists), 1809-1882. "I am not in the least afraid to die."

Darwin (Erasmus, English poet and physician. Author of "The Botanic Garden"), 1731-1802. "There is no time to be lost."

It is reported at Lichfield, that, perceiving himself growing rapidly worse, he said to Mrs. Darwin, "My dear, you must bleed me instantly." "Alas!" said she, "I dare not, lest—" "Emma, will you? There is no time to be lost." "Yes, my dear father,78 if you will direct me." At this moment he sank into his chair and expired.—The Book of Death.

De Lagny (Thomas Fantet, French mathematician), 1660-1734. "144," in response to a friend who asked for the square of 12.

Delgado (Gen. E., the Honduras Revolutionist),—1886. "We are ready—soldiers, fire!"

He was shot with three other revolutionists (Lieut.-Col. Indalecio Garcia, Commander Meguel Cortez, and Lieut. Gabriel Loyant), at Comayagua, October 18, 1886.

It was the desire of President Bogran to spare Gen. Delgado's life if possible, and any pretext would have been readily seized upon to give him an opportunity of saving himself and at the same time vindicate the tribunal which had condemned him. The President sent a messenger to him to say that if he would promise to never again take up arms against Honduras he should receive a pardon. The soldier was too brave to accept even his life on these terms, and he sent back word that he would see Honduras in an even more tropical climate than she now enjoys before he would accept his pardon on such a pledge. When his answer was received there was nothing left but to prepare for the execution.

On the morning of their execution the men were taken to a point near the Church of Comayagua; four coffins were placed near the wall and the four79 condemned men were led to them. They accepted their positions as easily and gracefully as if they were in boxes at the opera, and not a face was blanched, not a nerve quivered. Gen. Delgado asked and received permission to order the guard to fire, which he did, first requesting them not to shoot him in the face, but in the breast. There was no rattle, no scattering reports, but one sharp, stunning report. The four men for half a second remained in an upright position, as if still unhurt, and then rolled over, limp and bloody, dead. The soldiers had complied with Gen. Delgado's request, for three balls had penetrated his breast.

Demorax (Greek philosopher), second century, b. c. "You may go home, the show is over."


De Quincey (Thomas, "The English opium-eater"), 1785-1859. "Sister! sister! sister!" During his last illness he was subject to fits of delirium, and in one of these he died. His last words indicate that he was living over in his mind the scenes of early days.

Mr. Mackay gives this account of the condition of De Quincey's grave as it was in 1889:

"The mural tablet is not weather-stained, and his grave is not utterly neglected, but well cared for by some loving hand or other. When in Edinburgh I almost always visit his grave, and only on Thursday,80 May 23 last, I was there, and as the birds sang about in the grounds, the trees rustled, and the sun shone, I could hardly think of him sleeping in a more lovely spot, save it might be along with Wordsworth and Hartley Coleridge in the churchyard at Grasmere."

A bright, ready and melodious talker, but in the end inconclusive and long-winded. One of the smallest man-figures I ever saw; shaped like a pair of tongs, and hardly above five feet in all. When he sat, you would have taken him, by candle-light, for the beautifulest little child, blue-eyed, sparkling face, had there not been a something too which said, "Eccovi—this child has been in hell."—Carlyle.

Desmoulins (Benedict Camille, prominent French democrat and pamphleteer, called the "Attorney-general of the Lamp-post," because of his part in the death of those who were hung by the mob in the street), 1762-1794. "Behold, then, the recompense reserved for the first apostle of liberty." Said while standing before the guillotine, and looking at the axe. When at the bar of Tinville he was asked his age, name, and residence, he said: "My age is that of the sansculotte Jesu—I am thirty-three; an age fatal to revolutionists."

De Soto (Hernando, Spanish explorer, discoverer of the Mississippi River), about 1496-1542. "Luis de Moscoso"—the name of his successor. He must have spoken later, for he lived twenty-four81 hours after appointing his successor, but what he said the compiler has been unable to discover.

Believing his death near at hand, on the twentieth of May he held a last interview with his followers and, yielding to the wishes of his companions, who obeyed him to the end, he named a successor. On the next day he died. Thus perished Ferdinand de Soto, the governor of Cuba, the successful associate of Pizarro. His miserable end was the more observed from the greatness of his former prosperity. His soldiers pronounced his eulogy by grieving for their loss; the priests chanted over his body the first requiems that were ever heard on the waters of the Mississippi. To conceal his death, his body was wrapped in a mantle, and in the stillness of midnight was sunk in the middle of the stream.—Bancroft.

De Witt (Cornelius, Dutch naval officer and statesman), 1625-1672.

One Tichelaer, a barber, a man noted for infamy, accused Cornelius de Witt of endeavoring by bribes to engage him in the design of poisoning the Prince of Orange. The accusation, though attended with the most improbable, and even absurd circumstances, was greedily received by the credulous multitude; and Cornelius was cited before a court of judicature. The judges, either blinded by the same prejudices, or not daring to oppose the popular torrent, condemned him to suffer the question. This man, who had bravely served his country in war, and who had82 been invested with the highest dignities, was delivered into the hands of the executioner, and torn in pieces by the most inhuman torments. Amidst the severe agonies which he endured, he still made protestations of his innocence, and frequently repeated an ode of Horace, which contained sentiments suited to his deplorable condition: "Justum et tenacem propositi virum," etc.[16]

The judges, however, condemned him to lose his offices, and to be banished the commonwealth. The pensionary, who had not been terrified from performing the part of a kind brother and faithful friend during this prosecution, resolved not to desert him on 83account of the unmerited infamy which was endeavored to be thrown upon him. He came to his brother's prison, determined to accompany him to the place of exile. The signal was given to the populace. They rose in arms; they broke open the doors of the prison; they pulled out the two brothers, and a thousand hands vied who should first be imbrued in their blood. Even their death did not satiate the brutal rage of the multitude. They exercised on the dead bodies of those virtuous citizens indignities too shocking to be recited; and till tired with their own fury, they permitted not the friends of the deceased to approach or to bestow on them the honors of a funeral, silent and unattended.

Hume's History of England.

Dickens (Charles), 1812-1870. "On the ground." He was losing his balance and feared that he would fall to the floor.

Diderot (Denis, French philosopher, atheist and chief among the Encyclopedists), 1712-1784. On the evening of the 30th of July, 1784, he sat down to the table, and at the end of the meal took an apricot. His wife, with kindly solicitude, remonstrated. "Mais quel diable de mal veux-te que cela me fosse?" he said, and ate the apricot. Then he rested his elbow on the table, trifling with some sweetmeats. His wife asked him a question; on receiving no answer, she looked up and saw that he84 was dead. He had died as the Greek poet says that men died in the golden age, "They passed away as if mastered by sleep."—John Morley.

Dillon (Wentworth, Earl of Roscommon, English poet and translator), about 1633-1684. His last words were from his own translation of the "Dies Irae:"

"My God, my Father, and my Friend,
Do not forsake me in the end."

Diogenes (the Cynic, son of Isecius), b. c. 413-323. Just what were his last words is uncertain, but a short time before he died, he was asked where he would be buried when dead. "In an open field," said he. "How!" enquired one, "are you not afraid of becoming food for birds of prey and wild beasts?" "Then I must have my stick with me," said Diogenes. "But," continued the other, "you will be devoid of sensation." "If that is the case," said he, "it is no matter whether they eat me or not, seeing I shall be insensible to it."

His death was occasioned by indigestion from eating a neat's foot raw; but some say he put an end to his life by holding his breath. After his death there was a great dispute among his friends and followers as to who should be accorded the privilege of burying him, and when they were about to come to violence, the magistrates interfered and quieted the disturbance.

85Dodd (Rev. Dr. William, author of numerous religious and other works. He was the founder of "The Magdalen" for reclaiming young women fallen from virtue, the "Poor Debtors' Society" and the "Humane Society." He was executed for forgery), 1729-1777. Just before his death he said to the executioner, "Come to me," and when the executioner obeyed, the doctor whispered to him. What he said is not known, but it was observed that the man had no sooner driven away than he took the place where the cart had been, under the gibbet, and held the doctor's legs, as if to steady the body, and the unhappy man appeared to die without pain.

Dominic ("Saint," founder of the order of Dominicans and of the order of Preaching Friars. He was one of the instigators of the cruel and inhuman crusade against the Albigenses about 1212. Many strange stories are told of him, and among these that he offered himself for sale to the highest bidder, in order to raise money for charitable purposes), 1170-1221. "Under the feet of my friars," when asked where he would like to be buried.

Donne (John, D.D., English poet and theologian), 1573-1631. "I were miserable, if I might not die." Some say his last words were: "I repent of my life except that part of it which I spent in communion with God, and in doing good." Others say his last words were, "Thy will be done."

86 Dr. Donne was formerly Dean of St. Paul's. Among other preparations for his death, he ordered an urn to be cut in wood, on which was to be placed a board of the exact height of his body. He then caused himself to be tied up in a winding-sheet. Thus shrouded, and standing with his eyes shut, and with just so much of the sheet put aside as might discover his death-like face, he caused his portrait to be taken, which, when finished, was placed near his bedside, and there remained to the hour of his death. He was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, where a monument was erected over him, composed of white marble, and carved from the above-mentioned picture, by order of his dearest friend and executor, Dr. King, Bishop of Chichester.[17]

87Dorney (Henry, a man of peculiarly beautiful life and religious experience. His "Contemplations and Letters," published after his death, had a large circulation), 1613-1683. "I am almost dead; lift me up a little higher," to his wife.

Drew (Samuel, English preacher and author. He commenced life as an infidel shoemaker, but after conversion gave himself to constant study of the Bible and Christian Theology. He wrote the once famous book, "The Immateriality and Immortality of the Soul"), 1765-1833. "Thank God, to-morrow I shall join the glorious company above." Last recorded words.

Drummond (Henry, author of "Natural Law in the Spiritual World," "The Ascent of Man" and a large number of published lectures and addresses), 1851-1897. "There's nothing to beat that, Hugh. It is a paraphrase of the words of Paul: 'I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him, 88against that day,'" said of the lines which Dr. Barbour had just joined with him in singing:—

"I'm not ashamed to own my Lord,
Or to defend His cause,
Maintain the glory of His cross,
And honor all His laws."

The last words of Drummond, as given above, are only the last recorded. He said much afterward, but most of his words were disconnected. His mind wandered idly from thought to thought without aim or purpose.

Dwight (Timothy, American clergyman and author, President of Yale College. He wrote the beautiful hymn, "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord"), 1752-1817. "O, what triumphant truth!"

Edward I. (of England, surnamed "Long-shanks"), 1239-1307. "Carry my bones before you on your march, for the rebels will not be able to endure the sight of me, alive or dead," to his son Edward.[18] He died while endeavoring to subdue a revolt in Scotland.

89Edward VI. (son of Henry VIII. and Queen Jane Seymour), 1537-1553. "Lord take my spirit."

Edward (Prince of Wales, surnamed the Black Prince from the color of his armor), 1330-1376. "I give thee thanks, O God, for all thy benefits, and with all the pains of my soul I humbly beseech thy mercy to give me remission of those sins I have wickedly committed against thee; and of all mortal men whom willingly or ignorantly I have offended, with all my heart I desire forgiveness."

Edwards (Jonathan, President of the College of New Jersey and one of the greatest of metaphysicians), 1703-1757. "Trust in God and you need not fear," to one who lamented his approaching death as a frown on the college and a heavy stroke to the church.

The most awfully tremendous of all metaphysical divines is the American ultra-Calvinist, Jonathan Edwards, whose book on "Original Sin" I unhappily90 read when a very young man. It did me an irreparable mischief.—An English author.

Egbert (Col. Henry Clay), 1840-1899. "Good-bye, General; I'm done. I'm too old," said to Gen. Wheaton, who bending over the wounded officer, exclaimed. "Nobly done, Egbert!" Col. Egbert was killed near Manila in the war between the United States and the Philippines.

In all his army service he was wounded four times before he received his death wound. He was accounted one of the most competent officers in the army, and in action it was said of him that the army had no officer more dashing, with the possible exception of Gen. Guy V. Henry, now in command of the United States forces in Porto Rico. He was a little man, not above five feet five inches, and weighed only about one hundred and ten pounds. He had reddish hair, streaked with gray, and wore a red mustache and imperial. In plain clothes he was most immaculate, and he was called the best dressed officer in the army.

N. Y. Daily Sun, March 27, 1899.

Eldon (John Scott, Earl, Lord Chancellor of England), 1750-1838. "It matters not where I am going whether the weather be cold or hot," to one who spoke to him about the weather.

He was a bigoted admirer of the law, of which he was so consummate a master. Projects of law reform cut him to the soul, and he has been represented91 as shedding tears on the abolition of the punishment of death for stealing five shillings in a dwelling-house.—Appleton's Cyclopædia of Biography.

Eliot (Rev. John, commonly called "The Apostle to the Indians"), 1604-1690. "O Come in glory! I have long waited for Thy coming. Let no dark cloud rest on the work of the Indians. Let it live when I am dead. Welcome joy!"

Elizabeth (Queen of England, and daughter of Henry VIII. by Anne Boleyn), 1533-1603. "All my possessions for one moment of time."

Some give her last words thus: "I will have no rogue's son in my seat."

When Sir Robert Cecil declared that she must go to bed and receive medical aid, the word roused her like a trumpet. "Must!" she exclaimed, "is must a word to be addressed to princes? Little man, little man! thy father, were he alive, durst not have used that word." Then, as her anger spent itself, she sank into the old dejection. "Thou art so presumptuous," she said, "because thou knowest that I shall die." She rallied once more when the ministers beside her named Lord Beauchamp, the heir to the Suffolk claim, as a possible successor. "I will have no rogue's son," she cried hoarsely, "in my seat." But she gave no sign save a motion of the head at the mention of the King of Scots. She was, in fact, fast becoming insensible; and early the next morn92ing, on March 24, 1603, the life of Elizabeth, a life so great, so strange and lonely in its greatness, ebbed quietly away.[19]

Elizabeth (Philippine Marie Hélène, usually called Madame Elizabeth, sister of Louis XVI), 1764-1794. "In the name of modesty, cover my bosom!"

When she ascended the scaffold, the executioner rudely undid the clasp which closed the veil across her breast. "In the name of modesty," she said to one of the bystanders whose arms were not tied, "cover my bosom!"

Alison, in his "History of Europe," calls attention to the fact that "a similar instance of heroic virtue in death occurred in a female martyr in the early Christian church. Perpetua and Felicitas, both Christians, were sentenced in the year 203, to be killed by wild cattle at Carthage. They were both attacked, accordingly, by furious bulls, who tossed them on their horns. So violent was the shock that Perpetua fell on the ground stunned; but partly recovering her senses, she was seen gathering her torn clothes about her, so as to conceal her limbs, and 93after tying her hair, she helped Felicitas to rise, who had been severely wounded; and, standing together, calmly awaited another attack."

Elliott (Ebenezer, English poet known as the "Corn-Law Rhymer." He was a workman in an iron foundry who won the attention of the cultivated world by his verses, and rose to eminence by his "Corn-Law Rhymes" in which he urged the repeal of duties on corn. He wrote also "The Village Patriarch," "Byron and Napoleon," "Love" and a number of other poems of more or less merit), 1781-1849. "A strange sight, sir, an old man unwilling to die."

Emerson (Ralph Waldo, American essayist, poet, and speculative philosopher), 1803-1882.

For the day or two before his death he was troubled with the thought that he was away from home, detained by illness at some friend's house, and that he ought to make the effort to get away and relieve him of the inconvenience. But to the last there was no delirium; in general he recognized every one and understood what was said to him, though he was sometimes unable to make intelligible reply. He took affectionate leave of his family and the friends who came to see him for the last time, and desired to see all who came. To his wife he spoke tenderly of their life together and her loving care of him; they must now part, to meet again and part no more. Then he smiled and said, "O, that beautiful boy!"

94 I was permitted to see him on the day of his death. He knew me at once, greeted me with the familiar smile, and tried to rise and to say something, but I could not catch the words.

He was buried on Sunday, April 30, in Sleepy Hollow, a beautiful grove on the edge of the village, consecrated as a burial-place in 1855, Emerson delivering the address. Here, at the foot of a tall pine-tree upon the top of the ridge in the highest part of the grounds, his body was laid, not far from the graves of Hawthorne and of Thoreau, and surrounded by those of his kindred.[20]

James Elliot Cabot

95Emmet (Robert, an eloquent Irish enthusiast and sincere patriot, and one of the chiefs of the "United Irishmen"), 1780-1803. "Not—"

He said on the scaffold, at the close of a brief address: "My friends, I die in peace, and with sentiments of universal love and kindness towards all men." He then shook hands with some persons on the platform, presented his watch to the executioner, and removed his stock. The immediate preparations for execution then were carried into effect, he assisted in adjusting the rope round his neck, and was then placed on the plank underneath the beam, and the cap was drawn over his face; but he contrived to raise his hand, partly removed it, and spoke a few words in a low tone to the executioner. The cap was replaced, and he stood with a handkerchief in his hand, the fall of which was to be the signal for the last act of the "finisher of the law." After standing on the plank for a few seconds the executioner said: "Are you ready, sir?" and Emmet said, "Not yet." 96There was another momentary pause; no signal was given; again the executioner repeated the question. "Are you ready, sir?" And again Emmet said, "Not yet." The question was put a third time, and Emmet pronounced the word "Not;" but before he had time to utter another word the executioner tilted one end of the plank off the ledge.

Madden's Life of Emmet.

Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed until other times and other men can do justice to my character. When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth—then, and not till then—let my epitaph be written I have done.—From Emmet's Last Speech.

See Moore's beautiful poem on Emmet's fate and on his attachment to Miss Curran in two of the Irish Melodies.

Emmons (Rev. Dr. Nathaniel, distinguished New England theologian and divine), 1745-1840. "I am ready."

Enghien d' (Louis Antoine Henri de Bourbon, Duc. French prince who was arrested on neutral territory on suspicion of conspiracy, and, after a military trial which was little better than a farce, shot), 1772-1804. To the soldiers who had pointed97 their guns he said: "Grenadiers! lower your arms, otherwise you will miss me or only wound me." Some say his last words were: "Is there no priest at the château?—is there no priest?"

A lantern glimmering at either end of the file of soldiers shewed d'Enghien his fate. As the sentence of death was read, he wrote in pencil a message to his wife, folded and gave it to the officer in command of the file, and asked for a priest. There was no priest in residence at the château. He prayed a moment, covering his face with his hands. As he raised his head, the officer gave the word to fire.

Hopkins: "The Dungeons of Old Paris."

This deed excited general and deep indignation against Bonaparte, and is commonly regarded as one of the worst crimes by which his memory is stained.

Lippincott: "Biographical Dictionary."

Epaminondas (Theban statesman and general. Cicero describes him as "the greatest man that Greece ever produced"), b. c. 412-363. "All is well!" These words were spoken immediately after the javelin had been extracted from his breast.

The fatal dart was thrown by Gryllus, son of Xenophon, the historian and leader of the ten thousand Greeks on their retreat from the battle-field of Cunaxa to the Black Sea.

Erasmus (surnamed Roterdamensis, Dutch scholar. He was an illegitimate son of Gerard Praet,98 a citizen of Gonda), 1467-1536. "Domine! Domine! fac finem! fac finem!"

Etty (William, English historical painter among whose last pictures are "Pandora Crowned by the Seasons," "Ulysses and the Sirens," "Joan of Arc," and "The Judgment of Paris"), 1787-1849. "Wonderful, wonderful, this death!"

Eucles (The "runner" from the plains of Marathon, who brought the news of the successful issue of that battle to the anxious Senate waiting at Athens). "Rejoice! we rejoice!" As Eucles ran he cried these words until he came to the Senate, when he shouted them with all his voice and fell dead.

Eugenius IV. (Gabriele Condolmero, Pope), 1383-1447. "Oh Gabriele, how much better would it have been for thee, and how much more would it have promoted thy soul's welfare, if thou hadst never been raised to the Pontificate, but hadst been content to lead a quiet and religious life in the monastery."

Evereruard (Charles de, Saint-Denis, French courtier, soldier, wit and littérateur. He was a brave man, but of flippant disposition), 1613-1703. "With all my heart I would fain be reconciled to my stomach, which no longer performs its usual functions," said to an ecclesiastic who asked him if he would be reconciled. During his last days he gave99 no attention to religious matters, and only regretted that he could not digest partridges and pheasants, and must eat only boiled meats.

Farinato (Paolo, Italian painter), about 1525-1606. "Now I am going." These words he cried out as he lay upon his death bed. His wife who was sick in the same room, hearing him, answered, "I will bear you company, my dear husband;" and she did so, for as he drew his last breath she also expired.

Fichte (Johann Gottlieb, distinguished German philosopher whose name is forever associated with those of Kant, Schelling, and Hegel as worthy of a place with the greatest thinkers of modern times), 1762-1814. "Indeed no more medicine; I am well."

The following, purporting to be the "Dying Confession of Fichte," has been frequently published, but upon what authority the compiler of this book has been unable to discover:

"I know absolutely nothing of any existence, not even of my own. Images there are, and they constitute all that apparently exists. I am myself one of those images; nay, not so much, but only a confused image of an image. All reality is converted into a marvellous dream, without a life to dream of, or a mind to dream; into a dream itself made up only of a dream. Perception is a dream; and thought, the source of all the existence, the reality of which I imagine to myself, is but the dream of that dream."

100 For eleven days he lingered, with but few intervals of clear consciousness, his sleep being ever deeper till on the night of the 27th of January all sign of life vanished. He was buried in the first churchyard before the Oranienburg gate in Berlin; at his side now lie the remains of Hegel and Solger. Five years later his wife was laid at his feet. On the tall obelisk which marks his grave is the inscription from the Book of Daniel: "The teachers shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars that shine for ever and ever."

Adamson: "Life and Philosophy of Fichte."

Fillmore (Millard, thirteenth President of the United States), 1800-1874. "The food is palatable."

Flavel (John, distinguished nonconformist clergyman and author), 1627-1691. "I know that it will be well with me."

A man of beautiful Christian character and great learning who was ejected from his charge at Dartmouth in 1662 for nonconformity. The Episcopalians were not satisfied to persecute this servant of God during his life, but ordered his monument removed from the Church of St. Saviour.

Fontenelle de (Bernard le Bovier, author of "Conversations on a Plurality of Worlds," "Dialogues of the Dead" and "History of the Academy101 of Science"), 1657-1757. "I suffer nothing, but feel a sort of difficulty of living longer."

Voltaire calls him, "The most universal genius of the age of Louis XIV."

Fordyce (George, distinguished Scottish physician, Author of "Elements of Agriculture and Vegetation"), 1736-1802. "Stop, go out of the room; I am about to die," to his daughter who was reading to him.

Forster (Johann Reinhold, a Polish Prussian naturalist, geographer and philologist), 1729-1798. "This is a beautiful world."

Fox (George, founder of the Society of Friends), 1624-1690. "All is well, all is well—the Seed of God reigns over all, and over death itself. Though I am weak in body, yet the power of God is over all, and the Seed reigns over all disorderly spirits." A little later he said, and they were his last words, "Never heed; the Lord's power is over all weakness and death."

Fox (Charles James, English orator and statesman), 1749-1806. "Trotter will tell you," said to Mrs. Fox, who did not understand what he meant.

Francis ("Saint," of Assisi, founder of an order of mendicant friars called Franciscans or Cordeliers, from the cord with which they girded their coarse102 tunics), 1182-1226. "The righteous wait expectant till I receive my recompense."

Members of his order were kneeling around his bed, awaiting his death.

Francke (August Hermann, professor of Oriental languages at Halle, author of "Methodus Studii Theologiæ;" and other works, and founder of the orphan asylum and college for the poor which were known as Francke's Institutions), 1660-1727. "Yes," to his wife who asked him if his Saviour was still with him.

So long as he was able to speak he would repeat from time to time in both Hebrew and German, "God will continue to support me. My soul has cast itself upon him; Lord, I wait for thy salvation."

Franklin (Benjamin, moralist, statesman, and philosopher), 1706-1790. "A dying man can do nothing easy." He endured in later years a complication of diseases, which brought the extremity of physical suffering, but courage was strong, and he worked on almost to the last. Worn with pain, he welcomed the end. His last look was on the picture of Christ which had hung for many years near his bed, and of which he often said, "That is the picture of one who came into the world to teach men to love one another." The resolute repression of all signs of suffering, every indication of the long conflict, passed at once. He lay smiling in a quiet103 slumber, and the smile lingered when the coffin lid shut him in. His grave is in the heart of the city he loved, and even the careless passerby pauses a moment to read the simple legend.

An epitaph, written by him in 1729, holds his chief characteristics, his humor, his quiet assurance of better things to come, whether for this world or the next:


104Frederick William I. (Friedrich Wilhelm I., King of Prussia, son of Frederick I.), 1688-1740. "Herr Jesu, to thee I live; Herr Jesu, to thee I die; in life and in death thou art my gain."

"Feel my pulse, Pitsch," said he, noticing the Surgeon of his Giants: "tell me how long this will last." "Alas! not long," answered Pitsch. "Say not, alas; but how do you know?" "The pulse is gone!" "Impossible," said he, lifting his arm: "how could I move my fingers so, if the pulse were gone?" Pitsch looked mournfully steadfast. "Herr Jesu, to thee I live; Herr Jesu, to thee I die; in life and in death thou art my gain (Du bist mein Gewinn)." These were the last words Friedrich Wilhelm spoke in this world. He again fell into a faint. Eller gave a signal to the Crown Prince to take the Queen away. Scarcely were they out of the room when the faint deepened into death; and Friedrich Wilhelm, at rest from all his labors, slept with the primeval sons of Thor.[22]Carlyle.

105Frederick II. (of Prussia, called Frederick the Great), 1744-1786. "Throw a quilt over it." He referred to one of his dogs that sat on a stool near him, and was shivering from cold. These were his last conscious words, but later, in delirium, he said, "La montagne est passée, nous irons mieux."

The king had always about him several small English greyhounds; but of these only one was in favor at a time, the others being taken merely as companions and playmates to the fondling. As these greyhounds died they were buried on the Terrace of Sans Souci, with the name of each on a gravestone; and Frederick, in his will, expressed his desire that his own remains might be interred by their side—a parting token of his attachment to them, and of his contempt for mankind! On this point, however, his wishes have not been complied with.[23]

Lord Mahon's Historical Essays.

106Frederick V. (of Denmark), 1723-1766. "It is a great consolation to me, in my last hour, that I have never wilfully offended anyone, and that there is not a drop of blood on my hands."

Fuller (Andrew, English Baptist clergyman, first secretary of the English Baptist Missionary Society, and an author of great repute in his day. He has been called the "Franklin of Theology"), 1754-1815. "I have no religious joys; but I have a hope, in the strength of which I think I could plunge into eternity," said to a young minister who stood by his bedside.

Fuseli or Fuessli (John Henry, historical painter), 1741-1825. "Is Lawrence come—is Lawrence come?"

He looked anxiously round the room—said several times, "Is Lawrence come—is Lawrence come?" and then appeared to listen for the sound of the chariot wheels which brought his friend once a day from London to his bedside. He raised himself up a little, then sank down and died, on the 16th of April, 1825, and in the 84th year of his age.

Life of Fuseli

Gainsborough (Thomas, eminent portrait and landscape painter), 1727-1788. "We are all going to heaven, and Vandyke is of the company."

107Galba (Servius Sulpicius, Roman Emperor), 3 b. c. 69 a. d. "Strike, if it be for the Roman's good."—Plutarch.

"Ferirent si ita e republica videretur," are the words of Tacitus, who says, however, that there were many different stories of what he said; those who killed him could not be expected to care what it was; "non interfuit occidentium quid diceret."—Clough.

Gambetta (Leon Michel, French statesman. He was a brilliant and courageous agitator, and it is to his efforts in large measure that the French Republic owes its existence. It was reported at the time of his death that he met with an accident in handling a revolver, but there are those who insist that he was deliberately shot by his mistress, with whom he had quarreled), 1838-1882. "I am lost, and there is no use to deny it."

Gardiner (James, a Scottish officer distinguished for piety and courage), 1688-1745. "You are fighting for an earthly crown; I am going to receive a heavenly one." These words he is reported to have spoken to an officer upon the opposite side after the battle against the Pretender at Prestonpans, in which he was mortally wounded, but there is some doubt in the minds of his biographers as to the trustworthiness of the report.

See Rev. Dr. Philip Doddridge's "Life of Col108onel James Gardiner," and the account of Colonel Gardiner's death in Scott's "Waverley."

Gardiner (Stephen, Bishop of Winchester), 1483-1555. "Erravi cum Petro, sed non flevi cum Petro."

Gardner (Thomas, Colonel in the American army, killed at the battle of Bunker Hill), 1724-1775. His precise words are not preserved, but the last desire that he expressed was that he might have sufficient strength to continue the fight against the British one half hour longer.

Colonel Gardner is represented, in a dramatic production called "The Battle of Bunker Hill" which was printed at Philadelphia in 1776, as saying immediately after receiving the wound of which he died:

"A musket ball, death-winged, hath pierced my groin,
And widely oped the swift current of my veins.
Bear me then, soldiers, to that hollow space
A little hence, just on the hill's decline.
A surgeon there may stop the gushing wound,
And gain a short respite to life, that yet
I may return and fight one half hour more.
Then shall I die in peace, and to my God
Surrender up the spirit which he gave."

Garfield (James A., twentieth President of the United States: assassinated by Charles Julius Guiteau), 1831-1881. "The people my trust."

109Garibaldi (Giuseppe, Italian patriot and general, author of "Cantoni the Volunteer" and "The Rule of the Monk"), 1807-1882. As he lay dying two small birds alighted on the window-sill and looked into his room. He noticed them, and said, "Those are the spirits of my little girls, Rosa and Annita, who have come to see their father die. Be kind to them, and feed them when I am dead." It is thought that his mind was wandering.

He gave minute and positive orders to be cremated immediately after death. The urn containing his ashes was to be placed under the orange tree that shaded the tombs of his two little girls. But this wish, cherished for years, was disregarded. He was embalmed and exposed to the gaze of the crowds who hastened to Caprera on hearing of his death. The excuse was, that it would have been impossible to have burned his body in the way he indicated, with the aromatic woods that grow near the spot he had chosen, as the ashes would have been mixed with the burned wood. But this was only an excuse and nothing more, for Dr. Praudina, to whom Garibaldi wrote on this subject five years before his death, had prepared the sheet of asbestos that would have kept together the precious ashes. The true reason for this violation of the great man's order was the desire of the Republican party to have the remains brought to Rome and buried on the Janiculum, where from time to time political demonstrations might be made. When once a man is dead it is very uncertain what110 degree of respect will be paid to his expressed wishes by those who survive.

Garth (Sir Samuel, English physician and poet), —1718. "Dear gentlemen, let me die a natural death," to his physicians whom he saw consulting together just before his death. After receiving extreme unction he said, "I am going on my journey: they have greased my boots already."

Gassendi or Gassend (Pierre, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and metaphysician), 1592-1655. "You see what is man's life."

Gautama ("The Buddha," Siddhartha or Sakya Muni, founder of Buddhism), b. c. 624-543. "Beloved Bickus, the principle of existence, and mutability carries with it the principle of destruction. Never forget this; let your minds be filled with this truth; to make it known to you I have assembled you."

Bigandt's Life of Gautama, Vol. ii., p. 68.

Sometimes his last words are given thus: "Behold, brethren, I exhort you, saying, Decay is inherent in all component things, but truth will remain forever."

His life was without reproach. His constant heroism equalled his conviction; and if his theory was false, his personal example was irreproachable. He was the model of all the virtues he preached. His abnegation, his charity, his unalterable gentleness did not forsake him for an instant. He prepared his doc111trine by six years of silence and meditation, and he propagated it for half a century by the sole power of his word. And when he died in the arms of his disciples, it was with the serenity of a sage who had practised good all his life, and who was assured he had found the truth.—Barthélemy St. Hilaire.

Sir Edwin Arnold (in the preface to his "The Light of Asia") calls Gautama "the highest, gentlest, holiest and most beneficent personality, with one exception, in the History of Thought," who "united the truest princely qualities with the intellect of a sage and the passionate devotion of a martyr.... Forests of flowers are daily laid upon his stainless shrines, and countless millions of lips daily repeat the formula, 'I take refuge in Buddha!'"[24]

112Gellert (Christian Fürchtegott, a German poet of rare grace and beauty), 1715-1769. "Now, God be praised, only one hour!" on being told that he could live only an hour.

George IV. (of England, eldest son of George III. and Queen Charlotte), 1762-1830. "Wally, what is this? It is death, my boy: they have deceived me," said to his page, Sir Walthen Waller.

Gerson (Charlier de, surnamed "The Most Christian Doctor," chancellor of the University of Paris and canon of Notre-Dame. He is supposed to have been the author of the "Imitation of Christ," attributed to Thomas à Kempis), 1363-1429. "Now, O God, thou dost let thy servant depart in peace! 113The soul that is accompanied to eternity by the prayers of three hundred children, may advance with humble hope into the presence of their Father and their God."

The pious Gerson, the canon of the church and chancellor of the University of Paris, had the terror of his last moments assuaged by the prayers of three hundred children supported and educated by his charity, and who were congregated in his house from the threshold to his bedchamber.

Gibbon (Edward, author of "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"), 1737-1794. "Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu!"

Some authorities give his last words thus: "Pourquoi 114est ce que vous me quittez," to his valet-de-chambre.

The valet-de-chambre observed that Mr. Gibbon did not at any time, show the least sign of alarm, or apprehension of death; and it does not appear that he ever thought himself in danger, unless his desire to speak to Mr. Darrell may be considered in that light.

Lord Sheffield's Memoirs.

Goar (Saint, "Patron Saint of the Rhine"), "My children, these fearful forests and these barren rocks shall be adorned with cities and temples, where the name of Jesus shall be openly adored. Ye shall abandon your precarious and hard chase, and assemble together under temples lofty as those pines, and graceful as the crown of the palm.

"Here shall my Saviour be known in all the simplicity of his doctrines. Ah! would that I might witness it; but I have seen those things in a vision. But I faint! I am weary! My earthly journey is finished! Receive my blessing. Go! and be kind one to another."

Robert Blakey: "Christian Hermits."

Goethe or Göthe (Johann Wolfgang von, greatest of German poets), 1749-1831. "More light! more light!" He mistook the shadow of death for evening twilight.

He continued to express himself by signs, drawing letters with his fore-finger in the air, while he115 had strength, and finally, as life ebbed, drawing figures slowly on the shawl which covered his legs. At half past twelve he composed himself in the corner of the chair. The watcher placed a finger on her lip to intimate that he was asleep. If sleep it was it was a sleep in which a great life glided from this world.

Lewes's Story of Goethe's Life.

Coudray, who was present when the poet died, left a manuscript on "The Last Days and the Death of Goethe," which has been published. Goethe was seated in the bed-room, in an arm-chair standing beside the bed. Thinking that he saw paper lying on the floor, he said: "Why is Schiller's correspondence permitted to lie here?" Immediately, thereupon, he uttered his last audible words: "Do open the shutter in the bed-room, in order that more light may enter." (Macht doch den Fensterladen im Schlafgemach auf, damit mehr Licht herein komme.)

Goldsmith (Oliver), 1728-1774. "No, it is not," to a physician who asked if his mind was at ease.

Gough (John Bartholomew, distinguished American temperance advocate), 1817-1886. "Young man, keep your record—" the last word was inaudible, but was probably "clean."[25]

116Grant (Ulysses Simpson, eighteenth President of the United States, and one of the most distinguished of American generals), 1822-1885. "Water," said to an attendant who inquired if he wished for anything.

Grattan (Henry, Irish statesman and orator), 1750-1820. "I am perfectly resigned. I am surrounded by my family. I have served my country. I have reliance upon God, and am not afraid of the Devil."

Gray (Thomas, author of "Elegy written in a country churchyard"), 1716-1771. "Molly, I shall die!"

Greeley (Horace, famous editor of "The Log Cabin," and later founder, and, for thirty years editor of "The New York Daily Tribune"), 1811-1872. "It is done!" During the closing days of his life his mind was deranged.

Green (Joseph Henry, distinguished English surgeon, thinker, philosopher, and instructor), 1791-1863. "Stopped!"

Among all the brilliant young men who gathered at the feet of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, eager to 117learn from this "rapt one of the god-like brow," none surpassed him in admiration, and possibly in ability. It was not strange that Coleridge selected him to complete the development of that "Spiritual Philosophy" which was the great unaccomplished work of his life. Upon Coleridge's death, Mr. Green abandoned all his London work, threw aside the distinctions and emoluments of professional life, rewards that would surely increase from year to year, and devoted his whole time to philosophy and incidental studies to qualify himself for carrying out the commission of Coleridge. The story of his death has been told by one of his colleagues at St. Thomas's Hospital, one whose fame is familiar to the profession, Mr. Simon. "Not even the last agony of death," said Mr. Simon, "ruffled his serenity of mind, or rendered him unthoughtful of others. No terrors, no selfish regrets, no reproachful memories were there. The few tender parting words which he had yet to speak he spoke. And to the servants who were gathered grieving round him, he said, 'While I have breath, let me thank you for all your kindness and attention to me.' Next, to his doctor who quickly entered,—his neighbor and old pupil, Mr. Carter,—he significantly, and pointing to the region of his heart, said, 'Congestion,' after which he in silence set his finger to his wrist, and visibly noted to himself the successive feeble pulses which were just between him and death. Presently he said 'Stopped,' and this was the very end. It was as if118 even to die were an act of his own self-government; for at once, with the warning word still scarce beyond his lips, suddenly the stately head drooped aside, passive and defunct, forever."

Dr. Theophilus Parvin.

Gregory VII. ("the Great," Pope Hildebrand), about 1020-1085. "I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore, I die an exile." He died at Salerno, May 25, 1085.

His dying words are deeply affecting, but yet a stern and unbending profession of the faith of his whole life, and of the profound convictions under which even his enemies acknowledge him to have acted.

Chambers' Encyclopædia.

Grey (Lady Jane), 1537-1554. "Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit."

Then the hangman kneeled down and asked her forgiveness, whom she forgave most willingly. Then he willed her to stand upon the straw; which doing, she saw the block. Then she said, "I pray you despatch me quickly." Then she kneeled down, saying, "Will you take it off before I lay me down?" And the hangman said, "No, Madam." Then she tied the handkerchief about her eyes, and, feeling for the block, she said, "What shall I do? Where is it? Where is it?" One of the standers-by guided her thereunto; she laid her head down upon the block and then stretched forth her body, and said "Lord,119 into Thy hands I commend my spirit," and so finished her life in the year of our Lord 1554.

Fox's "Book of Martyrs."

Lady Jane was only in her seventeenth year, and was remarkable for her skill in the classical, oriental, and modern languages, and for the sweetness of her disposition.

Grotius or De Groot (Hugo, jurist, divine, historian, and scholar), 1583-1645. "I heard your voice; but did not understand what you said," to Quistorpius, a clergyman who repeated in German a prayer suitable for a dying person. Some say his last words were, "Be serious."

Guiteau (Charles Julius, hanged June 30, 1882, in the United States jail, Washington, D. C, for the assassination of President Garfield), 1841-1882. "Glory hallelujah! I am going to the Lordy! I come! Ready! Go!"

Guiteau published, while in jail, his autobiography, through the medium of a metropolitan newspaper. It is full of repetitions and minute details, and its reading is a severe tax upon patience. It establishes the fact that, in spite of his assertions to the contrary, his motive was not political, but was the gratification of an inordinate vanity. In one place Guiteau says: "During the week preceding the President's removal, I read the papers carefully. I thought it all over in detail. I thought just what people would talk, and thought what a120 tremendous excitement it would create, and I kept thinking about it all the week. I then prepared myself. I sent to Boston for a copy of my book, 'The Truth,' and I spent a week in preparing that, and I greatly improved it. I knew that it would probably have a large sale on account of the notoriety that the act of removing the President would give me, and I wished the book to go out to the public in proper shape." It is now generally believed that Guiteau was insane.

Gustavus Adolphus (Gustavus II., King of Sweden, one of the greatest of soldiers and one of the best of men), 1594-1632. "I have enough, brother; try to save your own life," to the Duke of Lauenburg.

Some authorities say that when he was fallen to the ground, he was asked, who he was, and replied: "I am the King of Sweden, and seal with my blood the Protestant religion and the liberties of Germany. Alas! my poor Queen! My God! My God!"

A subaltern of the imperial army, observing the respect with which the unknown officer was treated by his few followers, naturally concluded that he was a person of importance, and called out to a musketeer: "Shoot that man, for I am sure he is an officer of high rank." The soldier immediately fired, and the King's left arm fell powerless by his side. At this moment a wild cry was raised, "The King bleeds! the King is wounded!" "It is nothing!" shouted121 Gustavus; "follow me." But the pain soon brought on faintness, and he desired the Duke of Lauenburg in French to lead him out of the throng. Whilst the duke was endeavoring to withdraw him without being noticed by the troops, a second shot struck Gustavus and deprived him of his little remaining strength. "I have enough, brother," he said in a feeble voice to the duke; "try to save your own life." At the same moment he fell from his horse, and in a short time breathed his last.—Markham's Germany.

Hale (Nathan, captain in Continental Army, executed by the British as a spy), 1755-1776. "I only regret that I have but one life to give to my country!"

He was confined in the green-house of the garden during the night of September 21, and the next morning, without even the form of a regular trial, was delivered to Cunningham, the brutal provost marshal, to be executed as a spy. He was treated with great inhumanity by that monster. The services of a clergyman and the use of a Bible were denied him, and even the letters which he had been permitted by Howe to write to his mother and sisters during the night were destroyed. He was hanged upon an apple-tree in Rutger's orchard, near the present intersection of East Broadway and Market street. Lossing's Field-Book of the Revolution.

Haller (Dr. Albert, eminent Swiss anatomist and physiologist. He is chiefly known by his "Dis122putationes Anatomicæ Selectæ." George II. obtained for him a brevet as a noble of England, and he is sometimes spoken of as Baron Haller), 1708-1777. Feeling his own pulse, he exclaimed, "The artery ceases to beat," and instantly expired.

Halyburton (Thomas, professor of divinity in the new college at St. Andrews), 1674-1712. "Pray! pray!"

He cried out several times, "Free grace, free grace; not unto me." He spoke little the last six hours before his death, only some broken sentences, which with difficulty were understood. Now and then he would lift up his hands and clap them as a sign that he was encouraging himself in the Lord. At last he cried, "Pray! pray!" which was done by five or six ministers, and so he fell asleep in our Lord.

Hamlin (Cyrus, distinguished American missionary and first President of Robert College, Constantinople), 1811-1900. "Put me there," pointing to a chair which belonged to his mother and in which he used to sit as a boy, eighty years ago, in his old home at Waterford. He passed away peacefully, and his body was buried, a few days later, in the cemetery at Lexington, Massachusetts.

Hammond (Henry, English divine and author), 1605-1660. "Lord, make haste!"

Hampden (John, English patriot and statesman), 1594-1643. "O Lord, save my country! O Lord, be merciful to——."

123Hanway (Jonas, English merchant famous for his benevolence, author of "Journal of Travels Through Russia and Persia," and "Historical Account of the British Trade over the Caspian Sea"), 1712-1786. "If you think it will be of service in your practice or to any one who may come after me, I beg you will have my body opened: I am willing to do as much good as possible."

Harrison (Benjamin, twenty-third President of the United States), 1833-1901. "Are the doctors here?" to his wife who had just asked him if he wanted anything.

As Tuesday marked the turning point in his disease, so it was the time from which evidences of consciousness began to disappear. Since that time there were few lucid intervals, and it is doubtful, with the single exception of Tuesday afternoon, when his little girl was taken to his bedside, and he recognized her for a moment, if he had been conscious at all of his surroundings. The last words he spoke were to Mrs. Harrison in answer to a question, but his voice was then almost inaudible and his manner indicated that it required a concentration of effort to grasp the import of the wife's question and frame a reply.

In his delirium, Mr. Harrison's mind wandered frequently to the stirring scenes through which he had passed, and he spoke of events connected with the history of his country and in which he played a124 conspicuous part, as the Chief Magistrate of the nation. But his mind seemed more to be occupied with thoughts of the Boer war than with any other one thing to which he alluded, and it was manifest that the struggle of the South African people for liberty had made a deep impression, and had awakened his strongest sympathies, for he frequently talked, disconnectedly, of course, of the sufferings of the Boer people, and the attempt to crush them out of existence.—New York Sun, March 14, 1901.

Harrison (William Henry, ninth President of the United States), 1773-1841. "I wish you to understand the true principles of government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more."

Hauser (Kaspar, the "Nuremberg Foundling"), —1833. "Tired—very tired—a long journey—to take," after these words he turned his face to the wall and never spoke again.

He was becoming more feeble every moment, and repeated several times, "Tired—very tired—all my limbs—too heavy—for me."

The good Pastor Fuhrmann comforted and encouraged him with the words of Scripture, ending with, "Father, not my will," and Kaspar responded, "but thine be done." To test his consciousness, the Pastor asked, "Who prayed thus?" and again he was ready with his answer, "Our Saviour."—"And when?"—"Before he died." A few minutes after 125this followed his last words, "Tired—very tired—a long journey—to take."—The Duchess of Cleveland: "The True Story of Kaspar Hauser."

The strange and mysterious history and sad death of Kaspar Hauser called forth the deepest interest and sympathy throughout Europe. He was discovered in the streets of Nuremberg in 1828, a lad about sixteen, knowing almost nothing of the world, and able to speak but two or three words of any language, and of the meaning of these he had but a dim understanding. He had with him a letter purporting to be written by a Bavarian peasant, declaring that Hauser had been left at his door, and had been cared for by him. It was gradually ascertained that the youth had been confined from infancy in a dark vault, so small that one could not stand, and could move only slightly in its enclosure. He had never tasted any food but bread and water, which had been brought to him by an unknown man while he was sleeping. Hauser was cared for by a number of generous and sympathetic patrons, among whom was Lord Stanhope; and his mental and physical condition was studied by the scientific men of the time. In 1833 he was invited to a meeting with a stranger who promised to reveal to him the secret of his strange condition, and to tell him who he was, but when Hauser was reading a document given him, this stranger suddenly wounded him with a dagger, causing his death within three days. See interesting history of the "Nuremberg Foundling" in Merker's126 "Kasper Hauser," and Feuerbach's "Account of an Individual Kept in a Dungeon."

Havergal (Frances Ridley), 1836-1879. "He." It is thought she wished to say, "He died for me."

Havelock (Sir Henry), 1795-1857. "Come, my son, and see how a Christian can die."

Haydn (Francis Joseph), 1732-1809. "God preserve the Emperor." He referred to the Emperor Francis.

In 1809 Vienna was bombarded by the French. A round-shot fell into his garden. He seemed to be in no alarm, but on May 25 he requested to be led to his piano, and three times over he played the "Hymn to the Emperor," with an emotion that fairly overcame both himself and those who heard him. He was to play no more; and, being helped back to his couch, he lay down in extreme exhaustion to wait for the end. Six days afterward, May 31, 1809, died Francis Joseph Haydn, aged seventy-seven.

Haweis's "Music and Morals."

Haydon (Benjamin Robert, English artist), 1786-1846. His last recorded words were, "God forgive me.—Amen!" Haydon took his own life in a moment of great mental depression.

At dinner he got up from his chair and turned a glazed picture to the wall; his brain could not bear the reflected light. He looked flushed and haggard,127 and passed a silent and abstracted evening. That night he was heard walking about his room nearly the whole night, apparently in great agitation. It was in those wakeful hours he settled his resolve. He was dressed and out of his room early the next morning (22d June), and walked down, before breakfast, to Rivière, a gunmaker in Oxford Street, near Regent Street. Here he bought one of a pair of pistols. He came home about 9 a. m., breakfasted alone, then went to his painting-room, and probably wrote the letters to his children, his will, and his "last thoughts." As his mother and sister passed the painting-room door on their way to their rooms, about 10:30 a. m., they tried the door—it was locked—and he called out very fiercely, "Who's there?" A few minutes after, as if regretting the tone in which he had spoken, he came up to his mother's room, kissed her affectionately, and lingered about the room as if he had something to say. But he said little, except to ask her to call that day on an old friend (one of the executors he had just named in his will) and, returned to his painting-room, deliberately wrote in his journal:—

"God forgive me.—Amen!"

In a few moments he had destroyed himself.

Stoddard: "Haydon's Life, Letters and Table Talk."

Hazlitt (William, essayist and critic), 1778-1830. "I have led a happy life."

128Heine (Heinrich, German poet and author), 1800-1856. "Set your mind at rest, Dieu me pardonnera, c'est son métrer."

Some hours before he died a friend came into his room to see him once more. Soon after his entry he asked Heine if he was on good terms with God. "Set your mind at rest," said Heine, "Dieu me pardonnera, c'est son métrer."

Stigand: "Life, Work and Opinions of Heine."

Catherine Bourlois, Heine's nurse, says in a letter to Mrs. Charlotte Embden, that Heine's last words often repeated were, "I am done for." She endeavored to comfort him with such kind and religious words as came to her mind, but all that she said had little effect.

Heloise or Eloise (a beautiful and accomplished French woman; the niece of Fulbert, canon of Notre-Dame. She became successively the pupil, mistress and wife of Abelard. After her marriage she became prioress of Argenteuil, and acquired a high reputation for piety. Her letters, written in elegant Latin, and printed with those of Abelard, are the expressions of a noble and fervent spirit), about 1100-1164. "In death at last let me rest with Abelard."

Heloise, when she felt the approach of death, directed the sisterhood to place her body by the side of that of Abelard, in the same coffin. It was commonly reported and believed, such was the credulity of the age, that at the moment when the coffin of Abelard129 was opened to lay her within it, the arm of the skeleton stretched itself out, opened, and appeared to be reanimated to receive the beloved one. They reposed for five hundred years in one of the aisles of the Paraclete, and after various changes, came to rest at last in the beautiful cemetery of Père-la-Chaise at Paris.

Hemans (Felicia Dorothea), 1794-1835. "I feel as if I were sitting with Mary at the feet of my Redeemer, hearing the music of his voice, and learning of Him to be meek and lovely."

Hendricks (Thomas A., Vice-President of the United States), 1819-1885. "At rest at last. Now I am free from pain."

Henry IV. (of France), 1553-1610. "I am wounded," said when struck by the assassin Ravaillac.

While the coach stopped, the attendants with the exception of two, went on before; one of these two advanced to clear the way, the other stopped to fasten his garter. At that instant a wild-faced, red-haired man in a cloak, who had followed the coach from the Louvre, approached the side where the king sat, as if endeavoring to push his way, like other passengers, between the coach and the shops. Suddenly putting one foot on a spoke of the wheel, he drew a knife, and struck the king, who was reading a letter, between the second and third rib, a little above the heart. "I am wounded," cried the king, as the130 assassin, perceiving that the stroke had not been effectual, repeated it. The second blow went directly to the heart; the blood gushed from the wound and from his mouth, and death was almost instantaneous. A third blow which the assassin aimed at his victim was received by the Duke of Eperon in the sleeve.

The assassin's name was Francis Ravaillac, a native of Angoumois, who had been a solicitor in the courts of law. Whether the crime was prompted solely by his own imagination, or whether he was the instrument of any deep-laid conspiracy, was never clearly ascertained, though the latter was the general supposition.—Chambers' Miscellany.

Henry VIII. (second son of Henry VII. and Elizabeth of York. The death of his elder brother Arthur, in 1502, made him heir apparent to the throne. He married his brother's widow, Catharine of Aragon, and, upon his father's death in 1509, was crowned king of England. The great event in his reign was his divorcement of Catharine and his marriage with Anne Boleyn, which led to the repudiation of Romanism in England, and the organization of the English or Episcopal Church), 1491-1547. "Monks! Monks! Monks!" He was in all probability thinking of the time when he abolished the monasteries and turned the monks out of doors.

Henry (Patrick, American statesman and orator), 1736-1799. "I trust in the mercy of God, it is not now too late."

131Henry (Philip, English dissenting clergyman. He was the father of Matthew Henry, the eminent English divine and commentator), 1631-1696. "O death, where is thy—" Here his speech failed, and in a few moments he breathed his last.

Henry (Matthew, commentator on the Bible), 1662-1714. "A life spent in the service of God, and communion with Him, is the most comfortable and pleasant life that any one can live in this present world."

He was twenty-five years pastor of a church at Chester, and during that time went through the Bible three times in the course of expository lectures. "At the commencement of his ministry he began with the first chapter of Genesis in the forenoon, and the first chapter of Matthew in the afternoon. Thus gradually and steadily grew his 'Exposition' of the Bible. A large portion of it consists of his public lectures, while many of the quaint sayings and pithy remarks with which it abounds, and which give so great a charm of raciness to its pages, were the familiar extempore observations of his father at family worship, and noted down by Matthew in his boyhood."

Herbert (George, author of some of the finest sacred lyrics in the English language), 1593-1632. "I am now ready to die. Lord, forsake me not, now my strength faileth me; but grant me mercy for the132 merits of my Jesus. And now Lord—Lord, now receive my soul."

With these words he breathed forth his divine soul, without any apparent disturbance, Mr. Woodnot and Mr. Bostock attending his last breath, and closing his eyes.

Thus he lived, and thus he died like a saint, unspotted of the world, full of alms-deeds, full of humility, and all the examples of a virtuous life; which I cannot conclude better, than with this borrowed observation:

All must to their cold graves;
But the religious actions of the just
Smell sweet in death, and blossom in the dust.
Izaak Walton.

Herder (Johann Gottfried von, court-preacher at Weimar, and one of the most brilliant and delightful of German authors), 1744-1803. He died writing an "Ode to the Deity;" his pen had just reached the last line. His last spoken words were "Refresh me with a great thought."

Hervey (James, English divine, author of the once popular book, "Meditations Among the Tombs"), 1713-1758. "Precious salvation!"

Leaning his head against the side of the easy-chair, without a sigh, or groan, or struggle, he shut his eyes and died.

Heylin (Peter, author of "Life of Bishop Laud" and "Defence of the Church of England"), 1600-1662. "I go to my God and Saviour."

133Hill (Rev. Rowland, a popular, pious, but eccentric preacher), 1745-1833. "Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us unto God."

Hobbes (Thomas, philosopher and translator), 1588-1679. "Now am I about to take my last voyage—a great leap in the dark."

Some say Hobbes's last words were: "I shall be glad to find a hole to creep out of the world at."

He clung warmly to his friends, had a horror of being left alone in his illness, bequeathed all his property to the faithful servant and friend who had been his amanuensis. He was not afraid of death but said he should willingly "find some hole to creep out of the world at," and was wont to amuse himself with choosing for the epitaph to be graven on his tombstone, "This is the true philosopher's stone."

Alger's "Genius of Solitude."

Hodge (Charles, American theologian, for fifty-six years President of Princeton Theological Seminary. His "Systematic Theology" in three volumes, is one of the ablest compends of divinity in the English language. His "Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans" has been greatly prized by Bible-students), 1797-1878. "My work is done, the pins of the tabernacle are taken out."

A moment later he was heard to whisper:

"A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On Thy kind arms I fall."

134Hofer (Andreas, Tyrolese patriot), 1767-1810. "I stand in the presence of my Creator, and standing I will render back my spirit to God who gave it. Fire!" to the officer who directed him to place himself on his knees.

The first six shots wounded him but slightly. Dropping on his knees he received the remaining six, and was still struggling convulsively when a corporal, discharging a pistol close to his head, put an end to his sufferings.—Markham.

Hogg (James, "the Ettrick Shepherd"), 1772-1835. "It is likely you may never need to do it again," to his wife, whom he had asked to watch by his bedside during the night.

Hood (Thomas), 1798-1845. "Dying, Dying." Like poor Yorick, he was "a fellow of infinite jest; of most excellent fancy." In his genius were united the intensely pathetic and the exquisitely humorous. His life was one of toil and suffering, and yet he was always joking and making those around him laugh. His wit did not forsake him on his death-bed; it is recorded that when a mustard plaster was applied to his attenuated feet, he was heard feebly to remark that there was "very little meat for the mustard."

He died on the 3d of May, 1845, and on a July day nine years later Monckton Milnes unveiled the monument which stands above his grave in Kensal Green Cemetery. Beneath the bust there runs the legend, "He sang the Song of the Shirt," and on135 either side of the pedestal are bas-relief medallions of "Eugene Aram's Dream" and "The Bridge of Sighs"—all pertinent reminders of the fact that there was a serious as well as a humorous side to the genius of Hood. He himself, there can be no doubt, would have elected to live by his serious verse.

Hooker (Richard, eminent English clergyman), 1553-1600. "Good Doctor, God has heard my daily petitions, for I am at peace with all men, and he is at peace with me; and from which blessed assurance I feel that inward joy which this world can neither give nor take away."

Some say his last words were, "My days are past as a shadow that returns not."

Hooper (John, Bishop of Gloucester and later Bishop of Worcester in commendam), about 1495-1555. "If you love my soul, away with it!"

In January, 1555, he was condemned on three charges: for maintaining the lawfulness of clerical marriage, for defending divorce and for denying transubstantiation. He called the mass "the iniquity of the devil." He was sentenced to die at the stake in Gloucester, whither he was conveyed. He met his death firmly and cheerfully. To a friend bewailing his lot, the martyr replied in the oft-quoted words, "Death is bitter, and life is sweet, but alas! consider that death to come is more bitter, and life to come is more sweet." In another conversation he said, "I am well, thank God; and death to me for Christ's136 sake is welcome." His martyrdom was witnessed by a large throng of people. The martyr was forbidden to address the crowd. A real or pretended pardon being promised if he would recant, he spurned it away, saying, "If you love my soul, away with it." His agony was greatly prolonged and increased by the slow progress of the fire on account of the green faggots, which had to be rekindled three times before they did their work.

Rev. D. S. Schaff in the Religious Encyclopædia.

Some authorities say Bishop Hooper's last words were. "Good people, give me more fire." Other authorities have it, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

Hopkins (Rev. Samuel, D. D., distinguished theologian and controversialist: founder of the so-called "Hopkinsian Theology"), 1721-1803. "My anchor is well cast, and my ship, though weather-beaten, will outride the storm."

Hotman (William, Revolutionary soldier and patriot, the record of whose noble and courageous spirit is preserved upon a grave-stone at Groton, Connecticut), —1781. "We will endeavor to crawl to this line; we will completely wet the powder with our blood; thus will we, with the life that remains in us, save the fort and the magazine, and perhaps a few of our comrades who are only wounded!"

The entire inscription upon the stone reads thus:

"On the 20th of October, 1781, four thousand English fell upon this town with fire and sword137—seven hundred Americans defended the fort for a whole day, but in the evening about four o'clock, it was taken. The commander declined delivering up his sword to an Englishman, who immediately stabbed him! All his comrades were put to the sword. A line of powder was laid from the magazine of the fort to be lighted to blow the fort up into the air. William Hotman, who lay not far distant, wounded by three stabs of a bayonet in his body, beheld it, and said to one of his wounded friends, who was still alive, 'We will endeavor to crawl to this line; we will completely wet the powder with our blood; thus will we, with the life that remains in us, save the fort and the magazine, and perhaps a few of our comrades who are only wounded!' He alone had strength to accomplish this noble design. In his thirtieth year he died on the powder which he overflowed with his blood. His friend, and seven of his wounded companions, by that means had their lives preserved. Here rests William Hotman."

Hough (John, Bishop of Oxford, afterward Bishop of Worcester), 1651-1743. "We part to meet again, I hope, in endless joys," to some friends who were with him at the time of his death.

Houston (Samuel, known as "Sam," commander-in-chief of the Texan army and "Hero of San Jacinto," President of Texas, and, after annexation, United States Senator), 1793-1862. "Texas!138 Texas!"—after a pause, he faintly breathed the name of his wife, "Margaret," and passed away.

Howard (William, Viscount Stafford. Having been accused by Titus Oates of complicity in the Popish Plot, he was convicted of treason and executed December 29th, 1680. It is believed that he was innocent), 1612-1680. "I do forgive you."

Having embraced and taken leave of his friends, he knelt down and placed his head on the block: the executioner raised the axe high in the air, but then checking himself suddenly lowered it. Stafford raised his head and asked the reason for the delay. The executioner said he waited the signal. "I shall make no sign," he answered; "take your own time." The executioner asked his forgiveness. "I do forgive you," replied Stafford, and placing his head again in position, at one blow it was severed from his body.—Bell's "Chapel and Tower."

Howard (John, distinguished philanthropist), 1726-1790. "Suffer no pomp at my funeral, nor monumental inscription where I am laid. Lay me quietly in the earth and put a sun-dial over my grave, and let me be forgotten."[26]

139 A rude obelisk is erected over his grave, bearing the brief Latin inscription, "Vixet propter alios"—he lived for the good of others.

He may have lived for others but it is recorded of him that he was a tyrant in his own house; that his cruel treatment caused the death of his wife; and that he was in the habit of punishing his only son with the greatest severity. Dr. Forbes Winslow thinks Howard was insane, and there is much to justify that opinion.

Hull (Isaac, commodore), 1775-1843. "I strike my flag."

Humbert I. (King of Italy), 1844-1900. "It is nothing." These words were spoken as he sank into the arms of his aide, upon receiving the third bullet from the revolver of the assassin Bressi, at Monza, where he attended a gymnastic fête and distributed prizes.

"The King at once took his place on the platform amid the tumultuous cheering of the people. He wore civilian attire, and appeared to be in excellent health and spirits. In distributing the prizes, his 140 Majesty made a speech which he concluded by saying:

"'It gives me great pleasure to be among my own people after so long an absence from Monza.'

"These, as it proved, were the last words King Humbert uttered publicly. The distribution of the prizes ended at 10:30 o'clock, and on leaving the platform the King entered the first of the two four-wheeled court carriages that were waiting. He sat on the right of Lieut.-Gen. Ponziovaglia, his chief aide.

"As the carriage began to move the members of the various gymnastic societies gathered round and cheered the King enthusiastically. His Majesty, smiling and acknowledging the demonstration, brought the carriage to a temporary halt.

"It was beginning to start again when three revolver shots rang out, startling every one. The horses were frightened and began to rear, and almost simultaneously the people saw that the King had fallen into the arms of his aides, bleeding from his neck and breast.

"The murderer was instantly recognized and the enraged people fell upon him with the evident intention of killing him. He was kicked, cuffed and beaten with canes. He would not have escaped alive if carbiniers and members of the fire brigade had not rushed through the crowd and seized the culprit. They formed a cordon round him and conveyed him to jail amid the execrations of the crowd.

141 "Meantime the King was taken with all speed to the royal castle, while the second carriage was sent to the local hospital for surgeons. Before these could reach the castle the King had died.

"Upon receiving the terrible news the Archbishop of Milan hastened to Monza and solemnly blessed the corpse.

"Each of the three bullets had hit the King. One struck him on the left collarbone, another between the fifth and sixth ribs on the right side, while the one that inflicted the fatal wound entered the heart.

"As he fell the King said to his aide: 'It is nothing.' These were the last words he uttered, and he was dead when the carriage arrived at the palace.

"The body was borne tenderly up a long flight of steps and carried into a chamber and placed on a bed. The King's eyes were open, but he gave no sign of life. The Queen threw herself on the body of her husband, alternately calling to him in tones, filled with anguish, and praying the doctors to tell her the truth. When they were convinced that the King was dead the Queen submitted to be led gently away. The surgeons then removed the King's clothing and examined his wounds. The Queen afterward returned and kept her vigil beside the body, praying until a late hour.

"Bystanders say the assassin rushed through the crowd and raised the revolver. Several attempted to seize the weapon, but Bressi fired before they could142 do so. He was captured with the smoking revolver still in his hand, and exultingly admitted his guilt."

Carriere Della Sera.

Humboldt (Friedrich Heinrich Alexander, Baron von, author of the "Cosmos"), 1769-1859. "How grand the sunlight! It seems to beckon earth to heaven."

Hunt (James Henry Leigh, English poet and littérateur), 1784-1859. "Deep dream of peace."

Hunter (William, a young man of nineteen, burned at the stake for his faith, in the time of Mary I., of England), 1536-1555. "Lord, Lord, Lord, receive my spirit!"

"William said to his mother:—'For my little pain which I shall suffer, which is but a short braid, Christ hath promised me, mother (said he), a crown of joy; may you not be glad of that, mother?' With that his mother kneeled down on her knees, saying, 'I pray God strengthen thee, my son, to the end; yea, I think thee as well-bestowed as any child that ever I bare.'

"Then William Hunter plucked up his gown and stepped over the parlor groundsel and went forward cheerfully; the sheriff's servants taking him by one arm and his brother by another. And thus going in the way, he met with his father according to his dream, and he spake to his son saying, 'God be with thee, son William;' and William said, 'God be with143 you, good father, and be of good comfort; for I hope we shall meet again when we shall be merry.' His father said, 'I hope so, William,' and so departed. So William went to the place where the stake stood, even according to his dream, where all things were very unready. Then William took a wet broom faggot, and kneeled down thereon, and read the fifty-first Psalm till he came to these words, 'The sacrifice of God is a contrite spirit; a contrite and a broken heart, O God, thou wilt not despise!'

"Then said the sheriff, 'There is a letter from the Queen. If thou wilt recant thou shalt live; if not, thou shalt be burned.' 'No,' quoth William, 'I will not recant, God willing.' Then William rose and went to the stake, and stood upright to it. Then came one Richard Ponde, a bailiff, and made fast the chain about William.

"Then said master Brown, 'There is not wood enough to burn a leg of him.' Then said William, 'Good people! pray for me, and make speed and despatch quickly; and pray for me while you see me alive, good people! and I will pray for you likewise.' 'Now?' quoth master Brown, 'pray for thee! I will pray no more for thee than I will pray for a dog.'

"Then was there a gentleman which said, 'I pray God have mercy upon his soul!' The people said, 'Amen, amen.'

"Immediately fire was made. Then William cast his psalter right into his brother's hand, who said,144 'William! think of the holy passion of Christ, and be not afraid of death.' And William answered, 'I am not afraid.' Then lifted he up his hands to heaven and said, 'Lord, Lord, Lord, receive my spirit,' and, casting down his head again into the smothering smoke, he yielded up his life for the truth, sealing it with his blood to the praise of God."

Fox's "Book of Martyrs."

Hunter (Dr. William, distinguished anatomist and physiologist. He is chiefly remembered by his "Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus," consisting of thirty-four plates engraved by the most eminent artists of the day, with explanations in English and Latin), 1717-1783. "If I had strength to hold a pen I would write down how easy and pleasant a thing it is to die."

Huntington (Selina, Countess of, an English lady, eminent for her piety and munificence), 1707-1791. "My work is done; I have nothing to do but to go to my Father."

Huss (John, burnt at the stake July 6, 1415), 1370-1415. When the chain was placed around the neck of John Huss he exclaimed with a smile, "Welcome this chain, for Christ's sake!" The faggots having been piled up to his neck, the Duke of Bavaria, in a brutal manner, called on him to recant. "No," cried the martyr, "I take God to witness I145 preached none but his own pure doctrines, and what I taught I am ready to seal with my blood."

Ignatius (surnamed Theophorus, early Christian Father, and one of the immediate successors of the apostles),—107. "I am the wheat of Christ; I am going to be ground with the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread." These words he is said to have uttered when he heard the roaring of the lions that were to devour him.

He had a burning desire for the martyr's crown, and went to his death with a shout of triumph. Of the same spirit was Germanicus, who actually provoked the wild beasts to rush upon him, that he might at once be delivered from this wretched life and receive a martyr's reward.

Ilitchewski (Alexander Demainowitch, the Russian poet). "I have found at last the object of my love," a line written by the poet just before his death, and found on a table near his bed. The poet was haunted all his life by an ideal of womanly beauty which he sought in vain among the living, and the above line would seem to indicate that he had at last found the object of his dreams. It is supposed that he died from excess of joy at the discovery.

Illeppy (Solyman, the Turkish peasant who assassinated General Kleber),—1800. "Tay hip!" (That is good).

146 The assassin suffered death by having the flesh burned off his right hand, and by being impaled, in which situation he lived one hour and forty minutes; dying without showing any fear, and declaring to the last, "that the act which he had done was meritorious, and one for which he should be made happy in the other world." He continued exclaiming, from the moment of his hand being burnt, to that of his death, "Tay hip!"—The Percy Anecdotes.

Ingersoll (Robert Green, an American lawyer and orator, distinguished as an opponent of Christianity), 1833-1899. "O, better," in response to his wife's question, "How do you feel now?"

After the war he became an ardent Republican, and gained fame as a lawyer, serving as attorney-general of Illinois for several years. He was a delegate to the National Republican convention of 1876, when he became famous as an orator by proposing the name of James G. Blaine for President in his celebrated "Plumed Knight" speech. He was offered the post of minister to Germany, but refused it. About the year 1877 he removed to New York, and was soon in great demand as a lecturer and orator. Among his most celebrated cases was his defense of the "Star route conspirators" in 1883.

Some of the most beautiful of Col. Ingersoll's orations were those that he delivered over the bodies of his friends. Among his best known books are "The Gods," 1878, "Ghosts," 1879, "Some Mis147takes of Moses," 1879, and several volumes of lectures.

Irving (Rev. Edward, an able and eccentric preacher, and the founder of the "Catholic Apostolic Church"), 1792-1834. "If I die, I die unto the Lord. Amen." Some say his last words were: "In life and in death, I am the Lord's."

Irving (Washington, distinguished American author), 1783-1859. "I must arrange my pillows for another weary night," said on retiring. A moment later he tried to say something more but could pronounce only the word "end," after which he uttered a slight cry as of pain, and fell to the floor. When the physician arrived life was extinct.

It was on November 28th, 1859, when Irving was seventy-six years old, that his death came. He had been in poor health for some months, suffering much from sleeplessness and a shortness of breath, but at the last a weakness of the heart brought the sudden end. Lacking to-day a man of letters who holds such a place in the affections of his countrymen as Irving held, it is difficult for us to realise the impression made by his death. It was as if a President or a great soldier had died in these later years. Flags on shipping and buildings in New York flew at half-mast, and the Mayor and Council recognised the event as a public grief. A multitude of people bore witness to their own sense of loss at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. The day of the funeral, Decem148ber 1st, had the fullest beauty and suggestion of Indian summer—"one of his own days," the people said. It is to Longfellow,

"No singer vast of voice; yet one who leaves
His native air the sweeter for his song,"

that we instinctively turn for the words:

Here lies the gentle humorist, who died
In the bright Indian summer of his fame!
A simple stone, with but a date and name,
Marks his secluded resting-place beside
The river that he loved and glorified.
Here in the autumn of his days he came,
But the dry leaves of life were all aflame
With tints that brightened and were multiplied.
How sweet a life was his; how sweet a death!
Living, to wing with mirth the weary hours,
Or with romantic tales the heart to cheer;
Dying, to leave a memory like the breath
Of summers full of sunshine and of showers,
A grief and gladness in the atmosphere.

Isaiah (spelled in the New Testament Esaias which means "salvation of Jehovah." He is the greatest of the Hebrew Prophets, and his poetical genius is ranked with that of Homer), b. c. 765-660. "Go ye to the country of Tyre and Sidon, for the Lord hath mixed the cup for me alone."

There is a tradition that the prophet Isaiah suffered martyrdom by a saw. The ancient book entitled, "The Ascension of Isaiah the Prophet," accords with the tradition. It says: "Then they seized Isaiah the son of Amos and sawed him with149 a wooden saw. And Manasseh, Melakira, the false prophets, the princes and the people, all stood looking on. But he said to the prophets who were with him before he was sawn, 'Go ye to the country of Tyre and Sidon, for the Lord hath mixed the cup for me alone.' Neither while they were sawing him did he cry out nor weep, but he continued addressing himself to the Holy Spirit until he was sawn asunder."

Jackson (Thomas Jonathan, "Stonewall Jackson," distinguished Confederate general), 1824-1863. "Let us go over the river, and sit under the refreshing shadow of the trees."

He was accidentally shot and mortally wounded by his own soldiers, in the darkness of night. His last words were spoken in delirium.

James II. (of England), 1633-1701. "Grateful—in peace!" Louis XIV. visited James II. when the latter was upon his death-bed, and moved, no doubt, by pity, said to him in the presence of courtiers who ill concealed their surprise: "I come to tell Your Majesty, that whenever it shall please God to take you from us, I will be to your son what I have been to you, and will acknowledge him as King of England, Scotland and Ireland." James was so near death that he was hardly sensible of what was said to him, but it was thought he murmured with much that was irrelevant the words, "Grateful—in peace!"

150 The final disposition of the remains of James II. is involved in some uncertainty. Stanley in Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey says: "The body had been placed in the Chapel of the English Benedictines at Paris, and deposited there in the vain hope that, at some future time, they would be laid with kingly pomp at Westminster among the graves of the Plantagenets and Tudors." Clarke, in his Life of James II. says that at his burial the rites of the Church of England were not used, but this is contradicted by the account preserved in Herald's College. The King's brains, it is said, were deposited in an urn of bronze-gilt standing upon the monument raised to him in the Chapel of the Scotch College in the Rue des Fossés Saint Victor. This, according to a correspondent of the Notes and Queries, Vol. ii, p. 281, was "smashed, and the contents scattered about during the French Revolution." Pettigrew, in his Chronicles of the Tombs, says: "It is conjectured that portions of the King's body were collected together, and entombed at St. Germain en Laye, soon after the termination of the war in 1814; but it being necessary to rebuild the church, the remains were exhumed and re-interred in 1824."

The following curious account was given in 1840 by Mr. Fitzsimmons, an Irish gentleman upward of eighty years of age, who taught French and English at Toulouse and claimed to be a runaway monk:

"I was a prisoner in Paris, in the convent of the151 English Benedictines in the Rue St. Jacques, during part of the Revolution. In the year 1793 or 1794, the body of King James II. of England (died 1701) was in one of the chapels there, where it had been deposited some time, under the expectation that it would one day be sent to England for interment in Westminster Abbey. It had never been buried. The body was in a wooden coffin, inclosed in a leaden one; and that again inclosed in a second wooden one, covered with black velvet. While I was a prisoner the sans-culottes broke open the coffins to get at the lead to cast into bullets. The body lay exposed nearly a whole day. It was swaddled like a mummy, bound tight with garters. The sans-culottes took out the body, which had been embalmed. There was a strong smell of vinegar and camphor. The corpse was beautiful and perfect. The hands and nails were very fine. I moved and bent every finger. I never saw so fine a set of teeth in my life. A young lady, a fellow prisoner, wished much to have a tooth; I tried to get one out for her, but could not, they were so firmly fixed. The feet also were very beautiful. The face and cheeks were just as if he were alive. I rolled his eyes; the eye-balls were perfectly firm under my finger. The French and English prisoners gave money to the sans-culottes for showing the body. The trouserless crowd said he was a good sans-culotte, and they were going to put him into a hole in the public churchyard like other sans-culottes; 152 and he was carried away, but where the body was thrown I never heard. King George IV. tried all in his power to get tidings of the body, but could not. Around the chapel were several wax moulds of the face hung up, made probably at the time of the king's death, and the face of the corpse was very like them. The body had been originally kept at the palace of St. Germain, from whence it was brought to the convent of the Benedictines."

James V. (of Scotland), 1512-1542. "It came with a lass, and it will go with a lass." He referred to the Scotch crown.

Jefferson (Thomas, third President of the United States), 1743-1826. "I resign my spirit to God, my daughter to my country."

His death was very remarkable: it occurred on July 4, 1826, while the nation was celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, which he had written. On the same day, and almost at the same hour, John Adams, the second President, who had signed with him the Declaration, died in New England.

Jerome (of Prague, the companion of John Huss, was born at Prague in the latter half of the fourteenth century, and suffered at the stake, May 30, 1416). "Bring thy torch hither; do thine office before my face; had I feared death I might have avoided it." These brave words were addressed to153 the executioner who was about to kindle the fire behind him. Some give his last words thus: "This soul in flames I offer, Christ, to thee."

Jewell or Jewel (John, Bishop of Salisbury), 1522-1571. "This day let me see the Lord Jesus."

Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc, surnamed "the Maid of Orleans," burned at the stake May 31, 1431, in the twenty-first year of her age. "The Virgin-Martyr of French Liberty"), 1410-1431. "Jesus! Jesus!"

She died declaring that her "voices" had not deceived her, and with the name of Jesus on her lips.

Johnson (Dr. Samuel, "Colossus of English literature"), 1709-1784. "God bless you, my dear!" to Miss Morris.

Joseph II. (of Germany), 1741-1790. "Let my epitaph be, Here lies Joseph, who was unsuccessful in all his undertakings."

Josephine (Marie Joseph Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, wife of Napoleon I. of France), 1763-1814. "Napoleon! Elba! Marie Louise!"

Judson (Adoniram, missionary to Burmah and translator of the Bible into the language of that country), 1788-1850. "Brother Ranney, will you bury me? bury me?—quick! quick!" These words were prompted perhaps by the thought of burial at154 sea. A moment later he said to his servant, "Take care of poor mistress," meaning Mrs. Judson.

Judson (Mrs. Ann Hasseltine, wife of Adoniram Judson, and with him a missionary in Burmah), 1789-1826. "I feel quite well, only very weak."

Jugurtha (an African prince carried in chains to Rome where he was cast into the Mamertine prison and starved to death). "Heracles, how cold your bath is!" Jugurtha referred to the cold and dark prison into which he was plunged as into an icy bath. "Heracles" is the ordinary Greek interjection, and is not here an address to a god. Longfellow in his little poem "Jugurtha," has substituted, it is hard to say by what authority, the name of Apollo for that of Heracles:

How cold are thy baths, Apollo!
Cried the African monarch, the splendid,
As down to his death in the hollow
Dark dungeons of Rome he descended,
Uncrowned, unthroned, unattended;
How cold are thy baths, Apollo!
How cold are thy baths, Apollo!
Cried the Poet, unknown, unbefriended,
As the vision, that lured him to follow,
With the mist and the darkness blended,
And the dream of his life was ended;
How cold are thy baths, Apollo!—Longfellow.

The Jugurthine war, which was terminated b. c. 106, is the subject of one of the histories of Sallust.

155Julian (Julianus Flavius Claudius, surnamed "The Apostate," on account of his renunciation of Christianity. He was Roman emperor from 361 to 363), 331-363. "Thou hast conquered, O Galilean! thou hast conquered!" Some authorities give his last words thus: "Sun, thou hast betrayed me!" Julian was a worshipper of the sun.

And Julian being carried to his tent, he took a handful of the blood which flowed from his wound, and flung it into the air, exclaiming with his last breath, "Thou hast conquered, O Galilean! thou hast conquered!" Then the demons received his parting spirit.—Mrs. Jameson.

The historian, Ammianus Marcellinus, who was in the army of Julian, states that when he was wounded his admirers compared the scene that followed in his tent to that which Plato has drawn in the prison of Socrates; not without the confession that it was an affected imitation. This testimony is preferable to the imaginary pictures of Christian orators of the apostate clutching the sand and crying, "O Galilean, thou hast conquered!" The real triumph of Christianity needs no such melodramatic inventions conceived in the spirit of an age of ornate rhetoric.—Smith's "Universal History, iii, 717."

Kalakaua (David, King of the Hawaiian Islands), 1836-1892. The monarch was unconscious of what was going on around him, and seemed to be dreaming of his early days. Colonel Baker heard156 him murmur something and leaning over the bedside could make out that he was speaking to himself in his native tongue of the oceans and mountains and natural scenery of Hawaii.

He died at San Francisco, Cal., while on a visit to the United States.

Kant (Immanuel, one of the greatest of German metaphysicians, founder of the Critical or Transcendental school of philosophy), 1724-1804. "Est ist gut," said as he declined a refreshing draught, offered him by one who thought he was suffering from thirst.

Keats (John), 1796-1821. "I feel the flowers growing over me." Some say his last words were: "I die of a broken heart."

The severity of an article written by Gifford in review of "Endymion" in the Quarterly Review affected the young poet very deeply, and is even said to have occasioned the consumption from which he died at Rome where he had but just completed his twenty-fourth year.

Over the grave of Keats in the Old Protestant cemetery at Rome is the inscription: "This grave contains all that was mortal of a young English poet, who, on his death-bed, in the bitterness of his heart at the malicious power of his enemies, desired these words to be engraved on his tombstone: 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water.' February 24, 1821."

157 In the "Letters and Memorials of Archbishop Trench," occurs the following distressing letter on the last days of Keats, addressed to Trench by a friend in Rome:

"I have made Severn's acquaintance. He is a very fine fellow, and I like him amazingly. My only introduction to him was our common admiration of Keats, whose memory he cherishes most affectionately, and of whom he is never tired of speaking when he finds one who listens with gladness. I sat in his studio for hours while he painted a design which Keats suggested to him, and all the while he was telling me particulars of his last days. His sufferings were terrible and prolonged. Shelley and Hunt had deprived him of his belief in Christianity, which he wanted in the end, and he endeavored to fight back to it, saying if Severn would get him a Jeremy Taylor he thought he could believe; but it was not to be found in Rome. Another time (which is to me peculiarly painful, though it shows at the same time how little way he had proceeded in a particular line of thought), having been betrayed into considerable impatience by bodily and mental anguish, he cried, on recovering himself, 'By God, Severn, a man ought to have some superstition, that he may die decently.'"

Ken (Thomas, Bishop of Bath and Wells, author of several volumes of sermons and of some very beautiful hymns, among which is the famous Doxo158logy. "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow"—the Protestant "Te Deum laudamus"), 1637-1711. "God's will be done."

Bishop Ken was one of the seven bishops committed to the Tower for disobedience by James II., but proved his loyalty by refusing to take the oaths to William and Mary, and was therefore deprived of his bishopric. He was a man of devoted piety, expansive benevolence, and great tenderness of spirit.—Allibone.

King (Thomas Star, Unitarian clergyman), 1824-1864. "Dear little fellow—he is a beautiful boy." This he said of his little son who had been brought in to see him.

Kingsley (Charles, clergyman, novelist, and poet), 1819-1875. "Thou knowest, O Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not Thy merciful ears to our prayer, but spare us, O Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, Thou most worthy Judge Eternal, suffer us not at our last hour, from any pains of death, to fall from Thee."—Episcopal "Burial Service."

In the night he was heard murmuring, "No more fighting: no more fighting." Then followed intense earnest prayers, which were his habit when alone. His warfare was accomplished; he had fought the good fight; and, on one of his last nights on earth, his daughter heard him exclaim, "How beautiful God is!" The last morning, at five o'clock, just159 after his eldest daughter and his physician, who had sat up all night, had left him, and he thought himself alone, he was heard, in a clear voice, repeating the Burial Service. He turned on his side after this, and never spoke again.

"Letters and Memoirs of Charles Kingsley," by his wife.

Klopstock (Friedrich Gottlieb), 1724-1803. He died reciting his own beautiful verses, descriptive of the death of Mary, the sister of Lazarus. The Song of Mary was sung at the public funeral of the poet.

Knox (John, Scotch reformer), 1505-1572. "Now it is come." Some give his last words thus: "Live in Christ, live in Christ, and the flesh need not fear death."

Labédoyère (Charles Angélique Huchet de, Count and French general "noted for graceful manners and chivalrous spirit." He was charged with treason, rebellion and military seduction, and was executed as one of the "authors and instigators of the horrible plot which had brought back Buonaparte"), 1786-1815. "Above all do not miss me!"

At half past six in the evening Labédoyère was escorted to the plain of Grenelle by a strong detachment of gen d'armerie. On arriving at the place of execution, he knelt down and received the benediction of the confessor who accompanied him. He160 then rose, and, without waiting for his eyes to be bandaged, uncovered his breast to the veterans who were to shoot him, and exclaimed, "Above all do not miss me!" In a moment after he was no more.

Christopher Kelly: "The Battle of Waterloo."

Lacordaire (Jean Baptiste Henri, French ecclesiastic celebrated for his funeral orations), 1802-1861. "Open to me, O God!"

La Harpe or Laharpe de (Jean François, French critic and dramatist), 1739-1803. "I am grateful to Divine Mercy for having left me sufficient recollection to feel how consoling these prayers are to the dying." These are his last recorded words, and refer to the prayers for the sick to which he was attending, but later he conversed with M. Fontanes, and did not die until the next day.

Lambert (John, English teacher of languages who suffered as a martyr. His true name was Nicholson, but he changed it for greater safety in time of persecution),—1538. "None but Christ! none but Christ!"

After his legs were consumed to the stumps, two inhuman monsters who stood on each side of him pierced him with their halberds, and lifted him up as far as the chain which fastened him to the stake would reach, while he raised his half consumed161 hands dripping with blood and fire, and said, "None but Christ! none but Christ!"

Latimer (Hugh, early English reformer and martyr), about 1472-1555.

"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."

Latimer and Ridley suffered martyrdom at Oxford at the same time, October 16, 1555.

Laud (William, Archbishop of Canterbury and favorite minister of Charles I.), 1573-1645. "Lord, receive my soul," spoken to the headsman as a signal to strike. According to some authorities his last words were: "I am coming, O! Lord, as quickly as I can. I know I must pass through death before I can come to Thee, but it is only a mere shadow—a little darkness upon nature. Thou hast broken the jaws of death."

Laud was declared guilty of treason, and executed on Tower Hill, January 10, 1645.

Laurentius ("Saint," a deacon of Rome who was roasted alive on a gridiron before a slow fire), about a. d. 258. "Assatus est; jam versa et manduca" (I am roasted,—now turn me, and eat me.) According to some authorities he said later: "I thank thee, O my God and Saviour, that I have been found worthy to enter into thy beatitude."

162Lee (Robert Edmund, distinguished Confederate general, and President of Washington College, at Lexington, Virginia), 1806-1870. "Tell Hill he must come up." During his last hours his mind wandered, and he was living over again in his disordered imagination the military campaign through which he had passed.

His body lies in the mausoleum erected at the rear of the College chapel, and beside him are laid his wife and his daughter Agnes. Above the tomb, and visible from the chapel hall, is Valentine's recumbent marble figure of Lee the soldier taking his rest, with his sword sheathed at his side and his martial cloak around him.—White.

Leo X. (Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici, elected Pope March 11, 1513), 1475-1521. "I have been murdered; no remedy can prevent my speedy death." It is believed that he was poisoned.

The circumstances attending the death of the pontiff are involved in mysterious and total obscurity, and the accounts given of this event by Varillas and similar writers in subsequent times, are the spurious offspring of their own imagination.

Roscoe "Life of Leo the Tenth."

Leo X. expired upon the 1st day of December, 1521. The vacillating game he played in European politics had just been crowned with momentary success. Some folk believed that the Pope died of joy after hearing that his Imperial allies had entered the163 town of Milan; others thought that he succumbed to poison. We do not know what caused his death. But the unsoundness of his constitution, overtaxed by dissipation and generous living, in the midst of public cares for which the man had hardly nerve enough, may suffice to account for a decease certainly sudden and premature.

Symond: "Life of Michelangelo Buonarotti."

Lieber (Francis, German author, political refugee, and, later, Professor of History and Political Science in Columbia College, New York), 1800-1872.

On the afternoon of the 2nd of October, 1872, he was sitting quietly, listening to his wife, who was reading aloud to him as was her custom, when he gave one cry and immediately died.[27]

Perry's "Life and Letters of Lieber."

Lindsey (Theophilus, English Unitarian clergyman), 1723-1808. "No, whatever is, is best,"—said to a friend who suggested that his fortitude sprang from his recollection of the maxim, "Whatever is, is right."

Ligne (Charles Joseph, Prince de, "The Friend of Kings," author of "Commentaries on the Art of 164War." He was a brave and good soldier, but a great beau and dandy), 1734-1814. "Back, thou accursed phantom!" As he felt the approach of death he sprang from a recumbent to a sitting posture, and ordered the door to be closed; but finding that he could not prevent the last great enemy from entering, he gave the phantom battle; and in the midst of the conflict he threw up his arms and cried, "Back thou accursed phantom!" In a moment he was dead.

At seventy-two he was still a fop and still a gallant. "His delicately malicious and gayly ironic wit," wrote Count Ouvaroff, who knew him only in old age, "was allied with a sweetness of character and an equality of temper that were unparalleled." "Gravity only was distasteful to him, and he would always turn the conversation with a word or a nod from too serious a topic. His pride was flattered by the eagerness wherewith the curious pointed their finger at him in the street, and he was yet anxious to attract the attention which was his due. He would walk abroad in the Field Marshal's cloak, which became his youthful figure, or, still more splendid, he would drive in his gray coach, whose white horses were the wonder of all Vienna. His happiness had suffered no eclipse; his talk was as marvelous as when he astonished the Court of Versailles, and not even his wrinkles obscured the dazzle of his smile. The best of life had been his, and he waited the end in placid content, and it is165 in his triumph in Vienna, rather than in his cumbrous books, that you catch the last glimpse of the Prince de Ligne."

Charles Whibley: "The Pageantry of Life."

Lippard (George, American author), 1822-1854. "Is this death?" to his physician.

Lippard wrote a number of sensational novels, and a book on "Washington and his Generals." He was the founder of the once strong and useful Brotherhood of the Union, a secret charitable institution.

Lisle (Sir George, English royalist officer, taken prisoner at Colchester, where he was put to death August 29th, 1648),—1648. "I have been nearer to you when you have missed me," said to a soldier of the squad appointed to shoot him, and who had, to Sir George Lisle's request that he would not miss or merely wound him, replied, "I'll warrant, sir, we will hit you." Lisle thought the distance between himself and the firing party was too great and he wished the soldiers to come nearer to him.

Fairfax sullied his victory by an act of great cruelty. In a council of war, it was resolved that Sir Charles Lucas, Sir George Lisle, and Sir Bernard Gascoign, the governors of Colchester, should be put to death: but the life of Gascoign was spared, on account of his being a foreigner. When the other two were brought out to be shot, Lucas gave the word to fire, as if he had been at the head of his166 own company. Lisle kissed him eagerly after he was dead; and desired the executioners to come nearer.—The Percy Anecdotes.

Livingstone (David, distinguished missionary, traveler and discoverer), 1813-1873. His last words, which are not recorded, were about Chilanebo's village, in Ilala, and the neighboring country, and especially about the Luapula. His mind wandered, and the questions were often disconnected and indistinct, but his last thoughts were of Africa. His attendants constructed for him a rude hut, and when it was completed they took him into it and laid him upon a rough bed—the best they could procure. He spoke only once or twice during the night. Next day he lay undisturbed. He asked a few wandering questions about the country—especially about the Luapula. His people knew that the end could not be far off. Nothing occurred to attract notice during the early part of the night, but at four in the morning, the boy who lay at his door called in alarm for Susi, fearing that their master was dead. By the candle still burning they saw him, not in bed, but kneeling at the bedside with his head buried in his hands upon the pillow. The sad yet not unexpected truth soon became evident: he had passed away on the furthest of all his journeys, and without a single attendant. But he had died in the act of prayer—prayer offered in that reverential attitude about which he was always so particular; com167mending his own spirit, with all his dear ones, as was his wont, into the hands of his Saviour; and commending Africa—his own dear Africa—with all her woes and sins and wrongs, to the Avenger of the oppressed and the Redeemer of the lost.

So soon as the death of Livingstone was known to his men, they resolved to carry their master's remains to Zanzibar. Arrangements were made for drying and embalming the body, after removing the heart and other viscera. For fourteen days the body was dried in the sun. After being wrapped in calico, and the legs bent inward at the knees, it was enclosed in a large piece of bark from a Myonga tree in the form of a cylinder; over this a piece of sail-cloth was sewed; and the package was lashed to a pole, so as to be carried by two men. Jacob Wainwright carved an inscription on the Moula tree under which the body had rested, and where the heart was buried, and Chitambo was charged to keep the grass cleared away, and to protect two posts and a cross-piece which they erected to mark the spot.

The remains were brought to Aden on board the "Calcutta," and thereafter transferred to the steamer "Malwa," which arrived at Southampton on the 15th of April. Mr. Thomas Livingstone, eldest surviving son of the Doctor, being then in Egypt on account of his health, had gone on board at Alexandria. The body was conveyed to London by special train and deposited in the rooms of the Geographical Society in Saville Row.

168 In the course of the evening the remains were examined by Sir William Fergusson and several other medical gentlemen, including Dr. Loudon, of Hamilton, whose professional skill and great kindness to his family had gained for him a high place in the esteem and love of Livingstone. To many persons it had appeared so incredible that the remains should have been brought from the heart of Africa to London, that some conclusive identification of the body seemed to be necessary to set all doubt at rest. The state of the arm, the one that had been broken by the lion, supplied the crucial evidence. "Exactly in the region of the attachment of the deltoid to the humerus" (wrote Sir William Fergusson in a contribution to the Lancet, April 18, 1874), "there were the indications of an oblique fracture. On moving the arm there were the indications of an ununited fracture. A closer identification and dissection displayed the false joint that had so long ago been so well recognized by those who had examined the arm in former days.... The first glance set my mind at rest, and that, with further examination, made me as positive as to the identification of these remains as that there has been among us in modern times one of the greatest men of the human race—David Livingstone."

The black slab that now marks the resting-place of Livingstone in Westminster Abbey bears this inscription:

BORN MARCH 19, 1813,
DIED MAY 4,[28] 1873,

For thirty years his life was spent in an unwearied effort to
evangelize the native races, to explore the undiscovered secrets,
and abolish the desolating slave-trade of Central Africa,
and where, with his last words he wrote:
"All I can say in my solitude is, may Heaven's rich blessing
come down on every one—American, English, Turk—who
will help to heal this open sore of the world."

Along the right border of the stone are the words:


And along the left border:


Blaikie's "Personal Life of Livingstone."

The late E. J. Glane, who crossed Africa in the interest of The Century, makes the following entry in his journal:

July 9. To-day I revisited the tree where Livingstone 170died, and in order to guide others to the exact spot, in case this tree should disappear from any cause, I selected another big tree likely to last many years, cleared away two and a half square feet of its bark, and in the space marked as follows: "This tree is magnetic southwest of the tree where Livingstone's remains are buried, and is forty-five paces from it." I brought away a bit of the bark of the memorable tree—a dead part, so as not to be guilty of vandalism.[29]

Livingstone's grave is in a quiet nook, such as he himself desired, in the outskirts of a forest bordering on a grass plain where the roan buck and eland roam in safety. When I visited the place turtle-doves were cooing in the tree-tops, and a litter of young hyenas had been playing near by; in the low ground outside the hole leading to the cave were their recent tracks; they had scampered into safety at our approach.

Locke (John, author of the celebrated "Essay Concerning the Human Understanding"), 1632-1704. "O, the depth of the riches of the goodness and knowledge of God!"

Some authorities say his last words were, "Cease now;" to Lady Masham who was reading to him a Psalm of David.

171Longfellow (Henry Wadsworth), 1807-1882. "Now I know that I must be very ill, since you have been sent for," said to his sister who came from Portland, Me.

His last written lines (nine days before his death) were:

"Out of the shadows of night,
The world rolls into light;
It is daybreak everywhere."
The Bells of San Blas.

Louis I. (Louis le Débonnaire), 778-840. "Huz! huz!"

He turned his face to the wall and twice cried, "Huz! huz!" ("Out! out!") and then died.


Louis IX. ("Saint Louis," canonized by Pope Boniface VIII. in 1297), 1215-1270. "I will enter now into the house of the Lord."

Some authorities say his last words were "We will go to Jerusalem."

Louis XIII. (son of Henry IV. and Marie de Médicis), 1601-1643. "Well, my God, I consent with all my heart," to his physician who told him he had but two hours to live.

Louis XIV. (surnamed Le Grand, often called Louis Quatorze, the most magnificent of the Bourbon Kings), 1638-1715. "Why weep ye? Did you think I should live forever?" then after a pause, "I172 thought dying had been harder." Some say his last words were: "O God, come to mine aid! O Lord, make haste to help me!"

On Sunday, August 31, towards eleven o'clock in the evening, the prayers for the dying were said for Louis XIV. He recited them himself in a louder voice than any of the spectators; and seemed still more majestic on his death-bed than on his throne. When the prayers were ended he recognized Cardinal de Rohan and said to him, "These are the graces of the Church." Several times he repeated: "Nunc et in hora mortis." Then he said, "O God, come unto mine aid; O Lord, make haste to help me." These were his last words. The agony was beginning. It lasted all night, and on Sunday, September 1, 1715, at a quarter past eight in the morning, Louis XIV., aged seventy-seven years lacking three days, during sixty-two of which he had been a king, yielded his great soul to God.

Imbert de Saint-Amand.

Louis XV. (of France), 1710-1774. "Repeat those words Monsieur the almoner, repeat them," to Cardinal de La Roche-Aymon, who read aloud the public apology made by the sovereign to his people.

Some authorities give his last words thus: "I have been a great sinner, doubtless, but I have ever observed Lent with a most scrupulous exactness; I have caused more than a hundred thousand masses173 to be said for the repose of unhappy souls, so that I flatter myself I have not been a very bad Christian."

A candle burning in the King's chamber, which was to be extinguished at the same moment as the life of the King, was the signal agreed on for the measures to be taken and the orders to be given as soon as he should have breathed his last. The candle was put out at two o'clock in the afternoon of May 10, 1774. Instantly a great tumult, comparable to a clap of thunder, shook the arches of Versailles. It was the crowd of courtiers leaving the antechambers of the dead man and noisily hastening to meet the new monarch.

Imbert de Saint-Amand: "The Last Years of Louis XV."

Louis XVI. (guillotined by a wild and bloodthirsty mob, called the French Republic, the 21st of January, 1793), 1754-1793. "Frenchmen, I die innocent of all the crimes which have been imputed to me. I forgive my enemies; I implore God, from the bottom of my heart, to pardon them, and not to take vengeance on the French nation for the blood about to be shed."

He was proceeding, when Santerre, who was on horseback near the scaffold, made a signal for the drums to beat, when the assistants seized the victim, and the horrid murder was completed.

When the king's head was severed from the body,174 one of the executioners held it up by the hair, dancing at the same time around the scaffold, with the most savage exultation.

Contemporary History of the French Revolution.

Louis XVII. (second son of Louis XVI. He became dauphin at the death of an elder brother in 1789, and was recognized as king in January, 1793, by the French royalists and several foreign courts, but he was closely confined by the Jacobins. The cruel treatment which he received in prison hastened his death), 1785-1795. "I have something to tell you."

Louis XVIII. (Louis Stanislas Xavier), 1755-1824. "A King should die standing."

Louise (Auguste Wilhelmine Amelie, Queen of Prussia), 1776-1810. "I am a Queen, but have no power to move my arms."

Lovat (Lord Fraser of Lovat, Scottish Jacobite conspirator. In the rebellion of 1745 he was detected in treasonable acts against King George, for which he was executed), about 1666-1747.

He was beheaded on Tower Hill. On reaching the scaffold, he asked for the executioner, and presented him with a purse containing ten guineas. He then asked to see the axe, felt its edge, and said he thought it would do. Next he looked at his coffin, on which was inscribed:

175Simon, Dominus Fraser De Lovat.
Decollat April 9, 1747
Ætat suae 80.

After repeating some lines from Horace, and next from Ovid, he prayed, then bade adieu to his solicitor and agent in Scotland; finally the executioner completed his work, the head falling from the body. Lord Lovat was the last person beheaded in England.

Andrews: "Bygone Punishments."

Lucan or Lucanus (Marcus Annæus, Roman epic poet, nephew of the philosopher Seneca), 38-65.

Lucan exhibited great apparent serenity at the approach of death. After the veins of his arm had been voluntarily opened, and he had lost a large quantity of blood, he felt his hands and his legs losing their vitality. As the hour of death approached, he commenced repeating several lines out of his own "Pharsalia," descriptive of a person similarly situated to himself. These lines he repeated until he died:

"Asunder flies the man—
No single wound the gaping rupture seems,
Where trickling crimson flows the tender streams;
But from an opening horrible and wide
A thousand vessels pour the bursting tide:
At once the winding channel's course was broke,
Where wandering life her mazy journey took."
Winslow: "Anatomy of Suicide."

176Lucas (Sir Charles. He commanded the right wing of the royal army at Marston Moor, was taken prisoner at Colchester, where he was put to death August 29th, 1648),—1648. "Soldiers, fire!" to the soldiers appointed to shoot him.

Lulli or Lully (Jean Baptiste, Italian composer, called "the Father of French Dramatic Music"), 1633-1687. "Sinner, thou must die." In sign of his repentance he died with a halter around his neck, repeating and, sometimes singing, with tears of remorse, "Sinner, thou must die."

Luther (Martin, the greatest of the Protestant reformers), 1484-1546. "Yes," in response to the question whether he stood by the doctrines of Scripture as he had taught them.

The same man who could scold like a fishwife could be as gentle as a tender maiden. At times he was as fierce as the storm that uproots oaks; and then again he was as mild as the zephyr caressing the violets.... The refinement of Erasmus, the mildness of Melancthon, could never have brought us so far as the godlike brutality of brother Martin.—Heine.

Lyttelton (George, first Lord, English statesman, author of "Dialogues of the Dead," and "History of Henry II."), 1709-1773. "Be good, be virtuous, my lord, you must come to this," to his son-in-law, Lord Valentia.

177Macaulay (Thomas Babington, Lord), 1800-1859. "I shall retire early; I am very tired," said to his butler, who asked him if he would not rest on the sofa.

His mother resolved to spend the night at Holly Lodge. She had just left the drawing-room to make her preparations for the visit (it being, I suppose, a little before seven in the evening), when a servant arrived with an urgent summons. As we drove up to the porch of my uncle's house, the maids ran, crying, out into the darkness to meet us, and we knew that all was over. We found him in the library, seated in his easy chair, and dressed as usual; with his book on the table beside him, still open at the same page. He had told his butler that he should go to bed early, as he was very tired. The man proposed his lying on the sofa. He rose as if to move, sat down again, and ceased to breathe. He died as he had always wished to die—without pain; without any formal farewell; preceding to the grave all whom he loved; and leaving behind him a great and honorable name, and the memory of a life every action of which was clear and transparent as one of his own sentences.—G. Otto Trevelyan.

Maccail (his given name has not been preserved, a Scots Covenanter who expired under torture in the time of Charles II. of England), 1668. He died in an ecstasy of joy, and his last words were: "Farewell sun, moon and stars; farewell, world and time;178 farewell, weak and frail body; welcome, eternity; welcome, angels and saints; welcome, Saviour of the world; welcome, God, the Judge of all."

Machiavelli, or Macchiavelli, sometimes Machiavel (Nicholas, a celebrated atheist, and the author of "The Prince"), 1469-1530. "I desire to go to hell, and not to heaven. In the former place I shall enjoy the company of popes, kings, and princes, while in the latter are only beggars, monks, hermits, and apostles."

Mackintosh (Sir James, philosopher and politician), 1765-1832. "Happy!"

Malherbe (François de, the "Father of French lyric poetry"), 1555-1628. "Hold your tongue; your wretched style only makes me out of conceit with them," to his confessor, who was presenting the joys of heaven in vulgar and trite phrases.

His ruling passion was purity of diction. He would destroy a quire of paper in composing a single stanza; and it is said that during the twenty-five most prolific years of his life he made only about thirty-three verses a year.

Marat (Jean Paul, court-physician, author of several scientific works, and later the main promoter of the Reign of Terror in France), 1743-1793. "Help, my dear—help!" As Marat uttered these words he fell at the feet of Charlotte Corday, and immediately expired.

179Charlotte, motionless, and as if petrified at her crime, was standing behind the window curtain. The transparent material allowed her form to be easily distinguished. Laurent, taking up a chair, struck her a clumsy blow on the head, which knocked her to the floor, where Marat's mistress trampled her under foot in her rage. At the noise that ensued, and the cries of the two women, the occupants of the house hastened thither, neighbors and persons passing in the streets ascended the staircase and filled the room, the courtyard, and very speedily the whole quarter, demanding, with fierce exclamations, that they would throw the assassin out to them, that they might avenge the dead—yet still warm—body of the people's idol. Soldiers and national guards entered, and order was, in some measure, re-established. Surgeons arrived, and endeavored to stanch the wound. The reddened water gave to the sanguinary democrat the appearance of having died in a bath of blood.—Larmartine.

The veneration for the monster Marat knew no bounds. Hymns were written in his honor. On divers stamps he was placed by the side of Christ. Men swore by the sacred heart of Marat. The new worship was complete, it had prostitutes for goddesses, and a man of violence and blood for a martyr and a saint. All it yet lacked was to engage in persecution; and it failed not in this worthy business.—De Pressensé.

180Marcus (of Arethusa), being hung up in a basket smeared with honey, to be stung to death by bees, exclaimed,[30] "How am I advanced, despising you that are upon the earth!"

181Margaret (of Scotland, wife of Louis XI. of France), 1420-1445. "Fi de la vie! qu'on ne m'en parle plus."

Margaret was devoted to literature, and, while she lived, patronized men of learning and genius. Her admiration for the poet Alain Chartier is said to have induced her to kiss his lips as he sat asleep one day in a chair. Her attendants being astonished at this act of condescension, the princess replied that "she did not kiss the man, but the lips which had given utterance to so many exquisite thoughts." She died at the age of twenty-five, before her husband had ascended the throne.

Mrs. Hale's "Sketches of Distinguished Women."

Margaret (of Valois, Queen of Navarre and sister of Francis I., of France), 1492-1549. "Farewell, and remember me." Some say, upon what authority I do not know, that the queen's last words were: "I never departed from the true church."

182 She inclined to the Protestant faith, but Roman Catholic writers assert that before her death she acknowledged her religious errors, and De Remond even goes so far as to imply that she denied on her death-bed having ever swerved from the standard of Roman authority.—Memoir of Margaret, attached to the English translation of her Heptameron.

She was a brilliant writer in both prose and verse, and was called the "Tenth Muse." Several authors speak of her as "Margaret the Pearl, surpassing all the pearls of the Orient." She composed a religious work called "Miroir de l'âme Pècheresse," which was condemned by the Sorbonne, on the ground that it inclined to Protestant doctrines. She also wrote the "Heptameron, or Novels of the Queen of Navarre."

Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette Josephine Jeanne de Lorraine, daughter of Francis I., Emperor of Germany, and Maria Thérèsa, and wife of Louis XVI., of France; she was guillotined October 16, 1793), 1755-1793. "Farewell, my children, forever. I go to your father."

The king perished on the scaffold January 21, 1793. The queen had four children, Marie Thérèse Charlotte, who married the oldest son of Charles X.; the dauphin, Louis, born in 1781 and died in 1789; Charles Louis, who died a victim to the brutality of the cobbler Simon; and a daughter who died in infancy.

183Martineau (Harriet, English author, and translator of "The Positive Philosophy of Auguste Comte"), 1802-1876. "I have had a noble share of life, and I do not ask for any other life. I see no reason why the existence of Harriet Martineau should be perpetuated."

During the last one-and-twenty years of her life, death was the idea most familiar and most welcome. It was spoken of and provided for with an easy freedom that I never saw approached in any other home, yet she never expressed a wish respecting a place of burial. But a few days before her death, when asked if she would be laid in the burial-place of her family, she assented; and she lies with her kindred, in the old cemetery at Birmingham.[31]

Maria Weston Chapman.

184Mary (Queen of Scots), 1542-1587. "O Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit."

185 The first blow of the executioner inflicted a ghastly wound on the lower part of the skull. Not a scream nor groan, not a sigh escaped her, but the convulsion of her features showed the horrible suffering caused by the wound. The eye-witness of the execution, whose account is published, thus relates this incident: "Thereupon the headsman brought down his axe, but missing the proper place, gave her a horrible blow upon the upper extremity of the neck; but, with unexampled fortitude, she remained perfectly still, and did not even heave a sigh. At the second stroke the neck was severed and the head held up to the gaze of bystanders with 'God save Queen Elizabeth!'"—Meline's "Mary Queen of Scots."

When the psalm was finished she felt for the block, and laying down her head muttered: "In manus, Domine, tuas commendo animam meam." The hard wood seemed to hurt her, for she placed her hands under her neck. The executioners gently removed them lest they should deaden the blow, and then one of them, holding her slightly, the other raised the axe and struck. The scene had been too trying even for the practised headsman of the Tower. His arm wandered. The blow fell on the knot of the handkerchief and scarcely broke the skin. She neither spoke nor moved. He struck again, this time effectively. The head hung by a shred of skin, which he divided without withdrawing the axe, and at once a metamorphosis was witnessed strange as was ever wrought by wand of fabled enchanter. The coif fell186 off and the false plaits; the labored illusion vanished; the lady who had knelt before the block was in the maturity of grace and loveliness. The executioner, when he raised the head as usual to show it to the crowd, exposed the withered features of a grizzled, wrinkled old woman.

Froude's "History of England."

Mary (Countess of Warwick),—1678. "Well, ladies, if I were one hour in heaven, I would not be again with you, as much as I love you."

She is the author of the famous question: "Why are we so fond of that life which begins with a cry, and ends with a groan?"

Mary I. (Queen of England, commonly called "Bloody Queen Mary" on account of her violent and cruel persecution of the Protestants), 1517-1558. "After I am dead, you will find Calais written upon my heart."

The loss of Calais just before her death affected her deeply.

Of the first Mary, long and too deservedly known by the title of "Bloody Mary," we confess we can never think without commiseration. Unamiable she certainly was, and deplorably bigoted. She sent two hundred and eighty-four people to the stake during a short reign of five years and four months; which, upon an average, is upwards of four a week! She was withal plain, petty of stature, ill-colored, and fierce-eyed, with a voice almost as deep as a man's;187 had a bad blood; and ended with having nobody to love her, not even the bigots in whose cause she lost the love of her people.

Leigh Hunt: "Men, Women and Books."

Mary II. (Queen of England and wife of William III.), 1662-1694. "My Lord, why do you not go on? I am not afraid to die." Said to Archbishop Tillotson who, reading to her, when she was upon her death-bed, the commendatory prayer in the office for the sick, was so overcome by grief that he was compelled to pause.

Masaniello (Tommaso Aniello, the fisherman of Amalfi, who headed the revolt which occurred in Naples in 1647 against the Spanish viceroy, the Duke of Arcos. His victory lasted nine days, during which time he had one hundred and fifty thousand men under arms and at his command. He was murdered by his own soldiers), 1623-1646. "Ungrateful traitors!" said to the assassins.

Mather (Cotton), 1633-1728. "I am going where all tears will be wiped from my eyes," to his wife, who wiped his eyes with her handkerchief.

Just before this he exclaimed: "Is this dying? Is this all? Is this all that I feared when I prayed against a hard death? Oh! I can bear this! I can bear it! I can bear it!"

He was a masterful man, abundant in labors, the organizer of over twenty charitable societies, a188 leader of all movements in church and state, an omnivorous reader, and the author of 382 separate publications, besides his enormous "Biblia Americana," which remains to this day in manuscript. He surmounted the prejudices of his age in defending inoculation, but not with regard to witchcraft and some other matters. His character was marred by certain restless infirmities; "it was his unconcealed grief that he was never elected to preside over Harvard." His greatest work, "Magnalia Christi Americana," 1702, was reprinted in two volumes, with memoir, and translations of the numerous Hebrew, Greek, and Latin quotations, Hartford, 1855.

Biographical Dictionary.

Mather (Increase, distinguished New England divine), 1639-1723. "Be fruitful."

Mather (Richard, celebrated Congregational minister in Dorchester, Mass. He was a voluminous author), 1596-1669. "Far from well, yet far better than mine iniquities deserve," in response to a question about his health.

Mathews (Charles, English Comedian), 1776-1836. "I am ready."

Maurice (John Frederick Denison, English divine and leader of the Broad Church party), 1805-1872. "The knowledge of the love of God—the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and189 the Holy Ghost be amongst you—amongst us—and remain with us forever."

During the early days of his last sickness he suffered greatly in mind, but as the end approached the sky cleared as after a shower, and his spirit passed away under the bright rainbow of hope.

Mazarin (Jules, cardinal and chief minister of France during the minority of Louis XIV.), 1602-1661. "O, my poor soul, what is to become of thee? Whither wilt thou go?"

Mazarin (Hortense Mancini, sister of the celebrated cardinal), 1647-1699. "Debt!"

She was so heavily in debt at the time of her death that her body was seized by her creditors.

Maximilian I. (Emperor of Germany), 1459-1519. His last words are not recorded, but just before his death he left directions that as soon as he was dead all his hair should be plucked out of his body, all his teeth should be drawn, and that both his teeth and his hair should be burned. His body was to be scourged, and then wrapped in quicklime, after which, clad in silk and damask, it was to be buried under the high altar in such position that the priest who said mass should always rest his feet above the emperor's breast. His body is entombed in Wienerisch Neustadt under the altar as he directed.

190Maximilian (Ferdinand Joseph, Emperor of Mexico and Archduke of Austria), 1832-1867. "Lotte." His last word would seem to indicate that he was thinking of his wife, the unfortunate Carlotta, daughter of Leopold, King of Belgium.

In 1865 Maximilian was tempted by Napoleon III. to act the part of Emperor of Mexico, then partly governed by the republican President Juarez and partly conquered by the French. He arrived at the Mexican capital in June 1864. He issued a decree that all who adhered to the republic or resisted his authority should be shot. Many prisoners, including General Orteaga, accordingly suffered death by his order. According to the "New York Evening Post" of July 1st, 1867, he ordered the enslavement of the whole laboring population of Mexico. The United States refused to recognize him as Emperor, and required Napoleon to withdraw his army. Maximilian was embarrassed by want of money, and offended the clerical party (which had favored him) by refusing to restore the property of the Church, which had been confiscated by the Liberals. The French troops departed about the end of 1866, after which the republicans gained several victories and the empire quickly collapsed. Maximilian was captured at Quéretaro, and shot on the 19th of June 1867.—Lippincott.

Melanchthon (Philip. His original German name was Schwarzerdt, which he Grecized into191 Melanchthon, or, as he sometimes spelled it Melanthon. Both names denote "black earth"), 1497-1568. "Nothing else but heaven," in answer to a friend who enquired if he wanted anything further.

Mericourt (Anne Joseph Théroigne de, the famous "Goddess of Reason"[32]), 1760-1817. This woman's last words were partly reminiscent and partly the incoherent ravings of a disordered brain. The old scenes rose before her with startling vividness.

"Died, within these few days, in the hospital of 192pauper lunatics of Saltpêtrière, where she had lived unpitied and unknown for many years, the famous Théroigne de Mericourt (the Goddess of Reason), the most remarkable of the heroines of the revolution."—A Paris paper of August 1, 1817.

Metastasio (Pietro Bonaventura, originally named Trapassi, but changed to Metastasio, "a changing," in allusion to his adoption by the celebrated jurist Gravina, from whom he received a large property), 1698-1782. After he had received the sacrament, and a few minutes before his death, the poet uttered with unusual enthusiasm the following beautiful stanzas:

"T'offro il tuo proprio Figlio,
Che già d'amore in pegno,
Racchiuso in picciol segno
Si volle a noi donar.
A lui rivolgi il ciglio.
Guardo chi t'offro, e poi
Lasci, Signor, se vuoi,
Lascia di perdonar."

I offer to Thee, O Lord, Thy own Son, who already has given the pledge of love, inclosed in this thin emblem; turn on Him thine eyes; oh! behold whom I offer to Thee and then desist, O Lord! if Thou canst desist from mercy.

Mirabeau (Honoré Gabriel Riquetti, Comte de), 1749-1791. "When nature has abandoned an unhappy victim, when a miracle only can save his life, how can you have the barbarity to let him expire on the wheel?" spoken in support of a request for laudanum.

193 At daybreak he said to Cabanis:—"My friend I shall die to-day. When one is in this situation, there remains but one thing more to do, and that is to perfume me, to crown me with flowers, to environ me with music, so that I may enter sweetly into that slumber wherefrom there is no awaking."[33]

194 Later in the day he uttered these memorable words:—"I carry in my heart the dirge of the monarchy, the ruins whereof will now be the prey of the factions."

His death, although that of a sceptic, had something in it sublime. He was no stranger to his approaching dissolution; but, far from being intimidated by the prospect, he gloried in the name he was to leave. Hearing the cannon discharge upon some public event, he exclaimed, "I already hear the funeral obsequies of Achilles—after my death, the factions will tear to shreds the remnants of the 195monarchy." His sufferings were severe at the close of his illness: at one period, when the power of speech was gone, he wrote on a slip of paper the words of Hamlet, "To die is to sleep." "When a sick man is given over, and he suffers frightful pains, can a friendly physician refuse to give him opium?" "My pains are insupportable; I have an age of strength, but not an instant of courage." A few hours before his death, the commencement of mortification relieved his sufferings. "Remove from the bed," said he, "all that sad apparatus. Instead of these useless precautions, surround me with perfumes and the flowers of spring; dress my hair with care; let me fall asleep amidst the sound of harmonious music." He then spoke for ten minutes with such vivid and touching eloquence, that every one in the room was melted into tears. "When I am no more," said he, "my worth will become known. The misfortunes which I have held back will then pour on all sides upon France; the criminal faction which now trembles before me will be unbridled. I have before my eyes unbounded presentiments of disaster. We now see how much we erred in not preventing the commons from assuming the name of the National Assembly; since they gained that victory, they have never ceased to show themselves unworthy of it. They have chosen to govern the King, instead of governing by him; but soon neither he nor they will rule the country, but a vile faction, which will overspread it with horrors."196 A spasm, attended with violent convulsions, having returned, he again asked for laudanum. "When nature," said he, "has abandoned an unhappy victim, when a miracle only can save his life, how can you have the barbarity to let him expire on the wheel?" His feet were already cold, but his countenance still retained its animation, his eye its wonted fire, as if death spared to the last the abode of so much genius. Feigning to comply, they gave him a cup, containing what they assured him was laudanum. He calmly drank it off, fell back on his pillow, and expired.

Alison's "History of Europe."

Mohammed (The name signified "the praised," and was assumed by the founder of Islam. He was originally called Halabi), about 570-632. "O Allah, be it so! Henceforth among the glorious host of paradise." Some give his last words thus, "O Allah, pardon my sins. Yes, I come, among my fellow labourers on high."

In his last wanderings he only spoke of angels and heaven. He died in the lap of Ayeshah, about noon of Monday, the twelfth (eleventh) of the third month, in the year 11 of the Hedyrah (June 8, 632). His death caused an immense excitement and distress among the faithful, and Omar, who himself would not believe in it, tried to persuade the people of his still being alive. But Abu Bekr said to the assembled multitude:—"Whoever among you has197 served Mohammed, let him know that Mohammed is dead; but he who has served the god of Mohammed, let him continue in his service, for he is still alive and never dies."

Chambers' Encyclopædia.

Montcalm (Saint-Véran de Marquis), 1712-1759. "So much the better! I shall not then live to see the surrender of Quebec," on being told that he was dying.

Montefiore (Sir Moses, wealthy and distinguished Jewish philanthropist), 1785-1885. "Thank God! Thank Heaven!"

Montezuma II (Monteçumatin, "the sad or severe man"—the last of the Aztec emperors), about 1470-1520. "I confide to your care my beloved children, the most precious jewels I can leave you. The great monarch beyond the ocean will interest himself to see that they come into their inheritance, if you present before him their just claims. I know your master will do this, if for no other reason, then for the kindness I have shown the Spaniards, though it has occasioned my ruin. For all my misfortunes, Malinche,[34] I bear you no ill will." Some give his last words thus: "And do you think I, then, am taking pleasure in my bath?"

198Montfort de (Simon, Earl of Leicester), 1208-1265. "Commend your souls to God, for our bodies are the foes'!" To his followers, when he saw the advance of the enemy at the battle of Evesham.

Moody (Dwight Lyman, distinguished American evangelist), 1837-1899. "I see earth receding; Heaven is opening; God is calling me."[35]

As the noonday hour drew near, the watchers at the bedside noticed the approach of death. Several times Mr. Moody's lips moved as if in prayer, but the articulation was so faint that the words could not be heard.

Just as death came Mr. Moody awoke as if from slumber, and said, with much joyousness. "I see earth receding; Heaven is opening; God is calling me," and a moment later he had entered upon what one of his sons described as "a triumphal march into heaven."—New York Times, Dec. 23, 1899.

Moore (Sir John, British general, whose death is beautifully commemorated in an ode by Rev. 199Charles Wolfe. Byron pronounced this ode the best in the English language),[36] 1761-1809.

He said to Colonel Anderson, who for one and twenty years had been his friend and companion in arms: "Anderson, you know that I always wished to die in this way." He frequently asked, "Are the French beaten?" And at length, when he was told they were defeated in every point, he said: "It is a great satisfaction to me to know we have beaten the French. I hope the people of England will be satisfied. I hope my country will do me justice." Having mentioned the name of his venerable mother, and the names of some other friends, for whose welfare he seemed anxious to offer his last prayers, the power of utterance was lost, and he died in a few minutes without a struggle.—The Book of Death.

The last words that passed his dying lips were a message to Lady Hester Stanhope, the niece of Pitt, afterwards so famous for her eccentricity, as her father had been before her. To her, to whom he is said to have been deeply attached, if not engaged, he sent his dying remembrances by her brother, one of his aides-de-camp, and then passed peacefully into the presence of his God.—Cornhill Magazine.

200More (Sir Thomas, author of "Utopia." He succeeded Wolsey as lord chancellor, a dignity never before filled by a common lawyer. He refused to take the oath to maintain the lawfulness of the marriage of Henry VIII. with Anne Boleyn, and was therefore adjudged guilty of high treason, and condemned to death. He was beheaded July 6, 1535), 1480-1535. "I pray you see me safe up the scaffold; as for my coming down, let me shift for myself." Some say his last words were these, addressed to the executioner, "Stay friend till I put aside my beard, for that never committed treason."

More (Hannah, poet, essayist and moralist), 1744-1833. "Joy."

Morris (Gouverneur, American Statesman), 1752-1816.

Courageously he had lived, and courageously he met the great change, with entire resignation to the Divine will. "Sixty-four years ago," he said just before his death, "it pleased the Almighty to call me into existence—here, on this spot, in this very room; and now shall I complain that he is pleased to call me hence?" On the day of his death he asked about the weather, and, on being told that it was fair, he replied: "A beautiful day, yes, but—

"'Who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing, anxious being e'er resign'd;
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?'"
Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris.

201Morton (Oliver Perry, American Statesman), 1823-1877. "I am dying, I am worn out," to Dr. Thompson who was standing by his bed and holding his hand.

Mothe le Vayer de la (This learned man's favorite amusement consisted in the study of distant countries), 1588-1672. "Well, my friend, what news from the Great Mogul?" The question was addressed to Bernier, the traveller, who had entered his room to bid him an affectionate and last farewell.

Motley (John Lothrop, distinguished historian), 1814-1877. "I am ill—very ill, I shall not recover."

About two o'clock in the day he complained of a feeling of faintness, said he felt ill and should not recover; and in a few minutes was insensible with symptoms of ingravescent apoplexy. There was extensive hemorrhage into the brain, as shown by postmortem examination, the cerebral vessels being atheromatous. The fatal hemorrhage had occurred into the lateral ventricles, from rupture of one of the middle cerebral arteries.

Sir William W. Gull's account of Motley's death.

Mozart (Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus, one of the most eminent of musical composers), 1756-1792. The last words which he addressed to Sophie Haibl were, "I have the flavour of death on my tongue. I taste death; and who will202 support my dearest Constanze if you do not stay with her?" Later he conversed with Süssmayer over the Requiem and was heard to say, "Did I not say that I was writing the Requiem for myself?" This he said with tears in his eyes as he looked at the notes.

Just before death he demanded to hear again the Requiem. Dr. Clossel, his physician, nodded his consent. Süssmayer sat down at the piano, Schack sang the soprano, Hofer the tenor, Gorl the bass, and the dying Mozart the alto. Softly swelled forth the ineffable music of the sweet, sorrowful, sacred death song. After this the chamber was silent as the grave. Only the clock ticked softly on the shelf, as it marked the weary hours of the passing night.—Condensed from Sill's translation of Rau's Biographical Romance of Mozart.

After all consciousness had gone, still Mozart's fancies were busy with the Requiem, blowing out his cheeks to imitate the trumpets and drums. Toward midnight he raised himself, opened his eyes wide, then lay down with his face to the wall and seemed to fall asleep. At one o'clock he expired.

The swelling of Mozart's body after death led to the suspicion that he had been poisoned. But there was no other ground for the suspicion than Mozart's diseased fancies, which gave rise to the most shameful and unfortunate distrust of Salieri, who, it was reported, acknowledged upon his deathbed having administered poison to Mozart. All these suspicions 203 were fully laid to rest by Carpani in the Biblioteca Italiana, 1824.[37]

Muhlenberg (Rev. William Augustus, founder of St. Luke's Hospital in New York, and author of the hymn, "I would not live alway"), 1796-1877. "Good morning," spoken to a friend who entered the room.

Murphy (Arthur, dramatic author, and translator), 1728-1805. He died repeating the lines of Pope:

"Taught, half by reason, half by mere decay,
To welcome death, and calmly pass away."

Nadir Shah (Kouli Khan, celebrated Persian conqueror), 1688-1747. "Thou dog!" addressed to one of the conspirators who slew him in his tent, June 19, 1747.

When Nadir invaded India in 1739, he arrived first at Lahore; where the governor immediately surrendered the city to him, and treated him with 204princely honours. At night Nadir, whose only couch, for months past, had been a horse-blanket, with a saddle for a pillow, was conducted to a magnificent bed, with piles of cushions; and twelve young damsels were in attendance to shampoo his limbs and fan him to sleep. Nadir started from his luxurious couch, roared for his secretary, and gave orders that the drums should be beat, and a proclamation made that Nadir had conquered all India. The astonished scribe ventured to hint that this conquest had not yet been accomplished. "No matter," said Nadir, "where the chiefs of the people choose to live in this effeminate manner, it will cost me little trouble to conquer them." And his anticipation was fully verified. After he had taken the city of Delhi, he visited the discomfited Emperor, who received him in fear and trembling. Nadir was seated in the chair of state, and the attar of roses and other perfumes were brought, according to custom and presented to him. Nadir had not changed his clothes or taken off his armor for many days, and his person was by no means free from vermin. He asked contemptuously what was the use of perfuming a soldier's garments; and, thrusting his hand into his bosom, drew forth a number of lice, which he told the astonished Emperor were better companions than all his sweet scents. Nadir had ordered a splendid mausoleum to be built for himself at Mush'hed, in Khorassan; and on his return from India he went to see it. The night before he visited his intended resting-place, some unfriendly wag205 wrote above the spot destined for his grave—"Welcome, conqueror of the world! your place here has long been empty." The wag had in mind Nadir's common salutation to a friend who had been long absent, "Your place has been long empty." Nadir offered a reward for the discovery of the writer, but never succeeded in finding out who he was. The place was not long empty, for Nadir was assassinated soon after, and here his remains rested till they were dug up and desecrated by Agha Mohammed.

Welby: "Predictions Realized in Modern Times."

Nani (Giambattista Felice Gasparo, author of "Istaria della Republica Veneta"), 1616-1678. "How beautiful!"

Napoléon I. (Napoléon Bonaparte), 1769-1821. "Mon Dieu! La Nation Française! Tête d'armée," He died on the island of St. Helena, May 5, 1821. In 1840 his remains were removed to France and deposited in the Hotel des Invalides.[38]

During the last nine days of his life he was constantly delirious. On the morning of May 5th he uttered some incoherent words, among which 206 Montholon fancied that he distinguished, "France ... armée ... tête d'armée." As the patient uttered these words he sprang from the bed, dragging Montholon, who endeavored to restrain him, on the floor. It was the last effort of that formidable energy. He was with difficulty replaced in bed by Montholon and Archambault, and then lay quietly till near six o'clock in the evening, when he yielded his last breath. A great storm was raging outside, which shook the frail huts of the soldiers as with an earthquake, tore up the trees that the Emperor had planted, and uprooted the willow under which he was accustomed to repose. Within, the faithful Marchand was covering the corpse with the cloak which the young conqueror had worn at Marengo.

Lord Rosebery.

Napoléon III. (Louis Napoléon, "The Little," "Ratipole," "The Man of Sedan," "The Man of December," "Boustrapa," "Badinguet" and "The Comte d'Arenenberg"), 1808-1873. "Were you at Sedan?" He asked the question of Dr. Conneau. It was at Sedan that he surrendered his sword to the King of Prussia.

207Nares (Rev. Edward, "Thinks I to myself"), 1762-1841. "Good-bye."

Naruszewicz (Adam Stanislas, "The Polish Tacitus"), 1733-1796. "Must I leave it unfinished?" He referred to his "History of Poland."

Neander (Johann August, the celebrated church historian. He was of Jewish descent, but early in life embraced the Christian faith, and at his baptism assumed the name "Neander," from two Greek words signifying a new man), 1789-1850. "I am weary; I will now go to sleep. Good night!"

Nelson (Horatio), 1758-1805. "Thank God, I have done my duty." He died in battle. Some say his last words were: "Kiss me, Hardy." Others give them thus: "Tell Collingwood to bring the fleet to anchor."

His ever-memorable signal to his fleet, immediately before the battle commenced, had been; "England expects every man to do his duty," and if ever a man lived and died in earnest, fearless, unselfish discharge of his duty to his country, it was Admiral Nelson, victor of the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar.—Appleton's Cyclopædia of Biography.

Nero (Lucius Domitius Claudius Cæsar, Emperor of Rome), 37-68. "Qualis artifex pereo!"

The poor wretch who, without a pang, had caused so many brave Romans and so many innocent Chris208tians to be murdered, could not summon up resolution to die. He devised every operatic incident of which he could think. When even his most degraded slaves urged him to have sufficient manliness to save himself from the fearful infamies which otherwise awaited him, he ordered his grave to be dug, and fragments of marble to be collected for its adornment, and water and wood for his funeral pyre, perpetually whining: "What an artist to perish!" Meanwhile a courier arrived for Phaon. Nero snatched his dispatches out of his hand, and read that the Senate had decided that he should be punished in the ancestral fashion as a public enemy. Asking what the ancestral fashion was, he was informed that he would be stripped naked and scourged to death with rods, with his head thrust into a fork. Horrified at this, he seized two daggers, and after theatrically trying their edges, sheathed them again, with the excuse that the fatal moment had not yet arrived! Then he bade Sparus begin to sing his funeral song, and begged some one to show him how to die. Even his own intense shame at his cowardice was an insufficient stimulus, and he whiled away the time in vapid epigrams and pompous quotations. The sound of horses' hoofs then broke on his ears, and venting one more Greek quotation, he held the dagger to his throat. It was driven home by Epaphroditus, one of his literary slaves. At this moment the centurion who came to arrest him rushed in. Nero was not yet dead, and under pre209tense of helping him, the centurion began to stanch the wound with his cloak. "Too late," he said; "is this your fidelity?" So he died; and the bystanders were horrified with the way in which his eyes seemed to be starting out of his head in a rigid stare. He had begged that his body might be burned without posthumous insults, and this was conceded by Icelus, the freedman of Galba.

Farrar: "Early Days of Christianity."

It was the remark of Nero's father, Ahenobarbus, that nothing but what was hateful and pernicious to mankind could ever come from Agrippina and himself. Yet the story of a strange hand that strewed flowers upon the tomb of this tyrant is well known.

Newell (Harriet, missionary in India), 1793-1812. "The pains, the groans, the dying strife. How long, O Lord, how long?"

Newport (Francis, once famous as an opponent of Christianity). "Oh, the insufferable pangs of hell and damnation!" Died 1692.

Newton (John, English divine. His early life was that of a profligate sailor engaged in the African slave-trade. After his conversion he became the friend of the poet Cowper, and with him wrote the "Olney Hymns"). 1725-1807. "I am satisfied with the Lord's will." Last recorded words.

210Newton (Richard, an English divine, founder of Hertford College, Oxford), 1676-1753. "Christ Jesus the Saviour of sinners and life of the dead. I am going, going to Glory! Farewell sin! Farewell death! Praise the Lord!"

Nott (Eliphalet, American clergyman, President of Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., for more than sixty years), 1773-1866. "One word, one word—Jesus Christ!"

Nourse (Rebecca, a good and brave woman who, in the old Puritan-days, suffered as a witch at Salem, Mass.), 1621-1692. Her last words are not preserved, but it is recorded that just before her death she declared her innocence and appealed to the judgment of Almighty God. The story of her death forms one of the saddest of the many distressing chapters in the history of early New England.

Mrs. Nourse was a very devout woman, and probably the hardest blow of all was the action of the First Congregational Church, of which she was a member. The records still preserved read as follows:

"After Sacrament the elders propounded to the church, and it was by unanimous vote consented to, that our Sister Nourse, being a convicted witch, and condemned to die, be excommunicated, which was accordingly done in the afternoon, she being present."

The scene presented on this occasion must have211 been as impressive at the time, as it is shocking to us in the retrospect. The spacious meeting-house was filled with people. The sheriff, accompanied by his deputy brought in the prisoner, manacled, with the chains clanking from her side. The two elders, Higginson and Noyes, as the clergy were then called, delivered an address over the sorrow-burdened form condemning her to eternal punishment.

Then came the day of execution, July 19, 1692. At an early hour the little village was bristling with activity. "The devil's angel on earth" was to be punished with the death she deserved, and so the Puritan maidens attired themselves in holiday dress to honor the event. The procession to the gallows was a long one, scores of people from the neighboring towns and villages taking part. The victim, manacled and guarded by the sheriff and his deputy, headed the line, while close behind followed troops of men and women who laughed, deeming it rare sport to see the agonized faces of the terror-stricken family as they watched the mother and wife grow pale, and tremble as she began the ascent of the rocky cliff whose top was crowned with the instrument of death. It is impossible in words to depict the scene of the execution in the horrible colors in which tradition has painted it. With firm steps and eyes upturned to heaven, the gray-haired woman took her place on the drop. Silently the hangman tied the rope before the eager waiting assembly; then a momentary hush passed over the crowd212—the executioner's duty was done. A moment later all that was left to tell the story was the body of the aged woman swinging gently in the summer wind.

Seldom has a woman met with a harder fate. Her body was thrown with the previous victims into a hole in a crevice of the rocks, and hastily covered with earth. Then the masses of spectators turned homeward, leaving the bereaved family at the homestead uncared for and ignored by their once firm friends.

It is a family tradition that in some way the remains of Mrs. Nourse were recovered by her husband and sons and interred in the spot which is now pointed out on the estate as her grave. Imagination only can recall the details of the event, so sad and awful. In the darkness of night the sons hasten to the new-made grave, throw off the slight covering of earth, and by the feeble light of a lantern discover the remains. What feelings of revenge and sorrow must have stirred their hearts as they raised their mother's soulless frame tenderly in their arms, and carried it along through woods and valleys, over highways and fields to the homestead, where, on the following night, the three pronounced the only burial service over the remains, as they lowered the body into a newly-made grave in their own consecrated grounds, which down through the generations has been reverently guarded.

A beautiful shaft of granite has been erected over her grave by her descendants. The monument is of213 Rockport and Quincy granite, and is eight and a half feet high. The base and apex are of Rockport granite, and the die of Quincy granite, polished and lettered as follows:


O Christian martyr, who for truth could die,
When all about thee owned the hideous lie,
The world redeemed from superstition's sway,
Goes breathing freer, for thy sake, to-day.

(On the reverse.)

Accused of witchcraft, she declared, "I am innocent, and God will clear my innocency." Once acquitted, yet falsely condemned, she suffered death July 19, 1692.

In loving memory of her Christian character, even then fully attested by forty of her neighbors, this monument is erected July, 1885.

Ney (famous French marshal, "The bravest of the brave"), 1769-1815. "Soldiers—fire!" said to the soldiers appointed to dispatch him.

Some say his last words were: "Comrades, straight to the heart, fire!" While repeating these words, he took off his hat, it is said, with his left hand, and placed his right hand upon his heart. The officer gave the signal with sword at the same moment, and the marshal instantly fell dead, pierced214 with twelve balls, three of which took effect in the head.

Noyes (John, the martyr). "We shall not lose our lives in this fire, but change them for a better, and for coals, have pearls," said to a fellow martyr.

Oates (Titus), about 1619-1705. "It is all the same in the end."

Titus Oates was the son of an anabaptist minister, but was educated for the Church of England, and received an appointment as chaplain in the royal navy. He was dismissed in disgrace from the navy, and united with the Jesuits. Later he rejoined the Church of England, and revealed a pretended popish plot, which resulted in the execution and imprisonment of many innocent persons. For this he received a large pension, and was granted a residence at Whitehall, where he lived until the death of Charles II. Under King James he was convicted of perjury and publicly whipped. William III. pensioned him.

An old acrostic, in a book published by Nat. Thompson, the bookseller, "at the entrance into the Old Spring Garden near Charing Cross," during the reign of Charles II., has this choice description of Titus Oates:

Trayter to God, damn'd source of blasphemy,
Insect of hell, grand mass of perjury;
Thorough-pac'd villain, second unto none,
Unless to Judas (if by him out-done),
215 Satan's black agent, hell's monopoly,
Of all that's called sin and villainy;
Accursed parent of an hell-bred brood,
Teacher of lies, spiller of guiltless blood;
England's dark cloud, eclipsing all her glory;
Satan's delight, and hell's repository.

O'Carolan, or Carolan (Turlough, famous Irish bard and musical composer), 1670-1738. "It would be hard indeed if we two dear friends should part after so many years, without one sweet kiss." These words were spoken to a bowl of wine which he kissed when he was no longer able to drink.

Oliver (François, Chancellor of France), 1497-1560. "O Cardinal! thou wilt make us all to be damned," to Cardinal Lorrain under whom he had condemned to death many innocent men for their faith. He fell sick through remorse, and in his delirium charged Cardinal Lorrain with bringing down upon him the wrath of God.

Orange (William, Prince of, called "William the Silent," founder of the Dutch Republic), 1533-1584. "I do," in response to his sister's question, "Dost thou commend thy soul to Jesus Christ?"

William staggered and fell into the arms of an equerry. All crowded round. "I am wounded," said William in a feeble voice.... "God have mercy on me and on my poor people!" He was all covered with blood. His sister, Catherine of Schwartzburg, asked, "Dost thou commend thy soul to Jesus Christ?" He answered, in a whisper, "I216 do." It was his last word. They placed him on one of the steps and spoke to him, but he was no longer conscious. They then bore him into a room near by, where he died.—De Amicis: "Holland."

The assassin was put to death by the Dutch, but his parents were ennobled and richly rewarded by Philip II. of Spain. Philip had offered a reward for the prince's murder, and five separate attempts had been made previously to kill him.

Orleans (Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc d', surnamed "Égalité"), 1747-1793. "They will come off better after: let us have done," to the executioner who was about to draw off the duke's boots.

Owen (Robert, socialistic writer and philanthropist), 1771-1858. "Relief has come."

Owen (John, English non-conformist divine and author, chaplain to Cromwell, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1651, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford. He was a man of great ability and devoted piety), 1616-1683. The first sheet of his "Meditations on the Glory of Christ" had passed through the press under the superintendence of the Rev. William Payne; ... and on that person calling on him to inform him of the circumstances, on the morning of the day he died, he exclaimed with uplifted hands, and eyes looking upward, "I am glad to hear it; but, O brother Payne! the long-wished-for day is come at last, in which I217 shall see that glory in another manner than I have ever done, or was capable of doing, in this world."

From Quotation in Allibone.

Paine (Thomas, author of "Common Sense," "The Rights of Man" and "The Age of Reason"), 1737-1809. "I have no wish to believe on that subject." These words were in answer to his physician's inquiry: "Do you wish to believe that Jesus is the Son of God?"

There is a dispute with regard to Paine's death. Some writers say he recanted and became a Christian, while others affirm that he died as he lived—an avowed Deist. In his last will and testament he says: "I have lived an honest and useful life to mankind; my time has been spent in doing good; and I die in perfect composure and resignation to the will of my creator, God." On the other hand some authors say that he was grossly intemperate and licentious, and that he discarded Christianity, not so much from conviction as from a base desire to lead a bad life.

"In 1802, he (Paine) returned to America and resided a part of the time on a farm at New Rochelle, presented to him by the State of New York for his Revolutionary service. Paine became very intemperate, and fell low in the social scale, not only on account of his beastly habits, but because of his blasphemous tirade against Christianity."

Lossing in "Our Countrymen."

218 Of Paine's last hours Rev. O. B. Frothingham speaks as follows:

"The truth is, that Paine, though not rich, was in comfortable circumstances. He had considerable property, which is specified in his will. His sick bed was surrounded by friends who ministered to his wants, witnessed the firmness and calmness of his last hours, and attested the sincerity and sufficiency of his convictions. Not even the impertinent intrusiveness of the clergy disturbed the entire serenity of his death."

The commonly received opinion, and most likely the correct one, with regard to Paine is this which we excerpt from Appleton's Cyclopædia of Biography:

"His attacks upon religion had exceedingly narrowed his circle of acquaintance; and his habitual intemperance tended to the injury of his health and the ultimate production of a complication of disorders, to which he fell a victim in 1809. The Quakers refused to admit his remains among their dead, and he was buried on his own farm. Cobbett boasted of having disinterred him in 1817, and of having brought his body to England; many, however, assert that Cobbett did not take that trouble, but brought over from America the remains of a criminal who had been executed."[39]

219Palmer (John, English actor of considerable merit), 1742-1798. "There is another and a better world."

His death took place on the stage of the Liverpool 220Theatre while he was performing the character of the Stranger, and his last words were a line in the play.

Palmer was a man of acute and affectionate feelings, which had been much exercised by the course and events of his life. He had recently lost his wife and a favorite son, labored in consequence under profound grief and depression of mind which he strove to overcome, and had expressed a conviction that these mental sufferings would very shortly bring him to his grave. During some days he seemed, however, to bear up against his misfortunes, and performed in some pieces, including The Stranger, with much success. About a week afterward he appeared a second time in that character, when he fell a victim to the poignancy of his feelings. On the morning of the day he was much dejected, but exerted himself with great effect in the first and second acts of the play. In the third act he showed evident marks of depression; and in the fourth, when about to reply to the question of Baron Steinfort relative to his children, appeared unusually agitated. He endeavored to proceed, but his feelings overcame him. The hand of death arrested his progress, and he fell on his back, heaved a convulsive sigh and instantly expired without a groan. Having been removed to the scene-room, and medical aid immediately procured, his veins were opened, but yielded not a single drop of blood, and every other means of resuscitation was tried without effect. His death was by most persons ascribed to apoplexy; but Dr. Mitchell and221 Dr. Corry gave it as their opinion that he certainly died of a broken heart, in consequence of the family afflictions which he had recently experienced.

Annual Register.

Park (Edwards Amasa, distinguished American theologian, author and translator, professor in Andover Theological Seminary, and one of the editors of the "Bibliotheca Sacra"), 1808-1899. "These passages may be found on the following pages." His mind was wandering, and, like Dr. Adam, head master at the High School in Edinburgh, he thought himself once more in the class-room.

Parker (Theodore, Unitarian preacher and writer), 1810-1869. "It is all one, Phillips and Clarke will come for my sake." He meant that Wendell Phillips and James Freeman Clarke would attend his funeral. He died at Florence, where he had gone for his health. The character of Theodore Parker was above reproach. His tone of morality was high. His motives were elevated, and, apparently, sincere. His firm grasp of some of the fundamental principles of natural religion, together with his unfailing confidence in his own powers, gave a strength to his utterances of truth and duty which often stirred and swayed the moral nature of his hearers. But in all his writings we find no expression of a consciousness of guilt and of need as a sinner, and no recognition of Christ as a Saviour.222 Of Theodore Parker, Lowell speaks thus wittily, in his "Fables for Critics:"

His hearers can't tell you on Sunday beforehand,
If in that day's discourse they'll be Bibled or Koraned,
For he's seized the idea (by his martyrdom fired),
That all men (not orthodox) may be inspired;
Yet though wisdom profane with his creed he may weave in,
He makes it quite clear what he doesn't believe in,
While some, who decry him, think all kingdom come
Is a sort of a, kind of a, species of Hum,
Of which, as it were, so to speak, not a crumb
Would be left, if we didn't keep carefully mum,
And, to make a clean breast, that 'tis perfectly plain
That all kinds of wisdom are somewhat profane;
Now P's creed than this may be lighter or darker,
But in one thing 'tis clear he has faith, namely—Parker.
And this is what makes him the crowd-drawing preacher.
There's a background of God to each hard-working feature.

Parkman (Francis, American author), 1823-1893. He died peacefully about noon on the 8th of November, 1893, and was buried in the Mount Auburn Cemetery. The last book he read was "Childe Harold," and his last words were to tell that he had just dreamed of killing a bear. Though suffering extremely, he yet maintained to his last hour an impressive degree of dignity, firmness, gentleness and serenity.

Farnham: "Life of Francis Parkman."

Pascal (Blaise, one of the most profound thinkers and accomplished writers of France), 1623-1662. "May God never forsake me!"

223Payson (Rev. Edward, American Congregational divine), 1783-1827. "Faith and patience hold out." These words were spoken with extreme difficulty and in great pain. Some report his last words thus: "I feel like a mote in the sunbeam."

Dr. Payson directed that when he was dead a label should be attached to his breast on which should be written, "Remember the words I spake unto you while I was yet present with you," that all who came to view his dead body might receive from him one more sermon. The same words were at the request of his people engraven upon the plate of the coffin.

Pellico (Silvio, Italian poet, author of "Francesca da Rimini" and "My Prisons"), 1789-1854. "O Paradise! O Paradise! At last comes to me the grand consolation. My prisons disappear; the great of earth pass away; all before me is rest."

Pembo (the hermit), "I thank God that not a day of my life has been spent in idleness. Never have I eaten bread that I have not earned with the sweat of my brow. I do not recall any bitter speech I have made for which I ought to repent now." This suggests the prayer of the Pharisee, "God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess."—Luke xviii: 11, 12.

Penn (William, founder of Pennsylvania), 1644-1718. "To be like Christ is to be a Christian."

224Perceval (Spencer, distinguished statesman, assassinated on the 11th of May, 1812, in the lobby of the House of Commons, by John Bellingham), 1762-1812. "O my God!"

Pestel (Paul, Russian revolutionist, author of "Pestel's Hymn." He was a brave man who loved liberty, and desired to establish it upon the ruins of Russian absolutism), 1794-1826. "Stupid country, where they do not even know how to hang." These words were spoken when the rope broke by which he was to be hanged.

Peter (His original name was Simon; but when he became a disciple of Christ he received the name Peter, which in Greek signifies a "rock." He was sometimes called Cephas. He was one of the most distinguished of the twelve apostles of our Lord, and is the author of two epistles included in the canon of Scripture),—65. "Remember the Lord Jesus Christ." These words which rest upon the authority of Eusebius, Peter is said to have addressed to his wife on seeing her going to martyrdom. Some suppose that he was himself at the time suspended upon the cross.[40]

Peter I. (of Russia, "Peter the Great"), 1672-1725. "I believe, Lord, and confess; help my unbelief."

225Peter III. (Feodorovitch, of Russia, grandson of "Peter the Great." He drew down upon himself, by his innovations, the enmity of the nobles and clergy, and was in consequence dethroned and strangled by conspirators, of whom his wife, the profligate, cruel and infamous Catherine II. was an accomplice), 1728-1762. "It was not enough to deprive me of the Crown of Russia, but I must be put to death."

Peters (Hugh, distinguished clergyman and politician, pastor of the First Congregational Church in Salem, Mass., succeeding Roger Williams, "whose doctrines he disclaimed and whose adherents he excommunicated." In 1637 he was appointed overseer of Harvard. In 1641 he returned to England, where he joined the Parliamentary party, and became a chaplain in the army. After the restoration of Charles II. Peters was committed to the Tower, and indicted for high treason. He was executed in London, Oct. 16, 1660), 1599-1660. "Friend, you do not well to trample on a dying man."

When Hugh Peters was carried on a sledge to the scaffold, he was made to sit within the rails, and see the execution of Mr. Cook. When the latter was cut down to be quartered, Colonel Turner ordered the sheriff's men to bring Mr. Peters near, that he might see it; and when soon after the hangman rubbed his blood-stained hands together, he taunt226ingly asked, "Come, how do you like this work, Mr. Peters?" He calmly replied, "Friend, you do not well to trample on a dying man."

The Percy Anecdotes.

It was alleged that Peters was one of those that stood masked on the scaffold when the king was beheaded, and to render him more odious, it was reported that he was the executioner. During his imprisonment he wrote several letters of advice to his daughter, which were published under the title of "A Dying Father's Legacy to an Only Child," of which his great-nephew, Samuel, said: "It was printed and published in Old and New England, and myriads of experienced Christians have read his legacy with ecstasy and health to their souls." After execution his head was stuck on a pole and placed on London bridge.... His private character has been the subject of much discussion. He was charged by his enemies with gross immorality, and the most bitter epithets have been applied to him. Of late years he has been estimated more favorably.

Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography.

Philip II. (of Spain), 1527-1598. "I die like a good Catholic, in faith and obedience to the Holy Roman church."

Soon after these last words had been spoken, a paroxysm, followed by faintness, came over him, and he lay entirely still. They had covered his face with a cloth, thinking that he had already expired,227 when he suddenly started with great energy, opened his eyes, seized the crucifix again from the hand of Don Fernando de Toledo, kissed it, and fell back again in agony.... He did not speak again, but lay unconsciously dying for some hours, and breathed his last at five in the morning of Sunday, the 13th of September.

Motley: "History of the United Netherlands."

Philip III. (of Spain), 1578-1621: "Oh would to God I had never reigned! Oh, that those years I have spent in my kingdom I had lived a solitary life in the wilderness! Oh, that I had lived alone with God! How much more secure should I now have died! With how much more confidence should I have gone to the throne of God! What doth all my glory profit, but that I have so much the more torment in my death?"

Pius IX. (Cardinal Giovanni Maria Mastai-Farretti, elected Pope June 17th, 1846), 1792-1878. "Guard the church I loved so well and sacredly." Some say his last words were, "Death wins this time."

Phocion (Athenian statesman and general, unjustly condemned on a charge of treason, and put to death), b. c. 402-317. "No resentment."

Pitt (William), 1759-1806. "O my country, how I leave thee!"

228Pizarro (Francisco, the conqueror of Peru), about 1475-1541. "Jesu!" He was assassinated in his palace, June 26, 1541, and was killed only after desperate resistance.

Plotinus (Greek philosopher of the Neo-Platonic school), 204-270. "I am laboring to return that which is divine in us, unto that Divinity which informs and enlivens the whole universe."

He was intensely religious, and if he had come a century later would, instead of a heathen philosopher, have been one of the first names among the saints of the church.—Hallam.

Poe (Edgar Allan, American poet, author of "The Raven"), 1811-1849. "Lord help my soul!"

Dr. Moran, resident physician of the Marine Hospital, where Poe died, wrote to Mrs. Clemm, under date of November 15th, 1849, an account of Poe's last hours, in which he represents him as having been wildly delirious, sometimes "resisting the efforts of two nurses to keep him in bed, until Saturday, when he commenced calling for one 'Reynolds,' which he did through the night until three on Sunday morning. At this time a very decided change began to affect him. Having become enfeebled from exertion, he became quiet and seemed to rest for a short time; then gently moving his head he said, 'Lord help my soul!' and expired."

229Polycarp ("Saint," Christian Father and martyr and the reputed disciple of the Apostle John), burned at the stake, 169. "O Father of Thy beloved and blessed Son, Jesus Christ! O God of all principalities and of all creation! I bless Thee that Thou hast counted me worthy of this day, and of this hour, to receive my portion in the number of the martyrs, in the cup of Christ. I praise Thee for all these things; I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, by the eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, Thy well-beloved Son, through whom, and with whom, in the Holy Spirit, be glory to Thee, both now and forever. Amen."

Pope (Alexander), 1688-1744. "I am dying, sir, of a hundred good symptoms," said to a friend who called to inquire concerning his health. Some give his last words thus: "Friendship itself is but a part of virtue."[41]

230Pope (William, the notorious leader of a company of men who attracted considerable attention by their open and continued abuse of sacred things. The utterances of these men shocked community and filled the minds of even open unbelievers with horror. It was reported, but of that the compiler of this book has no positive knowledge, that Pope and his associates diverted themselves by kicking the Bible about the floor of the room in which they held their infamous meetings. In his death chamber was a scene of terror),—1797. "I have done the damnable deed—the horrible damnable deed! I cannot pray. God will have nothing to do with me. I will not have salvation at His hands. I long to be in the bottomless pit—the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone! I tell you I am damned! I will not have salvation! Nothing for me but hell. Come, 231eternal torments. O God, do not hear my prayers, for I will not be saved. I hate everything that God has made."

Porteus (Beilby, Bishop of London. Among his works are a "Life of Archbishop Seeker," "Sermons," and a Seatonian prize poem on "Death." It is said that he assisted Hannah More in the composition of "Cœlebs in Search of a Wife"), 1731-1808. "O, that glorious sun!"

Preston (John, author of "Treatise on the Covenant"), 1587-1628. "Blessed be God, though I change my place, I shall not change my company; for I have walked with God while living, and now I go to rest with God."

Priestly (Joseph, philosopher and writer), 1733-1804. "I am going to sleep like you, but we shall all awake together, and I trust to everlasting happiness," spoken to his grandchildren and attendants.

To Priestly we owe our knowledge of oxygen, binoxide of nitrogen, sulphurous acid, fluosilicic acid, muriatic acid, ammonia, carburetted hydrogen, and carbonic oxide.

Pusey (Edward Bouverie, Regius professor of Hebrew at Oxford, author with John Henry Newman, of "Tracts for the Times." He favored232 auricular confession and many of the distinctive doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic church), 1800-1882. "My God!"

He repeated again and again during his last hours the words, "The body of our Lord Jesus Christ which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life." When a common cup containing food was brought to him, he clutched it with reverent eagerness, thinking in the bewilderment of his mind, that it was the chalice. When he saw the friends about his bed kneeling in prayer, he raised his hand, with the words, "By His authority committed unto me, I absolve thee from all thy sins." At last, gazing about him as though he saw what the dear ones by his bedside could not see, he cried out, "My God!" and ceased to breathe. His Hebrew Bible lay open on a little table near his bed just as he had left it a few days before, at 1 Chron. xvi, where is described David's triumphant restoration of the ark of God to its place in the reverent worship of Israel.

Quarles (Francis, quaint English poet, author of "Emblems"), 1592-1644. "What I cannot utter with my mouth, accept, Lord, from my heart and soul."

Quin (James, actor), 1693-1766. "I could wish this tragic scene were over, but I hope to go through it with becoming dignity."

233Quick (John, actor), 1748-1831. "Is this death?"

Rabelais (François), about 1483-1553. "Let down the curtain, the farce is over." Some say his last words were, "I am going to the great perhaps."

Raleigh or Rawleigh (Sir Walter), 1552-1618. "This is a sharp medicine, but a sure remedy for all evils!" These words he said upon the scaffold, when permitted to feel of the edge of the axe. Some say that later he was asked which way he chose to place himself on the block, and that he replied, "So the heart be right, it is no matter which way the head lies." Others say that his last words were these addressed to the hesitating headsman, "Why dost thou not strike? Strike!"

The lovers of tobacco will remember that it was Sir Walter Raleigh who introduced their "delightful weed" into Europe. So fond was he of the weed that he used it upon the scaffold. The snuff-box out of which he took a pinch just before his head rested upon the block was in constant use by the Duke of Sussex, and was disposed of at his sale for £6.

Mr. Van Klaës whose will is celebrated all over Holland was not to be behind Sir Walter Raleigh in his devotion to tobacco. After his bequests to relatives and charities, he has this paragraph in his will:

"I wish every smoker in the kingdom to be invited to my funeral in every way possible, by letter, 234circular and advertisement. Every smoker who takes advantage of the invitation shall receive as a present ten pounds of tobacco, and two pipes on which shall be engraved my name, my crest, and the date of my death. The poor of the neighborhood who accompany my bier shall receive every year on the anniversary of my death a large package of tobacco. I make the condition that all those who assist at my funeral, if they wish to partake of the benefits of my will, must smoke without interruption during the entire ceremony. My body shall be placed in a coffin lined throughout with the wood of my old Havana cigar-boxes. At the foot of the coffin shall be placed a box of French tobacco called Caporal and a package of our old Dutch tobacco. At my side place my favorite pipe and a box of matches, ... for one never knows what may happen. When the bier rests in the vault, all the persons in the funeral procession are requested to cast upon it the ashes of their pipes, as they pass it on their departure from the grounds."

The wishes of the testator were fulfilled to the letter. The funeral went off gloriously in dense clouds of smoke. Mr. Van Klaës' cook, Gertrude, to whom was left in a codicil to the will a large sum of money on condition she should overcome her aversion to tobacco, walked in the funeral procession with a cigarette in her mouth.

Randolph (John, an able but eccentric American statesman), 1773-1833. "Write that word 'Re235morse;' show it to me." These words rest upon doubtful authority.

Raphael (Sanzio, most illustrious of painters. "The Transfiguration" at Rome, and the "Madonna di San Sisto" at Dresden are accounted his master-pieces), 1483-1520. "Happy—.'

"Once again Raphael revived, and, supported by two friends, arose and looked around with wide-open eyes. 'Whence comes the sunshine?' murmured he.

"'Raphael,' cried I, and extended both hands toward him, 'do you recognize me?'

"For a moment it seemed as if he had not heard me, then he spoke again, and the holy calm of his expression, in spite of the death-struggle, bore testimony to his words, 'Happy—.' He tried to finish the sentence, but could not. He never uttered another word, but it was full night when a voice broke through the long stillness: 'Raphael is dead!'"

Cardinal Bibbiena in a letter to his niece Maria di Bibbiena.

Ravaillac (François, the assassin of Henry IV. of France), 1578-1610. "I receive absolution upon this condition." Ravaillac asked absolution of Dr. Filesac, who answered, "We are forbidden to give it in the case of a crime of high treason, unless the guilty one reveals his abettors and accomplices." Ravaillac replied, "I have none. It is I alone that236 did it. Give me a conditional absolution. You cannot refuse this." "Well, then," said Dr. Filesac, "I give it to you, but if the contrary be true, instead of absolution I pronounce your eternal damnation. Look to it." Ravaillac answered, "I receive absolution upon this condition."

On May 27, 1610, Ravaillac was declared by the Parliament guilty of divine and human high treason; condemned to have his flesh torn with hot pincers and the wounds filled with melted lead, boiling oil, etc.; to have his right hand, holding the regicidal knife, burned in a fire of sulphur; to be afterward torn to pieces alive by four horses, to have his members reduced to ashes and the ashes thrown to the winds. The same decree ordered that the house in which he was born be demolished; that his father and his mother leave the kingdom in fifteen days, with orders not to return, under penalty of being hung and strangled; and finally that his brothers, sisters, uncles, etc., give up the name of Ravaillac and take another, under pain of the same penalties.

Ravaillac, most fearless of fanatics and devotees, said, when interrogated before Parliament as to his estate and calling, "I teach children to read, write, and pray to God." At his third examination, he wrote beneath the signature which he had affixed to his testimony the following distich:

"Que toujours, dans mon cœur,
Jésus soit le vainqueur!"

237 and a member of Parliament exclaimed on reading it, "Where the devil will religion lodge next!"[42]

Raymond (John Howard, President of Vassar College), 1814—. "How easy—how easy—how easy to glide from work here to the work——" there, he evidently wished to add, but his voice failed him.

Reade (Charles, author of "Peg Woffington," "The Cloister and the Hearth," "Very Hard Cash," "Griffith Gaunt" and "Put Yourself in His Place"), 1814-1884. "Amazing, amazing glory! I am having Paul's understanding." He referred to 2 Cor. xii. 1-4, which had previously been a subject of conversation with a relative. In the epitaph which he wrote for his own tombstone, he shows his complete reliance for future happiness on the merits and mediation of Christ:


238 "I hope for a resurrection, not from any power in nature, but from the will of the Lord God Omnipotent, who made nature and me. He created me out of nothing, which nature could not do. He can restore man from the dust, which nature cannot.

"And I hope for holiness and happiness in a future life, not for any thing I have said or done in this body, but from the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ.

"He has promised his intercession to all who seek him, and he will not break his word; that intercession, once granted, cannot be rejected: for he is God, and his merits infinite; a man's sins are but human and finite.

"'Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.' 'If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins.'"

Renan (Ernest, Orientalist and critic), 1823-1892. "I have done my work. It is the most natural thing in the world to die; let us accept the Laws of the Universe—the heavens and the earth remain."

Some authorities give his last words thus: "Let us submit to the Laws of Nature of which we are one of the manifestations. The heavens and the earth abide."

He began to study for the priesthood, but renounced that profession because he doubted the239 truth of the orthodox creed. He displayed much learning in his "General History of the Semitic Languages," was admitted into the Academy of Inscriptions in 1856, and was sent to Syria in 1860 to search for relics of ancient learning and civilization. Soon after his return he was appointed professor of Hebrew in the College of France, but was suspended in 1862, in deference to the will of those who considered him unsound in faith. He admits the excellence of the Christian religion, but discredits its supernatural origin and rejects the miracles.—Lippincott's Biographical Dictionary.

Reynolds (Sir Joshua, celebrated portrait painter), 1723-1792. "I have been fortunate in long good health and constant success, and I ought not to complain. I know that all things on earth must have an end, and now I am come to mine."

Richelieu (Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal and French statesman), 1585-1642. "Absolutely, and I pray God to condemn me, if I have had any other aim than the welfare of God and the state," in reply to the question whether he pardoned his enemies.

His last words are sometimes incorrectly given thus: "I have no enemies except those of the State."

Richmond (Leigh, a clergyman of the English Church, and author of "Annals of the Poor" and240 "The Fathers of the English Church"), 1772-1827. "Brother, brother, strong evidences, nothing but strong evidences will do in such an hour as this. I have looked here and looked there for them, and all have failed me, and so I cast myself on the sovereign, free and full grace of God in the covenant by Jesus Christ; and there, brother, there I have found peace."

Richter (Jean Paul Frederich, German author), 1763-1825. "My beautiful flowers, my lovely flowers!"

His wife brought him a wreath of flowers that a lady had sent him, for every one wished to add some charm to his last days. As he touched them carefully, for he could neither see nor smell them, he seemed to rejoice in the images of the flowers in his mind, for he said repeatedly, "My beautiful flowers, my lovely flowers!"

Although his friends sat around the bed, as he imagined it was night, they conversed no longer; he arranged his arms as if preparing for repose, which was to be to him the repose of death, and soon sank into a tranquil sleep.... At length his respiration became less regular, but his features always calmer, more heavenly. A slight convulsion passed over the face; the physician cried out, "That is death!" and all was quiet. The spirit had departed.

Robertson (Frederick William, an English clergyman of singular purity and depth of religious241 feeling, and of great ability), 1816-1853. "I cannot bear it; let me rest. I must die. Let God do his work."

A member of his congregation, a chemist, asked him to look at his galvanic apparatus. He took the ends of the wire, completed the circuit, experiencing the tingling. He then held the end of the wire to the back of the head and neck, without a single sensation being elicited. Then he touched his forehead for a second. "Instantly a crashing pain shot through, as if my skull was stove in, and a bolt of fire were burning through and through." In the same letter he writes, "My work is done." Some hope might have been entertained if he could have had a curate to help him with his work. But the then Vicar of Brighton, rather an unsympathetic man, refused to let him have the curate on whom his heart was set. So he sank, unrelieved, into death. The dark secrets of the hospital of torture hardly reveal greater suffering than Robertson endured in those last hours. When they sought to change his position, he said, "I cannot bear it; let me rest. I must die. Let God do his work." These were his last words.

He was only thirty-seven years old when he died; an age when he had not reached the climax of his powers, or the complete development of his character and views. It is an interesting circumstance that after his death an inhabitant of Brighton who had stood aloof from his teaching during his life242time, read his sermons and was so struck with the beauty of his teaching that in gratitude he placed a marble bust of the great preacher in the Pavilion.

London Society.

For six years he continued to preach sermons, the like of which, for blending of delicacy and strength of thought, poetic beauty and homely lucidity of speech, had perhaps never been heard before in England. Robertson was unhappily (for his comfort) not very "orthodox;" consequently he was long misunderstood, and vilified by the "professedly religious portion of society;" but so true, so beautiful was his daily life and conversation that he almost outlived those pious calumnies, and his death (from consumption) threw the whole town in mourning.—Chambers' Encyclopædia.

Rob Roy (whose original name was Macgregor, was a friend and follower of the "Pretender" in the Rebellion of 1715. He is the hero of one of Scott's novels), about 1660-1743.

Tradition relates that Rob Roy was visited on his death-bed by a person with whom he was at enmity, and that as soon as the visitor, whom he treated with a cold, haughty civility during their short conference, had departed, the dying man said, "Now all is over—let the piper play 'Ha til mi tulidh' (we return no more)"—and he is said to have expired before the dirge was finished.—Francis Jacox.

243Royer-Collard (Pierre Paul, French philosopher and statesman), 1763-1845. "There is nothing solid and substantial in the world but religious ideas."

Rogers (John, Vicar of St. Pulchers, and reader of St. Paul's in London. He was burnt at the stake),—1555. "Lord, receive my spirit."

Roland (Marie Jeanne Philipon, Madame. "The Spirit of the Girondin Party"), 1754-1793. "Go first; I can at least spare you the pain of seeing my blood flow."

When she arrived in front of the Statue of Liberty, she bent her head to it, exclaiming, "Oh Liberty, how many crimes are committed in thy name!" At the foot of the scaffold she said to her companion, an old and timid man, whom she had been encouraging on the way, "Go first; I can at least spare you the pain of seeing my blood flow."

Romaine (William, English theologian, for thirty years rector of Blackfriars), 1714-1795. "Holy, holy, holy, blessed Lord Jesus! to Thee be endless praise!"

Rosa (Salvator, Italian painter), 1615-1673. "To judge by what I now endure, the hand of death grasps me sharply." Last recorded words.

244Rossetti (Dante Gabriel, English painter and poet, leader in the Pre-Raphaelite movement), 1828-1882. "I think I shall die to-night." These are his last recorded words.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti is buried near the waves of his beloved German Ocean in the churchyard of Birchington, a small village on the Isle of Thanet. He died in 1882 at his bungalow, on a cliff near by, and his grave is marked by a tall Celtic cross of stone, carved with designs by Ford Madox Brown. The head and arms of the cross are decorated with a spray ending in leaves, and two leafy branches right and left. The shaft has four panels, with reliefs. The upper compartment has a figure of Christ, fronting, and two figures right and left in profile. The panel below has a kneeling bull, with wings, to represent the Evangelist. Below that is a kneeling painter, with canvas and easel before him and his palette on his arm. The lowest panel is filled with a decorative scroll. There is a stained-glass window to his memory in the little church.

Rousseau (Jean Jacques, the famous author of "La Nouvelle Héloïse," "Émile," "Du Contrat Social" and "Confessions"), 1712-1778. "Throw up the window that I may see once more the magnificent scene of nature."

Rutherford (Rev. Samuel), 1695-1779. "If he should slay me ten thousand times, ten thousand245 times I'll trust him. I feel, I feel, I believe in joy, and rejoice; I feed on manna. O for arms to embrace him! O for a well-tuned harp!"

Rutherford (Rev. Thomas), 1712-1771. "He has indeed been a precious Christ to me; and now I feel him to be my rock, my strength, my rest, my hope, my joy, my all in all."

Sabatier (Raphael Bienvenu, French surgeon), 1732-1811. "Contemplate the state in which I am fallen, and learn to die," said to his son.

He was ashamed of his bodily infirmities and of his approaching mortality.

Samson (one of the judges of Israel, of the tribe of Dan, and the son of Manoah), about b. c. 1155. "Let me die with the Philistines." After performing several wonderful deeds of strength, he was made prisoner, and deprived of sight by the Philistines, a great number of whom he subsequently destroyed, along with himself, by pulling down the temple in which they were assembled.

See Judges, xvi.

Sand ("George," pseudonym of Madame Dudevant), 1804-1876. "Laissez la verdure"—meaning, "Leave the tomb green, do not cover it over with bricks or stone."

Sanderson (Robert, English prelate, chaplain to Charles I., and later Bishop of London), 1587-1663. 246 "My heart is fixed, O God! my heart is fixed where true joy is to be found."

Sarpi (Fra Paolo, author of "History of the Council of Trent," and opponent of the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope), 1552-1623. "Be thou everlasting." These words were spoken in reference to his country, Venice.

Saunders (Lawrence, suffered martyrdom during the reign of Queen Mary). "Welcome the cross of Christ, welcome everlasting life."

Away went Mr. Saunders, with a merry courage, toward the fire. He fell to the ground and prayed; he rose up again and took the stake to which he should be chained in his arms and kissed it, saying: "Welcome the cross of Christ, welcome everlasting life." Being fastened to the stake he fell full sweetly asleep in the Lord.

Fox's "Book of Martyrs."

Savonarola (Girolamo, celebrated preacher and political, as well as religious, reformer of Florence), 1452-1498. "O Florence, what hast thou done to-day?" He was strangled and burnt by the commissioners of the Pope, May 23, 1498. His last words are sometimes given thus: "The Lord has suffered as much for me."

While he and his companions, all three barely covered by their tunics, with naked feet and arms bound, were being slowly led from the ringhiera to247 the gibbet, the dregs of the populace were allowed to assail them with vile words and viler acts. Savonarola endured this bitter martyrdom with unshaken serenity. One bystander, stirred with compassion, approached him and said a few comforting words, to which he benignantly replied: "At the last hour, God alone can give mortals comfort." A certain priest, named Nerotto, asked him, "in what spirit dost thou bear martyrdom?" He said: "The Lord hath suffered as much for me." He then kissed the crucifix, and his voice was heard no more.

Villari: "Life and Times of Savonarola."

Sax (Hermann Maurice, Marshal of France), 1696-1750. "The dream has been short, but it has been beautiful."

Scarron (Paul, the creator of French burlesque), 1610-1660. "Ah! mes enfants, you cannot cry as much for me as I have made you laugh in my time!" Some say that a few moments later he added, "I never thought that it was so easy a matter to laugh at the approach of death."

The life of Scarron was one of extreme wretchedness. He was, like Heine, a miserable paralytic; his form, to use his own words, "had become bent like a Z." "My legs," he says, "first made an obtuse angle with my thighs, then a right and at last an acute angle; my thighs made another with my body. My head is bent upon my chest; my arms are con248tracted as well as my legs, and my fingers as well as my arms. I am, in truth, a pretty complete abridgment of human misery." At the time of his marriage (to the beautiful and gifted Mademoiselle d'Aubigné, afterward Madame de Maintenon, the wife for thirty years of Louis XIV.) he could only move with freedom his hand, tongue and eyes. His days were passed in a chair with a hood, and so completely was he the abridgment of man he describes himself that his wife had to kneel to look in his face. He could not be moved without screaming from pain, nor sleep without opium. The epitaph which he wrote on himself is touching from its truth:

Tread softly—make no noise
To break his slumbers deep;
Poor Scarron here enjoys
His first calm night of sleep.
Russell: Library Notes.

Schiller (Friedrich, "the only German poet who can contest the supremacy of Goethe"), 1759-1805. "Many things are growing plain and clear to my understanding."

Of his friends and family he took a touching but tranquil farewell; he ordered that his funeral should be private, without pomp or parade. Some one inquiring how he felt, he said, "Calmer and calmer;" simple but memorable words, expressive of the mild heroism of the man. About six he sank into a deep sleep; once for a moment he looked up with a lively 249 air and said, "Many things are growing plain and clear to my understanding." Again he closed his eyes, and his sleep deepened and deepened till it changed into the sleep from which there is no awakening, and all that remained of Schiller was a lifeless form soon to be mingled with the sods of the valley.—Carlyle's "Life of Schiller."

Dunzer says, in his "Life of Schiller": "During Schiller's delirium, from May 5th to May 9th, 1805, he repeated passages from his 'Demetrius,' and before falling asleep he called out, 'Is that your hell? Is that your heaven?' and then looked upward with a calm smile: 'Liebe, gute' (Dear, good one), addressed to his wife, were the last words he uttered."

Schiller's last words are sometimes given thus: "Einen Blick in die Sonne."

Schimmelpenninck (Mary Anne, author of "Memoirs of Port-Royal"), 1778-1856. "O, I hear such beautiful voices, and the children's are the loudest."

Schlegel (Karl Wilhelm Friedrich, von, German philosopher and author), 1772-1829. "But the consummate and perfect knowledge—"

Schleiermacher (Friedrich Ernst Daniel, distinguished German pulpit orator and theologian), 1768-1834. "Now I can hold out here no longer. Lay me in a different posture."

On the last morning, Wednesday, February 12,250 his sufferings evidently became greater. He complained of a burning inward heat, and the first and last tone of impatience broke from his lips: "Ah, Lord, I suffer much!" The features of death came fully on, the eye was glazed, the death-struggle was over! At this moment, he laid the two fore-fingers upon his left eye, as he often did when in deep thought, and began to speak: "We have the atoning death of Jesus Christ, his body and his blood." During this he had raised himself up, his features began to be reanimated, his voice became clear and strong; he inquired with priestly solemnity: "Are ye one with me in this faith?" to which we, Lommatzsch and a female friend who were present, and myself, answered with a loud yea. "Then let us receive the Lord's Supper! but the sexton is not to be thought of; quick, quick! let no one stumble at the form; I have never held to the dead letter!"

As soon as the necessary things were brought in by my son-in-law, during which time we had waited with him in solemn stillness, he began—with features more and more animated, and with an eye to which a strange and indescribable lustre, yea, a higher glow of love with which he looked upon us, had returned,—to pronounce some words of prayer introductory to the solemn rite. Then he gave the bread first to me, then to the female friend, then to Lommatzsch, and lastly to himself, pronouncing aloud to each, the words of institution (Matt. xxvi, etc.; 1 Cor. xi. 23-29),—so loud indeed, that the children 251 and Muhlenfels (late Professor in the London University), who kneeled listening at the door of the next room, heard them plainly. So also with the wine, to us three first, and then to himself, with the full words of institution to each. Then, with his eyes directed to Lommatzsch, he said: "Upon these words of Scripture I stand fast, as I have always taught; they are the foundation of my faith." After he had pronounced the blessing, he turned his eye once more full of love on me, and then on each of the others, with the words: "In this love and communion, we are and remain one."

He laid himself back upon his pillow; the animation still rested on his features. After a few minutes he said: "Now I can hold out here no longer," and then, "Lay me in a different posture." We laid him on his side,—he breathed a few times,—and life stood still! Meanwhile the children had all come in, and were kneeling around the bed as his eyes closed gradually.

Account of Schleiermacher's Death prepared by his wife.

Schwerin von (Kurt Christoph, Count and Field-marshal), 1684-1757. "Let all brave Prussians follow me," said just before he fell dead, having been struck by a cannon ball.

Scott (James, Duke of Monmouth, natural son of Charles II., of England), 1649-1685. "There 252are six guineas for you, and do not hack me as you did my Lord Russell. I have heard that you struck him three or four times. My servant will give you more gold if you do your work well," said to the headsman, who, notwithstanding these words, being unnerved, inflicted several blows before the neck was severed.

Scott (Thomas, Privy Councillor of James V. of Scotland). "Begone, you and your trumpery; until this moment I believed there was neither a God nor a hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty," said to a priest who wished to point out to him the way of salvation.

Scott (Sir Walter), 1771-1832. "God bless you all!" to his family. Some give his last words thus: "I feel as if I were to be myself again."

Still others say his last words were these, addressed to Lockhart, "My dear, be a good man,—be virtuous,—be religious,—be a good man. Nothing else can give you any comfort, when you come to lie here."

It is also said by some authorities that his last words were, "There is but one book; bring me the Bible." These words it is represented were addressed to Lockhart who had asked him what book it was he wished to have read to him.

253Scott (Winfield, distinguished American general), 1786-1866. "James, take good care of the horse."

As Frederick the Great's last completely conscious utterance was in reference to his favorite English greyhound, Scott's was in regard to his magnificent horse, the same noble animal that followed in his funeral procession a few days later. Turning to his servant, the old veteran's last words were: "James, take good care of the horse." In accordance with his expressed wish, he was buried at West Point on the first of June 1866, and his remains were accompanied to the grave by many of the most illustrious men of the land, including Gen. Grant and Admiral Farragut.

Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography.

Serment (Mlle. de, called "The Philosopher," because of her rare attainments in literature and of her wide acquaintance with ethics). She died of cancer of the breast, and expired in finishing these lines which she addressed to Death:

"Nectare clausa suo,
Dignum tantorum pretium tulit illa laborum."

Servetus (Michael. He calls himself Serveto alias Revès, adding his family name to his own, in the title of his earliest book. For twenty years of his life, during his residence in France, he was known only as Michael de Villanovanus, from the254 assumed name of his birthplace), 1509 or 1511-1553. "Jesus, Son of the eternal God, have mercy on me!"

The sentence was drawn out at great length on the 26th of October. Servetus did not know it till the next day, Friday, two hours before the execution. On a rising ground near the lake, a little to the eastward of the city, he was chained to a stake, and, the oldest account (that in Sandius) says, for more than two hours, while stifling in the fumes of straw and brimstone, suffered the torture of a fire of "green oak fagots, with the leaves still on," the wind blowing the flame so that it would only scorch, not kill, till the crowd, in horror, heaped the fuel closer. His last cry was, "Jesus, Son of the eternal God, have mercy on me!" Farel's retort was, "Call rather on the Eternal Son of God!" "I know well," he had written not long before, "that for this thing I must die, but not for that does my heart fail me that I may be a disciple like the Master."

Joseph Henry Allen in the New World, Dec. 1892.

Seton (Elizabeth Ann, philanthropist, foundress and first Superior of the Sisters of Charity in the United States), 1774-1821. "Soul of Christ, sanctify me; Body of Christ, save me; Blood of Christ, inebriate me; Water out of the side of Christ, strengthen me." A few moments after she had spoken these words she murmured, "Jesus, Mary, Joseph," and expired.

255Severus (Bishop of Ravenna),—390. "My dear one, with whom I lived in love so long, make room for me, for this is my grave, and in death we shall not be divided." The last words of Severus are purely traditional.

Severus, Bishop of Ravenna, prepared a tomb for himself in his church. In it he placed the bodies of his wife, Vincentia, and of his daughter, Innocentia. After some years he was premonished that his time to die had come. He held service with the people, dismissed them and closed the cathedral doors. Then, clothed in his episcopal robes, with one attendant, he went to the sepulchre of his family. They raised the stone from the tomb, and Severus, looking in, said: "My dear one, with whom I lived in love so long, make room for me, for this is my grave, and in death we shall not be divided." Immediately he descended into the tomb, laid himself down beside his wife and daughter, crossed his hands upon his breast, looked up to heaven in prayer, gave one sigh and fell asleep.

Sheppard (Jack, the noted highwayman, the hero of many a chap-book of his day, and the hero and title of a novel by Defoe, and one by Ainsworth), 1701-1724. "I have ever cherished an honest pride; never have I stooped to friendship with Jonathan Wild, or with any of his detestable thief-takers; and though an undutiful son I never damned my mother's eyes."

256 Jack Sheppard was a popular idol followed by praise and applause even to the gallows. "There was scarce a beautiful woman in London who did not solace him during his prison hours with her condescension, and enrich him with her gifts. Not only did the President of the Royal Academy deign to paint his portrait, but (a far greater honor) Hogarth made him immortal. Even the King displayed a proper interest, demanding a full and precise account of his escapes. The hero himself was drunk with flattery; he bubbled with ribaldry; he touched off the most valiant of his contemporaries in a ludicrous phrase. But his chief delight was to illustrate his prowess to his distinguished visitors, and nothing pleased him better than to slip in and out of his chains."

Not a few of the highwaymen of the day were "gentlemen" and "coxcombs." We have from Swift a picture of one such in his sketch of "Clever Tom Clinch," who

While the rabble were bawling,
Rode stately through Holborn to die of his calling;
He stopped at the George for a bottle of sack,
And promised to pay for it—when he came back.
His waistcoat and stockings and breeches were white,
His cap had a new cherry ribbon to tie't:
And the maids at doors and the balconies ran
And cried "Lac-a-day! he's a proper young man!"

Sheridan (Richard Brinsley), 1751-1816. "Did you know Burke?" He referred to Ed257mund Burke, the celebrated orator, statesman and philosopher.

Sherman (John, distinguished American statesman, United States senator, and secretary of state), 1823-1900. "I think you had better send for the doctor—I am so faint."

At three o'clock yesterday morning, Mr. Sherman took a decided turn for the worse. At that hour he complained of feeling faint and asked that his physician be called. During the next hour the patient had several fainting spells and during the day these continued at short intervals. His doctor found him very weak and prescribed a stimulant, but the medicine had very little effect, and the patient sank slowly. All day his condition grew worse, but he retained consciousness till about nine o'clock last night. From time to time, yesterday, Mr. Sherman attempted to speak, but his words were not intelligible.

Albany Evening Journal, Oct. 22, 1900.

Sickingen (Franz von, Protestant leader and a brave German soldier. He championed the cause of learning and protected Ulrich von Hutten, Reuchlin, and others from the rage and oppression of Romish ecclesiastics), 1481-1523. "I have already confessed my sins to God," to his chaplain who inquired whether he desired to confess. He was killed while defending his castle of Neustall.

258Sidney (Algernon, English republican patriot), 1622-1683. "Not till the general resurrection: strike on!" to the executioner who, asked him if he would like to rise again, after laying his head on the block.

Sidney (Sir Philip, English gentleman, soldier and author), 1554-1586. "In me behold the end of the world with all its vanities."

He was mortally wounded at Zutphen, September, 1586. After he was wounded he called for some drink, which was brought, but before he had tasted it, he gave the bottle to a wounded soldier, saying, "Thy necessity is greater than mine."

Smalridge (George, Bishop of Bristol), 1663-1719. "God be thanked, I have had a very good night."

Smith (Joseph, founder and first prophet of the Mormon Church), 1805-1844. "That's right, Brother Taylor; parry them off as well as you can," to the Mormon Apostle John Taylor who was defending Smith and endeavoring to drive back the mob.

Smith amassed a large fortune, assumed the title of lieutenant-general and president of the church, and exercised absolute authority over his "saints." He provoked the popular indignation by attempts to seduce the wives of other men, and was arrested259 and confined in jail at Carthage. In June, 1844, a mob broke into the jail and killed Joseph Smith.

Lippincott's Biographical Dictionary.

"I was sitting at one of the front windows of the jail, when I saw a number of men, with painted faces, coming round the corner of the jail and aiming toward the stairs.

"As Hyrum fell he cried, 'I am a dead man,' and spoke and moved no more. As he fell Joseph leaned over him, and in tones of deep and sad sympathy exclaimed, 'Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!' While I was engaged in parrying the guns, Brother Joseph said, 'That's right, Brother Taylor; parry them off as well as you can.' These were the last words I ever heard him speak on earth."

Martyrdom of Smith, by Apostle John Taylor.

It was believed that sacred as the tomb is always considered to be, there were persons capable of rifling the grave in order to obtain the head of the murdered Prophet for the purpose of exhibiting it, or placing it in some phrenological museum—the skull of Joseph Smith was worth money. This apprehension, in point of fact, proved true, for the place where the bodies were supposed to be buried was disturbed the night after the interment. The coffins had been filled with stones, etc., to about the weight which the bodies would have been. The remains of the two brothers were then secretly buried the same night by a chosen few, in the vaults beneath the temple. The ground was then levelled, 260 and pieces of rock and other débris were scattered carelessly over the spot. But even this was not considered a sufficient safeguard against any violation of the dead, and on the following night a still more select number exhumed the remains, and buried them beneath the pathway behind the Mansion House. The bricks which formed the pathway were carefully replaced and the earth removed was carried away in sacks and thrown into the Mississippi. If this last statement is true, the bodies must have been removed a third time, as, since writing the above, the author has it on unquestionable authority that they now repose in quite a different place. Brigham Young has endeavored to obtain possession of the remains of the Prophet, that they might be interred beneath the temple at Salt Lake.

"Early Days of Mormonism" by J. H. Kennedy.

Socrates, 470-400 b. c. "Crito, I owe a cock to Æsculapius, will you remember to pay the debt?"

He walked about until, as he said, his legs began to fail; and then he lay on his back, according to the directions, and the man who gave him the poison now and then looked at his feet and legs, and after awhile he pressed his foot hard and asked him if he could feel, and he said "No;" and then his leg, and so upward and upward, and showed us that he was cold and stiff. And he felt them himself, and said, "When the poison reaches the heart that will be the end." He was beginning to grow cold about the261 groin, when he uncovered his face, for he had covered himself up, and said (they were his last words)—he said: "Crito, I owe a cock to Æsculapius, will you remember to pay the debt?" "The debt shall be paid," said Crito. "Is there anything else?" There was no answer to this question, but in a minute or two a movement was heard and the attendants uncovered him; his eyes were set, and Crito closed his eyes and mouth.

From Jowett's "Dialogues of Plato."

Sophonisba (the wife of Syphax, King of Numidia). "If my husband has for his new wife no better gift than a cup of death, I bow to his will and accept what he bestows. I might have died more honorably if I had not wedded so near to my funeral."

Sophonisba was taken prisoner by Masinissa who had been formerly her lover. He married her, but, yielding to Scipio, who feared that she would influence her husband in favor of Carthage, he sent her a cup of poison, bidding her remember her birth and estate.

Southcott (Joanna, a religious impostor who was probably of unsound mind), 1750-1814. "If I have been deceived, doubtless it was the work of a spirit; whether that spirit was good or bad I do not know." Last recorded words.

262 In the last year of her life she secluded herself from the world, and especially from the society of the other sex, and gave it out that she was with child of the Holy Ghost; and that she would give birth to the Shiloh promised to Jacob, which should be the second coming of Christ. Her prophecy was that she was to be delivered on the 19th of October, 1814, at midnight; being then upwards of sixty years of age.

This announcement seemed not unlikely to be verified, for there was an external appearance of pregnancy; and her followers, who are said to have amounted at that time to 100,000, were in the highest state of excitement. A splendid and expensive cradle was made, and considerable sums were contributed in order to have other things prepared in a style worthy of the expected Shiloh. On the night of the 19th of October a large number of persons assembled in the street in which she lived, waiting to hear the announcement of the looked-for event; but the hour of midnight passed over, and the crowd were only induced to disperse by being informed that Mrs. Southcott had fallen into a trance.

Chambers' Miscellany.

After the death of Joanna Southcott, her followers refused to believe her dead, and consented to a postmortem examination of her body, only when decomposition had actually commenced. After her burial they formed themselves into a religious society which they called the Southcottian church, and professed to263 believe that she would rise from the dead and bring forth the promised Shiloh.

Spinoza (Baruch, his Hebrew name which he translated into Latin as Benedictus), 1632-1677. There can be no certainty with regard to the last hours of Spinoza. There was with him at the time of his death but one friend who refused to make any disclosure, and who chose to pass to his own grave in silent possession of the secret. Nevertheless a report prevailed, and was for a time believed, that Spinoza died in great fear and distress of mind, and that with his last breath he cried out: "God have mercy upon me, and be gracious to me, a miserable sinner!" Another report, equally without foundation, represented the great Dutch philosopher as resorting to suicide when he saw death drawing near.

Spinoza is regarded as the ablest of modern pantheistic philosophers. Dugald Stewart goes so far as to call him an Atheist: "In no part of Spinoza's works has he avowed himself an Atheist; but it will not be disputed by those who comprehend the drift of his reasonings, that, in point of practical tendency, Atheism and Spinozism are one and the same." During his life he awakened in the minds of some of the ablest men of letters and religion a bitter hatred it is now difficult to understand. It is but fifty years ago that Karel Luinman, at that time minister of the Reformed church at Middleburg, said: "Spit on that grave—there lies Spinoza." Later Froude,264 Lewes and Maurice have described him as a calm, brave man who lived nobly, and confronted disease and death with a deeply religious faith. Coleridge pronounced the Pantheism of Spinoza preferable to modern Deism, which he held to be but "the hypocrisy of Materialism." Schleiermacher vindicated the memory of the great philosopher after the following fashion: "Offer up reverently with me a lock of hair to the manes of the rejected but holy Spinoza! The great Spirit of the Universe filled his soul; the Infinite to him was beginning and end; the Universal his sole and only love. Dwelling in holy innocence and deep humility among men, he saw himself mirrored in the eternal world, and the eternal world not all unworthily reflected back in him. Full of religion was he, full of the Holy Ghost; and therefore it is that he meets us standing alone in his age, raised above the profane multitude, master of his art, but without disciples and the citizen's rights." Probably the truth of the matter is that Spinoza was a man of pure, brave and simple life; of gentle disposition; and of rare philosophical abilities and attainments; but whose system, though possessed of much that is true and good, is yet essentially opposed to God's revelation of himself in the sacred Scriptures, and in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

"Even people who lived in the same house with him never suspected how rapidly death was approaching. He had come down, as he generally did in the evening, and talked for a long time with his com265panions about the sermons which they had just heard. That evening he went to bed earlier than usual. The next day, February 23, 1677, he came once more downstairs, before church-time to speak with his friends. In the meantime Dr. Ludwig Meyer, of Amsterdam, to whom Spinoza had written, arrived. He gave his suffering friend such medical assistance as he could; and, amongst other orders, desired the landlady to kill a chicken, that Spinoza might have some soup for dinner. This was done, and Spinoza ate the soup with a good appetite. When Van der Spyck and his wife returned from the afternoon service, they heard that Spinoza had died about three o'clock. Nobody was with him in his last hours except the doctor from Amsterdam, who went away again the same evening."

Kuno Fisher's Lecture on "The Life and Character of Spinoza."

Staël-Holstein (Anna Louise Germaine Necker, Baroness de), 1766-1817. "I have loved God, my father and liberty."

Stafford (William Howard, Viscount of), 1612-1680. "This block will be my pillow, and I shall repose there well, without pain, grief or fear." He was accused by Titus Oates of complicity in the Popish Plot, and was convicted of treason. He was probably innocent. His last words were spoken at the place of execution, and show how noble and calm was his spirit in the presence of death.

266 Stafford's brother accompanied him to the place of execution, weeping. "Brother," said he, "why do you grieve thus; do you see anything in my life or death which can cause you to feel any shame? Do I tremble like a criminal or boast like an Atheist? Come, be firm, and think only that this is my third marriage, that you are my bridesman."

Lamartine's Cromwell.

Stambuloff (Stefan N., ex-Prime Minister of Bulgaria, called "The Bismarck of Bulgaria"), 1853-1895. "God protect Bulgaria."

Stanley (Arthur Penrhyn, Dean of Westminster, and the leader of the "Broad Church" party), 1815-1881. "So far as I have understood what the duties of my office were supposed to be, in spite of every incompetence, I am yet humbly trustful that I have sustained before the mind of the nation the extraordinary value of the Abbey as a religious, national and liberal institution." Later he said: "The end has come in the way in which I most desired it should come. I could not have controlled it better. After preaching one of my sermons on the beatitudes, I had a most violent fit of sickness, took to my bed, and said immediately that I wished to die at Westminster. I am perfectly happy, perfectly satisfied; I have no misgivings." His last recorded words were: "I wish Vaughan to preach my funeral sermon, because he has known me longest."

267Steele (Miss Anne, the author of many beautiful and familiar hymns), 1716-1778: "I know that my Redeemer liveth." The following lines are inscribed on her tomb:

Silent the lyre, and dumb the tuneful tongue,
That sung on earth her dear Redeemer's praise;
But now in heaven she joins the angelic song,
In more harmonious, more exalted lays.

Stephen (first Christian martyr), "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge."—Acts vii: 60.

Stevens (Thaddeus, American statesman and opponent of slavery; a man of great ability and nobleness of spirit), 1793-1868.

Two colored clergymen called and asked leave to see Stevens and pray with him. He ordered them to be admitted; and when they had come to his bedside, he turned and held out his hand to one of them. They sang a hymn and prayed. During the prayer he responded twice, but could not be understood. Soon afterward the Sisters of Charity prayed, and he seemed deeply affected. The doctor told him that he was dying. He made a motion with his head, but no other reply. One of the sisters asked leave to baptize him, and it was granted, but whether by Stevens or his nephew is not clear. She performed the ceremony with a glass of water, a portion of which was poured upon his forehead. The end came before the beginning of the next day. He lay motionless for a few moments, then opened his eyes, took one look,268 placidly closed them, and, without a struggle, the great commoner had ceased to breathe.

Samuel W. McCall: "Life of Stevens."

On his monument reared over his grave are inscribed by his direction, these words: "I repose in this quiet and secluded spot, not from any natural preference for solitude, but finding other cemeteries limited as to race by charter rules, I have chosen this, that I might illustrate in my death the principles which I advocated through a long life, (the) equality of Man before his Creator."

Stevenson (Robert Louis, English author), 1850-1894. "What is that?" He felt a sudden pain in his head, and, clasping his forehead with both hands, he exclaimed, "What is that?" and soon after ceased to breathe.[43]

269 The Academy tells this of Stevenson: "An old friend had set his beautiful lines to music:

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 longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

"He said one evening at his happy home in Merton Abbey, before he started on his last journey, that, when out in the Sudan, he crooned himself to sleep night after night with those lines which had been set to music by his friend. It is fitting that he should lie at rest out there in the spacious country, under the wide and starry sky."

Stonehouse (Sir James, English physician and clergyman), 1716-1795. "Precious salvation!"

Strozzi (Filippo, Florentine statesman), 1488-1538. He committed suicide while imprisoned by Cosmo de' Medici, the first Great Duke of Tuscany. As he was dying he cut with the point of his sword upon the mantel-piece, this line from Virgil: "Exariare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor."

Sumner (Charles, distinguished United States Senator and opponent of slavery. He was a man of270 great learning in history, political science and polite literature; and, notwithstanding the rare culture of his mind and tastes, he was always the defender of the poor and enslaved), 1811-1874. "Sit down," to his friend, Hon. Samuel Hooper. As he uttered these words his heart ruptured, a terrible convulsion shook his frame, and death came at once.[44]

A few hours before Sumner died Judge Hoar gave him a message from Ralph Waldo Emerson, to which Sumner replied with some difficulty, "Tell Emerson that I love and revere him." Over and over again he said to Judge Hoar, "Do not let the Civil Rights bill fail!" To the last his mind was engaged upon the great problems of national interest that had occupied him during all the stormy days of the Civil War.

271Svetchine, or Swetchine (Sophia Soymonof, a Russian lady and writer), 1782-1857. Madame Svetchine's last words were, "It will soon be time for mass. They must raise me." She was a most devoted Roman Catholic.

Swartz (Frederick Christian, Missionary in India), 1726-1798. "Had it pleased my Lord to spare me longer I should have been glad. I should then have been able to speak yet a word to the sick and poor; but His will be done! May He, in mercy, but receive me! Into Thy hands I commend my spirit; Thou hast redeemed me, O Thou faithful God." After this his Malabar helpers sang a portion of a hymn and he endeavored to sing with them, but his strength failing, he soon expired in the arms of a native Christian.

Swedenborg (Emanuel, Swedish seer, philosopher and theologian), 1688-1772. "It is well; I thank you; God bless you." He told the Shearsmiths on what day he should die; and the servant 272remarked: "He was as pleased as I should have been if I was to have a holiday, or was going to some merry-making."

His faculties were clear to the last. On Sunday afternoon, the 29th day of March, 1772, hearing the clock strike, he asked his landlady and her maid, who were both sitting at his bed-side, what o'clock it was; and upon being answered it was five o'clock, he said—"It is well; I thank you; God bless you;" and a little after, he gently departed.[45]

White's "Life and Writings of Swedenborg."

Swift (Jonathan, Dean of Saint Patrick's, Dublin, and author of "The Tale of a Tub," and 273"Travels of Lemuel Gulliver"), 1667-1745. "It is folly; they had better leave it alone," to his house-keeper who informed him that the usual bonfires and illuminations were preparing to do honor to his birthday. Some say his last words were, "Ah, a German! a prodigy, admit him!" spoken as Handel was announced.

Talleyrand-Perigord (Charles Maurice, celebrated French diplomatist), 1754-1838, "I am suffering, sire, the pangs of the damned." Said to the king, Louis Phillippe, who enquired his condition.

Louis Blanc (Histoire de Dix Ans. v. 290) says that when Louis Philippe called upon Talleyrand during that prince's last hours, he enquired if he suffered: "Yes, comme un damné," answered Talleyrand; at which the king said under his breath, "What, already?" (Quoi, déjà?)

Talma (François Joseph, "The Garrick of the French Stage"), 1770-1826. "The worst is I can not see."

He was interred, according to his own directions, in the cemetery of Père-la-Chaise, Paris, without any religious ceremony, but funeral orations by Jouy and Arnault were delivered at the grave. To change, it is alleged, his resolution on this score, the Archbishop of Paris had sought an interview, but in vain. Talma's conduct, it is supposed, proceeded from his resentment at the excommunication pronounced by the Roman Catholic Church against actors.

274Tasso (Torquato), 1544-1595. "Lord, into Thy hands I commend my spirit."

When a guest of Rome, lodged in the Vatican, waiting to be crowned with laurel—the first poet so honored since Petrarch—he sighed to flee away and be at rest. Growing very ill, he obtained permission to retire to the Monastery of Saint Onofrio. When the physician informed him that his last hour was near, he embraced him, expressed his gratitude for so sweet an announcement, and then, lifting his eyes, thanked God that after so tempestuous a life he was now brought to a calm haven. The Pope having granted the dying poet a plenary indulgence, he said, "This is the chariot on which I hope to go crowned, not with laurel as a poet into the capital, but with glory as a saint into heaven."

Alger's "Genius of Solitude."

Just before his death he requested Cardinal Cynthia to collect his works and commit them to the flames, especially his "Jerusalem Delivered."

Taylor (Bayard, traveller, poet and lecturer; the translator of Goethe's "Faust"), 1825-1878. "I want, oh, you know what I mean, the stuff of life."

Taylor (Edward T., an American preacher known as "Father Taylor"), 1793-1871. "Why, certainly, certainly!" These words were spoken to a friend who asked him if Jesus was precious. He became a sailor, and was for many years the chaplain of the Seamen's Bethel, Boston.

275Taylor (Jane, writer for the young), 1783-1823. "Are we not children, all of us?"

Taylor (Jeremy, distinguished bishop in the English Church, and author of "Holy Living and Dying." He has been called "The Shakspeare of Divines"), 1613-1667. "My trust is in God."

Taylor (John, "The Water Poet." He followed for a long time the occupation of waterman on the Thames, and later kept a public house in Phœnix Alley, Long Acre), 1580-1654. "How sweet it is to rest!"

Taylor (Rev. Dr. Rowland), —1555. He said as he was going to martyrdom, "I shall this day deceive the worms in Hadley churchyard."[46] And when he came within two miles of Hadley, "Now," said he, "lack I but two stiles; and I am even at my 276Father's house." His last words were, "Lord, receive my spirit."

Taylor (Zachary, American general and twelfth President of the United States), 1784-1850. "I am about to die. I expect the summons soon. I have endeavored to discharge all my official duties faithfully. I regret nothing, but am sorry that I am about to leave my friends."

Tenderden (Lord), "Gentlemen of the jury, you will now consider of your verdict."

Tennent (William, Pastor of Presbyterian Church in Freehold, N. J. His name has been rendered famous by his peculiar experience which at the time attracted the attention of the entire country. During an attack of fever, he fell into a trance which continued three days. He was supposed to be dead, and was prepared for burial; but suddenly he recovered, and gave a description of what he had seen in the Heavenly world. He never doubted to the last day of his life that he had seen the New Jerusalem during the three days of his trance. Elias Boudinot published a circumstantial account of the wonderful vision), 1705-1777. "I am sensible of the violence of my disorder, and that it is accompanied with symptoms of approaching dissolution; but, blessed be God, I have no wish to live, if it should be His will to call me hence."

277Tennyson (Alfred, Lord, Poet-laureate of England), 1809-1892. "I have opened it." These are the last words of the poet that have been made public; later he bade his family farewell, but what he said has never been published.

His last food was taken at a quarter of four, and he tried to read, but could not. He exclaimed, "I have opened it." Whether this referred to the Shakspeare, opened by him at

Hang there like fruit, my soul,
Till the tree die,

which he always called among the tenderest lines in Shakspeare, or whether one of his last poems, of which he was fond, was running through his head I cannot tell:

Fear not, thou, the hidden purpose of that Power
Which alone is great,
Nor the myriad world, his shadow, nor the silent
Opener of the Gate.

He then spoke his last words, a farewell blessing to my mother and myself.

For the next hours the full moon flooded the room and the great landscape outside with light; and we watched in solemn stillness. His patience and quiet strength had power upon those who were nearest and dearest to him; we felt thankful for the love and the utter peace of it all; and his own lines of comfort from "In Memoriam" were strongly borne in upon us. He was quite restful, holding my wife's hand,278 and, as he was passing away, I spoke over him his own prayer, "God accept him! Christ receive him!" because I knew that he would have wished it.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, a Memoir by his son.

Terchout (Adèle—"La Comète"). The gay and thoughtless life of this beautiful young woman ended in sad regrets and bitter remembrances, and yet there is some slight hope that there was with her at last a thought real, if not deep, of better things.

Does any one remember a beautiful girl who went by the nickname of "La Comète," and flashed through the Parisian world during the last year of the Second Empire? She was called "Comet" on account of the exceeding length and loveliness of her golden hair. Théophile Gautier wrote a sonnet to her, Cabanel painted her portrait. Worth dressed her, and Léon Cugnot took her as the model of his statue, "La Baigneuse." Her real name was Adèle Terchout, and just before the Franco-German war broke out she declined an offer of marriage from an elderly duke, with a very ancient escutcheon. At that time she owned one of the finest mansions in the Champs Elysées, had twelve horses in her stables and a bushel of diamonds in her dressing-case. Last week this dazzling creature died in a Parisian hospital absolutely destitute, and the disease which carried her off was the most hideous that could befall a pretty woman—a lupus vorax, or cancer in the face, which totally disfigured her. Like Zola's "Nana,"279 the only vestige left of her beauty when she died was her matchless hair, which measured nearly five feet.

London Truth.

Theophrastus (eminent Greek philosopher. He was a favorite pupil of Aristotle whom he succeeded as President of the Lyceum b. c. 322), about b. c. 374-286. This philosopher's last words are not recorded, but on his death-bed he accused Nature of cruelty. He charged her with having-given a long life to stags and crows, and only a short one to men and women who are so much better able to use for their own good and that of others length of days. He declared that human beings needed long life for the perfection of art. He complained that as soon as he had begun to perceive the beauty of the world he was called upon to die.[47]

Theresa or Teresa ("Saint," Spanish nun, author of a number of devotional books, a visionary of whom many wonderful miracles are related. She was canonized by Pope Gregory XV.), 1515-1582. "Over my spirit flash and float in divine radiancy the bright and glorious visions of the world to which I go." The claim of celestial illumination was made by her throughout her entire life and in the hour of death, but just what were her last words is very uncertain.

280 At her death-bed the bystanders beheld her already in glory; to one she appeared in the midst of angels, another saw floating over her head a heavenly light that descended and hovered about her,[48] another discovered spiritual beings clothed in white entering her cell, another saw a white dove fly from her mouth up to heaven, while at the same time a dead tree near the sacred spot suddenly burst into the fullness of bloom.[49]

281 After her death she appeared to a nun and said that she had not died of disease, but of the intolerable fire of divine love.

Salazar: "Anamuesis Sanctorum Hispanorum."

Thoreau (Henry David, American author and naturalist), 1817-1862. "I leave this world without a regret."

He was bred to no profession; and it is said that he never went to church, never voted, and never paid a tax to the state though he was imprisoned for not doing so. He ate no flesh, drank no wine, never knew the use of tobacco, and never (though a naturalist) used either trap or gun.—Emerson.

He lived in the simplest manner; he sometimes practised the business of land-surveyor. In 1845 he built a small frame house on the shore of Walden Pond, near Concord, where he lived two years as a hermit, in studious retirement. He published an account of this portion of his life, in a small book entitled "Walden."—Lippincott.

Thoreau was a kind and good man, but a multitude of eccentricities separated him from the average life 282of man and removed him from the common sympathy of his race. His little house on the shore of Walden Pond he constructed with his own hands, because he thought that men should be able to do as much as the birds who build their own nests. The entire house cost him less than thirty dollars; and in it he lived at an expense of about twenty-seven cents a week. The house had neither lock nor curtain, and was unprotected day and night. The door was seldom closed, and the window was often wide-open in the midst of a winter storm. "I am no more lonely," he wrote, "than Walden Pond itself. What company has that, I pray? And yet it has not the blue devils, but blue angels in it, in the azure tint of its waters." It is said that he could tell the day of each month by the trees and flowers.

Thurlow (Edward, Lord Chancellor in the reign of George III.), 1732-1806. "I'll be shot if I don't believe I'm dying."

Tiberius (Claudius Nero, Roman Emperor), b. c. 42—a. d. 37. Finding himself dying, he took his signet ring off his finger, and held it awhile, as if he would deliver it to somebody; but put it again on his finger, and lay for some time, with his left hand clenched, and without stirring; when suddenly summoning his attendants, and no one answering the call, he rose; but his strength failing him, he fell down at a short distance from his bed.—Seneca.

283 He died without appointing his successor, but the people cared little for that. They rejoiced at his death, and ran through the streets of Rome crying, "Away with Tiberius to the Tiber."

Tilden (Samuel Jones, distinguished American lawyer and politician. He was twice a representative in the Legislature of the State of New York, a member of two Constitutional Conventions, Governor of the State of New York for two years, and a candidate for the Presidency of the United States), 1814-1886. "Water."

During the closing hours of life he suffered greatly from thirst.

Timrod (Henry, American poet), 1829-1867. "Never mind, I shall soon drink of the river of Eternal Life," on finding that he could no longer swallow water.

"An unquenchable thirst consumed him. Nothing could allay that dreadful torture. He whispered as I placed the water to his lips, 'Don't you remember that passage I once quoted to you from "King John?" I had always such a horror of quenchless thirst, and now I suffer it!' He alluded to the passage:—

And none of you will let the Winter come,
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw!

"Just a day or two before he left on a visit to you at 'Copse Hill,' in one of our evening rambles he had284 repeated the passage to me with a remark on the extraordinary force of the words.

"Katie took my place by him at five o'clock (in the morning), and never again left his side. The last spoonful of water she gave him he could not swallow. 'Never mind,' he said, 'I shall soon drink of the river of eternal Life.'

"Shortly after he slept peacefully in Christ."

From a letter by Timrod's sister.

Tindal (Matthew, celebrated author and infidel), 1657-1733. "O God—if there be a God—I desire Thee to have mercy on me."

Tindal is particularly celebrated for two publications, the first, issued in 1706, being entitled, "The Rights of the Christian Church Asserted against the Romish and all other Priests;" and the other, published in 1730, called, "Christianity as Old as the Creation, or the Gospel a Republication of the Religion of Nature."

Titus (Flavius Vespasianus, Roman Emperor. He was called by his subjects, "The love and delight of the human race"), 40-81. "My life is taken from me, though I have done nothing to deserve it; for there is no action of mine of which I should repent, but one." What that one action was he did not say.

Toplady (Rev. Augustus Montague, English Calvinistic clergyman and vicar of Broad Henbury, 285 Devonshire. He was the author of several controversial works and of a number of beautiful hymns, chief among which is "Rock of Ages"), 1740-1778. "No mortal man can live after the glories which God has manifested to my soul."[50]

Turenne (Henry de la, Vicomte, famous French general, killed at Salzbach in July, 1675), 1611-1675. "I do not mean to be killed to-day." Said just before he was struck by a cannon-ball.

Tyndale, or Tindale (William, the venerable martyr and translator of the Bible), 1484-1536. "Lord, open the eyes of the King of England." He was first strangled and afterward burnt.

The merits of Tyndale must ever be recognized 286and honored by all who enjoy the English Bible, for their authorized version of the New Testament has his for its basis. He made good his early boast, that plough-boys should have the Word of God. His friends speak of his great simplicity of heart, and commend his abstemious habits, his zeal and his industry; while even the imperial procurator who prosecuted him styles him "homo, doctus, pius et bonus."

Tyndall (John, English physicist, author of many scientific books, chief among which are "Heat Considered as a Mode of Motion," "Forms of Water in Clouds and Rivers, Ice and Glaciers," and "Floating Matter in the Air"), 1820- . It is uncertain what were the last words of Prof. Tyndall, but the last words which he wrote for publication were in response to a request from an American syndicate for a Christmas message to his American friends. The message closed with these words: "I choose the nobler part of Emerson, when, after various disenchantments, he exclaims, 'I covet truth!' The gladness of true heroism visits the heart of him who is really competent to say that."

Tyng (Dudley A., a young and gifted clergyman whose last words furnished the inspiration for Rev. Dr. Duffield's popular hymn, "Stand up for Jesus"). "Know Him? He is my Saviour—my all. Father, stand up for Jesus!"

Leaving his study for a moment, he went to the287 barn floor, where a mule was at work on a horse-power, shelling corn. Patting him on the neck, the sleeve of his silk study gown caught in the cogs of the wheel, and his arm was torn out by the roots. His death occurred in a few hours. When he was dying his father said to him, "Dudley, your mother has your hand in hers, can you press it a little that she may know you recognize her?" The young man made no response. Later his father said, "Dudley, do you know the Lord Jesus Christ?" He started, and said, "Know Him? He is my Saviour—my all. Father, stand up for Jesus!"

Usher (James, Archbishop), 1580-1656. "Lord, forgive my sins; especially my sins of omission." His last words are sometimes given thus, "God be merciful to me, a sinner."

Valdes (Gabriel de la Concepcion, commonly known as Placido),—1844. "Here! fire here!"

Valdes was a full-blooded negro. He was executed with twenty other persons, for conspiracy to liberate the black population, the slaves of the Spanish inhabitants of Cuba. The execution took place at Havana, July, 1844. Seated on a bench, with his back turned, as ordered, to the soldiers appointed to shoot him, he said: "Adios, mundo; no hay piedad para mi. Soldados, fuego." "Adieu, O world; here is no pity for me. Soldiers, fire." Five balls entered his body. He arose, turned to the soldiers, and said,288 his face wearing an expression of superhuman courage:—"Will no one have pity on me? Here!" pointing to his heart, "fire here!" At that instant two balls pierced his heart and he fell dead. Little is known of him but his death, which was described in the Heraldo, of Madrid. "The Poems of a Cuban Slave," edited by Dr. Madden, are believed to have been the composition of the gifted Valdes.

Vanderbilt (Cornelius "Commodore," President of New York Central Railroad under whose management that road was consolidated with the Hudson River Railroad. He laid the foundation of an extensive railroad system and of an immense family fortune), 1794-1877. "Yes, yes, sing that for me. I am poor and needy," to one who was singing to him the familiar hymn, "Come, ye sinners, poor and needy."

Vane (Sir Henry), 1612-1662. "Blessed be God, I have kept a conscience void of offence to this day, and have not deserted the righteous cause for which I suffer."

Vane was condemned for treason, and beheaded June 14, 1662.

Vane, young in years, but in sage counsels old,
Than whom a better senator ne'er held
The helm of Rome, when gowns, not arms, repelled
The fierce Epirat and the African bold,
Both spiritual power and civil thou hast learned:
Therefore on thy firm hand religion leans
In peace, and reckons thee her eldest son.—Milton.

289Vanini (Lucilio), 1585-1619. "Illi in extremis prae timore imbellis sudor; ego imperturbatus morior." See Grammond, Hist. Gal. iii. 211.

After travelling through Germany, Holland and England, he went to Toulouse, where he was arrested and condemned by the parliament to be burned alive. He wrote "Amphitheatrum Æternæ Providentiæ," and "De Admirandis Naturæ Arcanis," for which latter work he suffered in 1619.

Vespasian (Titus Flavius, Roman Emperor), 9-79. "An Emperor ought to die standing." A short time before this he said in attending to the apotheosis of the emperors, "I suppose I shall soon be a god."

Veuster de (Joseph, the "Leper-Priest of Molokai." When he became "religious" he took the name of Damien, after the second of two brothers, Cosmos and Damien, both physicians, martyrs and saints in the Roman Catholic Church. He is commonly known as "Father Damien").—1889. "Well! God's will be done. He knows best. My work with all its faults and failures, is in His hands, and before Easter I shall see my Saviour."

There has been much discussion with regard to the character and work of Damien. The Rev. C. M. Hyde. D. D., of Honolulu, a missionary of high repute, and who had personal knowledge of the leper-290priest, wrote a letter to the Rev. H. B. Gage, which was published in "The Sydney Presbyterian" of October 26, 1889. In that letter he said:

"The simple truth is, he (Father Damien) was a coarse, dirty man, headstrong and bigoted. He was not sent to Molokai, but went there without orders; did not stay at the leper settlement (before he became himself a leper), but circulated freely over the whole island (less than half the island is devoted to the lepers), and he came often to Honolulu. He had no hand in the reforms and improvements inaugurated, which were the work of our Board of Health, as occasion required and means were provided. He was not a pure man in his relations with women, and the leprosy of which he died should be attributed to his vices and carelessness. Others have done much for the lepers, our own ministers, the government physicians, and so forth, but never with the Catholic idea of meriting eternal life."

To the statements of Dr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson replied in most violent language, of which the following is a sample:

"You remember that you have done me several courtesies for which I was prepared to be grateful. But there are duties which come before gratitude, and offences which justly divide friends, far more acquaintances. Your letter to the Rev. H. B. Gage is a document which, in my sight, if you had filled me with bread when I was starving, if you had set up291 to nurse my father when he lay a-dying, would yet absolve me from the bonds of gratitude."

After this and more vituperation follows an analysis of Dr. Hyde's letter, and an elaborate defense of Father Damien. Men will differ in their opinions of the leper-priest, and, no doubt, much may be said on both sides of the case; but to the compiler of this work, who, in his own home, heard the story in all its details from the lips of Dr. Hyde, the beatification of Damien is, to say the least, a grotesque absurdity.

Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria, Queen of England and Ireland and Empress of India), 1819-1901. It is said, though upon what authority the compiler is unable to discover, that the last words of Queen Victoria were, "Oh, that peace may come." It is understood that the Queen was opposed to the war in South Africa, and her last words would seem to indicate that her thoughts, even in the hour of death, were busy with the unhappy conflict.

Vidocq (Eugène François, famous French detective), 1775-1857. "How great is the forgiveness for such a life!"

He was successively a thief, soldier, deserter, and gambler before he entered the public service, and was often imprisoned for his offences. About 1810 he enlisted in the police at Paris. His success as a detective has scarcely been paralleled in history.

Lippincott: "Biographical History."

292He retired to Paris and there lived quietly in lodgings until 1857, when, at the great age of eighty-two, he was struck down with paralysis. On finding his end near, he sent for a confessor, and—so whimsical a thing is human nature—he greatly edified the holy man by dying like a saint. One trifling peccadillo he perhaps forgot to mention. The breath had scarcely left his body, when ten lovely damsels, each provided with a copy of his will, which left her all his property arrived. Alas for all the ten! Vidocq had always loved the smiles of beauty, and had obtained them by a gift which cost him nothing. He had left his whole possessions to his landlady.

Smith: "Romance of History."

Villars de (Claude Louis Hector, famous French general), 1653-1734. "I always deemed him more fortunate than myself." Said to his confessor, who told him that the Duke of Berwick had perished by a cannon ball.

Villiers (George, First Duke of Buckingham. He was assassinated by John Felton in 1628), 1592-1628. "God's wounds! the villain hath killed me."

John Felton, gentleman, having watched his opportunity, thrust a long knife, with a white heft, he had secretly about him, with great strength and violence, into his breast, under his left pap, cutting the diaphragma and lungs, and piercing the very heart itself. The Duke having received the stroke, and293 instantly clapping his right hand on his sword-hilt, cried out, "God's wounds! the villain hath killed me."—Book of Death.

Virgil (Publius Virgilius Maro, most illustrious of Latin poets), b. c. 70-19.

Upon a visit to Megara, a town in the neighborhood of Athens, he was seized with a languor, which increased during the ensuing voyage; and he expired a few days after landing at Brundisium, on the 22d of September in the fifty-second year of his age. He desired that his body might be carried to Naples, where he had passed many happy years; and that the following distich, written in his last sickness, should be inscribed upon his tomb:

Mantua me genuit: Calabri rapuere, tenet nunc
Parthenope, Cecerie pascua, rura, duces.

Vitellius (Aulus, Emperor of Rome), 15-69. "Yet I was once your emperor," to the soldiers of Vespasian who were putting him to death by a lingering torture whilst they were dragging him by a horse into the Tiber.

Voltaire (a name capriciously assumed by François Marie Arouet, and made by him more celebrated than any other of which we read in the literary history of the eighteenth century), 1694-1778. "Adieu my dear Marand; I am dying," said to his valet.

According to a document discovered by Mr. Schuyler, American Consul at Moscow, bearing on294 the death of Voltaire, and which was forwarded to M. Taine, and published in the Journal des Debats, the last words of Voltaire were, "Take care of Maria," meaning his niece, Madame Denys. These words were addressed to one of his servants.

It has also been said that his last words were: "For the love of God, don't mention that Man—allow me to die in peace!" to one who called his attention to our Saviour.

There are several widely divergent accounts of the last hours of Voltaire, and perhaps it is not possible to know just what measure of truth is to be found in any one of them. It is said that on his death-bed he cursed D'Alembert and denounced his infidel associates; that he made in the presence of Abbé Gaultier, the Abbé Mignot, and the Marquis de Villeveille a declaration of his wish to be reconciled to "the church;" that he spent much time in alternately praying and blaspheming. These facts, if facts they really are, rest upon the statements of Mons. Tronchin, the Protestant physician from Geneva, who attended him almost to the last, and who was so horrified at what he witnessed that he said, "Pour voir toutes les furies d'Oreste, il n'y avait qu'a se trouver a la mort de Voltaire." The Marechal de Richelieu, also, was terrified at what he saw and heard, and left the bed-side of Voltaire declaring that his nerves were not strong enough to endure the strain. Tronchin's statements are denied by Vilette and Monke, who represent the last295 hours of the great Frenchman as calm and peaceful. The exact truth will, it is most likely, never be known beyond all question, and yet, to the compiler of this book, the weight of evidence seems to be with Tronchin rather than with those who have impeached his testimony.

Wagner (Richard Wilhelm, German composer, among whose works are "Rheingold," "Valkyria," "Siegfried" and "The Twilight of the Gods"), 1813-1883. "Mir ist sehr schlecht."

At three o'clock he went to dinner with the family, but just as they were assembled at table and the soup was being served he suddenly sprang up, cried out, "Mir ist sehr schlecht (I feel very bad)," and fell back dead from an attack of heart disease.

Waller (Edmund, English poet), 1605-1687. He died repeating lines from Virgil.

Warham (William, Archbishop of Canterbury), 1450-1532. "That is enough to last till I get to Heaven." Said to his servant who told him he had still left thirty pounds.

Warner (Charles Dudley, author and lecturer), 1829-1900. "I am not well, and should like to lie down—will you call me in ten minutes? Thank you. You are very kind—in ten minutes—remember!"

Among Mr. Warner's acquaintances was a colored man, to whom he gave books to encourage his296 desire to read, particularly books connected with the history of the colored race, upon which Mr. Warner was an authority.

Mr. Warner probably intended to call on this man, as he was in the neighborhood of his house when he was stricken. Feeling ill, he asked permission at a house to sit down, then to lie down, requesting to be called in ten minutes. When the woman of the house went to call him he was dead.

Washington (George, "the Father of His Country,"[51] and the first President of the United States), 1732-1799. "It is well." Some say his last words were, "I am about to die, and I am not afraid to die."

Washington said to Mr. Lear, his secretary. "I am just going; have me decently buried, and do not let my body be put into the vault until three days after I am dead—do you understand me?" On his secretary's replying that he did, the dying man added, "It is well." About an hour later he quietly withdrew his hand from Mr. Lear's, and felt his own pulse, and immediately expired without a struggle.

297 A coffin of mahogany, lined with lead and covered within and without with black velvet, was made on the following day at Alexandria. On a plate at the head of the coffin was inscribed "Surge ad Judicium;" on another, in the middle, "Gloria Deo," while on a small silver plate in the form of an American shield appeared the inscription:

Born Feb. 22,1732.
Died Dec. 14, 1799.

His body was first placed in the family vault on the Mount Vernon estate. In his will, Washington left directions and plans for a new vault, which was built afterward, and to which his remains were transferred in 1832. The front of his tomb has an ante-chamber, built of red brick, about twelve feet in height, with a large iron gateway. It was erected for the accommodation of two marble coffins, or sarcophagi, one for Washington, the other for Mrs. Washington; they stand in full view of the visitor. Over the gateway, upon a marble slab, are the words:

"Within this enclosure rest the remains of General George Washington."

Over the vault door inside, are the words:

"He that Believeth in Me, Though he were Dead, yet Shall he Live Again."

Napoleon, who was then First Consul of the French, issued the following order under date of298 February 18, 1800: "Washington is no more! That great man fought against tyranny. He firmly established the liberty of his country. His memory will be ever dear to the French people, as it must be to every friend of freedom in the two worlds, and especially to the French soldiers, who, like him and the Americans, bravely fight for liberty and equality. The First Consul in consequence orders that, for ten days, black crepes shall be suspended to all the standards and flags of the Republic."

Watts (Isaac, English divine and sacred poet. He is the author of many beautiful and popular hymns), 1674-1748. "It is a great mercy to me that I have no manner of fear or dread of death. I could, if God please, lay my head back and die without terror this afternoon."

Webster (Daniel), 1782-1852. "I still live!" This was his last coherent utterance. Later he muttered something about poetry, and his son repeated to him one of the stanzas of "Gray's Elegy." He heard it and smiled.[52]

He inquired whether it were likely that he should 299again eject blood from his stomach before death, and being told that it was improbable, he asked, "Then what shall you do?" Being answered that he would be supported by stimulants, and rendered as easy as possible by the opiates that had suited him so well, he inquired, at once, if the stimulant should not be given immediately; anxious again to know if the hand of death were not already upon him. And on being told that it would not be then given, he replied, "When you give it to me, I shall know that I may drop off at once."

Being satisfied on this point, and that he should, therefore, have a final warning, he said a moment afterwards, "I will, then, put myself in a position to obtain a little repose." In this he was successful. He had intervals of rest to the last; but on rousing from them he showed that he was still intensely anxious to preserve his consciousness, and to watch for the moment and act of his departure, so as to comprehend it. Awaking from one of these slumbers, late in the night, he asked distinctly if he were alive, and on being assured that he was, and that his family was collected around his bed, he said in a perfectly natural tone, as if assenting to what had been told him, because he himself perceived that it was true, "I still live." These were his last coherent and intelligible words. At twenty-three minutes before three o'clock, without a struggle or a moan, all signs of life ceased to be visible.

Louis Gaylord Clark.

300Webster (Thomas, Professor of Geology in the London University, and author of "Encyclopædia of Domestic Economy"), 1773-1844. "Examine it for yourself."

Webster (William, English clergyman and author of "The Life of General Monk"), 1689-1758. "Peace."

Weed (Thurlow, American journalist and politician. He wrote "Letters from Europe and the West Indies," and for many years edited with marked ability, "The Albany Evening Journal"), 1797-1882. "I want to go home."

During his last hours his mind wandered, and he thought himself in conversation with President Lincoln and General Scott with regard to the Southern Confederacy.

Wesley (Charles, English hymn-writer whose sacred songs are sung, in original or translation, all over the Christian world. He is the author of "Love divine, all love excelling," "Jesus, lover of my soul," and "Christ, the Lord, is risen to-day"), 1708-1788. "I shall be satisfied with Thy likeness—satisfied!"

Wesley (John, founder of the Methodist Episcopal Church), 1703-1791. "The best of all is God is with us."

His body lay in a kind of state in his chapel at London the day previous to his interment, dressed in301 his clerical habit, with gown, cassock, and band, the old clerical cap on his head, a Bible in one hand, and a white handkerchief in the other. The funeral service was read by one of his old preachers. When he came to the part of the service, "Forasmuch as it hath pleased God to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother," his voice changed, and he substituted the word "father;" and the feeling with which he did this was such, that the congregation, who were shedding silent tears, burst at once into loud weeping.—"Southey's Life of Wesley."

Wesley (Sarah, wife of Charles Wesley). "Open the gates! Open the gates!"

Whitaker (William, English theologian, professor of Divinity at Cambridge, and translator of the "Liturgy of the Church" and "Nowell's Catechism" into Greek), 1547-1595. "Life or death is welcome to me; and I desire not to live, but so far as I may be serviceable to God and His church."

White (Joseph Blanco. In Spain, where he was born, he was called Blanco, which he exchanged for its English equivalent. He wrote many interesting and useful books, but will be remembered longest for his exquisite sonnet, entitled "Night"), 1775-1841. "Now I die."

He remained some days longer, chiefly in the state of one falling asleep, until the morning of the 20th, when he awoke, and with a firm voice and great302 solemnity of manner, spoke only these words: "Now I die." He sat as one in the attitude of expectation, and about two hours afterward—it was as he had said.

There was no apparent pain or struggle, and it was an inexpressible relief to behold, shortly after, the singular beauty and repose of features lately so wan and suffering; but there took place in the act of expiring, what we had observed in other cases after long exhaustion, but had never seen described. A sudden darkness beneath the surface, like the clouding of a pure liquid from within; the immediate shadow of Death was passing from the forehead downwards, and leaving all clear again behind it as it moved along.

Thom's "Life of Joseph Blanco White."

Compare the death-bed of the Deist, Joseph Blanco White, with that of poor Keats, and I think it must be admitted that both in faith and fortitude the former has immeasurably the advantage. It ought, however, to be recollected that Blanco White was older, and had had more time to gain strength of mind. But he was also of a more religious turn from the first.

Memoirs and Letters of Sara Coleridge.

Whitefield (George, founder of the Calvinistic Methodist Church, and chaplain to the Countess of Huntingdon), 1714-1770. "I am dying." He was standing by the open window gasping for303 breath, as he uttered these words. A friend persuaded him to sit down in a chair, and have a cloak thrown over him, and thus seated he quietly passed away.

"David Hume pronounced Whitefield the most ingenious preacher he had ever heard, and said it was worth while to go twenty miles to hear him. But perhaps the greatest proof of his persuasive powers was when he drew from Benjamin Franklin's pocket the money which that clear, cool reasoner had determined not to give."—Robert Southey.

Whitman (Walt, American poet and army nurse), 1819-1892. "O, he's a dear, good fellow," said of Thomas Donaldson, one of his most enthusiastic friends, and later his biographer.

There was a most pathetic incident connected with Mr. Whitman's death. It was related to me by "Warry" Fritzinger, his nurse. Warry had arranged a rope above Mr. Whitman's head, in the bed, which was attached to a bell below. He would pull this rope after he became weak, and thus ring the bell to attract attention. Prior to this time he had used his heavy cane to pound the floor with. This brought assistance at once. Just before he died, as the great change came over him—he was conscious that it was a great change, a something unusual (Mrs. Davis and Warry were by his side)—he seemed as if groping for something. Death had called for him, and as the call came, he attempted to 304 reach above his head with one of his hands and feel for the rope, as if to call for help. In an instant the arm dropped, and soon he was dead.

Donaldson: "Walt Whitman the Man."

Whitman has, amid the fleshly and physical poems, much that is deeply spiritual; amid the tuneless and formless, much noble thought fitly voiced. The higher mood and the higher work may be seen in "O Captain! my Captain!" "Reconciliation," "Vigil on the Fields," "The City Dead-House," "Song of the Broad Axe," "Proud Music of the Storm," "The Mystic Trumpeter," "Seashore Memories," and the death-carols of the "Passage to India."

Welsh: "Digest of English and American Literature."

Whittier (John Greenleaf, distinguished American poet), 1807-1892. "I have known thee all the time," to his niece in response to her question, "Do you know me?"

Others say his last words were, "Give my love to the world."

Upon the silver coffin-plate was the inscription: "John Greenleaf Whittier, December 17, 1807, September 7, 1892." The face of the dead man wore an expression of peace and perfect repose. All around his head and body was a delicate fringe of maidenhair fern. Directly over his breast was a superb wreath of white roses, carnations and maidenhair ferns from that other loved poet and dear friend, for305 whom Whittier wrote his last poem, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes. Upon the lid was a cluster of white carnations from Mrs. Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward, and at the foot were two crossed palms with white lilies. At the last were roses and maidenhair ferns. A broad white satin ribbon encircled the palms and sprays, and upon the ends, delicately painted, were the inscriptions: "In memory of John Greenleaf Whittier, September 7, 1892," and this verse:

"Some sweet morning, yet in God's
Dim aeonian periods,
Joyful I shall wake to see
Those I love, who rest in Thee.
And to them, in Thee allied,
Shall my soul be satisfied."

Upon the card were these words: "In memoriam of my husband's dear friend. This verse of Andrew Rykman's prayer was used for consolation by him who wrote it in the hour of death. Mrs. Daniel Lathrop."

N. Y. Tribune, September 12, 1892.

Wieland (Christoph Martin, celebrated German poet, first translator of Shakspeare's works into the German language, founder and editor of the "Deutscher Mercur." His most celebrated poem is "Oberon"), 1733-1813. "To sleep—to die."

Wilberforce (William, British statesman and philanthropist), 1759-1833. "Heaven!" Some say his last words were: "I now feel so weaned306 from earth, my affections so much in heaven, that I can leave you all without regret; yet I do not love you less, but God more."

Wild (Jonathan, noted highwayman, the hero of many a chap-book of his day, and the hero and title of a novel by Fielding), 1682-1725. "Lord Jesus receive my soul!" Unfortunately there is some doubt as to the genuineness of these pious words, for they come to us through the chaplain of the prison, Rev. Thomas Pureney, a man of whom we have this description in Charles Whibley's "Book of Scoundrels:"

"Pureney yielded without persuasion to the pleasures denied his cloth. There was ever a fire to extinguish at his throat, nor could he veil his wanton eye at the sight of a pretty wench. Again and again the lust of preaching urged him to repent, yet he slid back upon his past gaiety, until 'Parson Pureney' became a by-word. Dismissed from Newmarket in disgrace, he wandered the country up and down in search of a pulpit, but so infamous became the habit of his life that only in prison could he find an audience fit and responsive."

Willard (Frances Elizabeth, American reformer and temperance advocate), 1839—. "How beautiful to be with God."

Shortly before Frances Willard's death she took notice of Hoffman's picture of Christ on the wall, which had been given to her by Lady Henry Somer307set, and directed that it be taken back to Lady Henry with this inscription: "Only the golden rule of Christ can bring the golden age of man." Her last words were "How beautiful to be with God."

Rev. C. C. Carpenter.

William I. (of England, surnamed "The Conqueror"), 1025-1087. "I commend myself to the blessed Lady Mary, hoping by her intercessions to be reconciled to her most dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ."

William III. (of England), 1650-1702. "Can this last long?" to his physician.

Wilmot (John, Earl of Rochester, witty and profligate courtier and author, and a great favorite with Charles II. Notwithstanding his evil life, he was a brave soldier and had many attractive qualities), 1647-1680. "The only objection against the Bible is a bad life."

Wilson (Alexander, distinguished ornithologist), 1766-1813. His last words are not recorded, but just before his death he asked to be buried where the birds might sing over his grave.[53]

308Winkelried (Arnold von, Swiss patriot who broke the Austrian phalanx at the battle of Sempach in 1385, by rushing against the points of their spears, and gathering within his arms as many as he could. He fell pierced with many wounds, but the Swiss were victorious). "Friends, I am going to lay down my life to procure you victory. All I request is that you provide for my family. Follow me and imitate my example."

A column surmounted by a lion, erected on the five hundredth anniversary of the victory marks the spot where Arnold von Winkelried fell.

Wishart (George), 1502-1546. "For the sake of the true gospel, given one by the grace of God, I suffer this day with a glad heart. Behold and consider my visage. Ye shall not see me change color. I fear not this fire." He was burned at the stake for preaching the doctrines of the Reformation.

A few moments before he uttered his last words the executioner said to him, "Sir, I pray you to forgive me, for I am not guilty of your death," to which the martyr, having replied, "Come hither to me," and then kissed him on the cheek, said: "Lo, here is a token that I forgive thee."

Witt (Cornelius de). "This man, who had bravely served his country in war, and who had been invested with the highest dignities, was delivered into the hands of the executioner, and torn in pieces by the most inhuman torments. Amidst the severe309 agonies which he endured he frequently repeated an ode of Horace,[54] which contained sentiments suited to his deplorable condition."—Hume.

Wolcott, or Wolcot (John, "Peter Pindar," witty and scurrilous satiric poet. "The most unsparing calumniator of his age."—Sir Walter Scott), 1738-1819. "Give me back my youth," to Taylor who had asked him "Is there anything I can do for you?"

Wolcott is well described by Gifford in these lines:

Come, then, all filth, all venom, as thou art,
Rage in thy eye, and rancour in thy heart;
Come with thy boasted arms, spite, malice, lies,
Smut, scandal, execrations, blasphemies.

Wolfe (Charles, Irish clergyman and poet, author of "Burial of Sir John Moore," which is regarded as one of the most finished poems of its kind in the English language), 1791-1823. "Close this eye, the other is closed already; and now farewell!"

On going to bed he felt very drowsy; and soon after the stupor of death began to creep over him. He began to pray for all his dearest friends individually; but his voice faltering, he could only say—"God bless them all! The peace of God and of Jesus Christ overshadow them, dwell in them, reign in them!" "My peace," said he, addressing his sister (the peace I now feel), "Be with you!"—"Thou, O God, wilt keep him in perfect peace whose 310mind is stayed on Thee." His speech again began to fail, and he fell into a slumber; but whenever his senses were recalled he returned to prayer. He repeated part of the Lord's prayer, but was unable to proceed; and at last, with a composure scarcely credible at such a moment, he whispered to the dear relative who hung over his death-bed, "Close this eye, the other is closed already; and now farewell!" Then, having again uttered part of the Lord's prayer, he fell asleep.

Rev. John A. Russell: "Remains of Rev. Charles Wolfe."

Wolfe (James, a celebrated English officer, killed in the battle of Quebec), 1726-1759. "I die happy." On being told of the defeat of the French.

Some give his last words thus: "Support me, let not my brave soldiers see me drop; the day is ours! Oh! keep it!" Said to those who were near him when he received his wound. He feared the effect of his death upon his troops.

Wollstonecraft (Mary, afterwards Mrs. Godwin, English authoress), 1759-1797. "I know what you are thinking of, but I have nothing to communicate on the subject of religion," to her husband who was endeavoring to tell her death was near and to sound her mind in the matter of a spiritual world.

Wolsey (Thomas, known in history as Cardinal Wolsey), 1471-1530. "Master Kingston, farewell! 311 My time draweth on fast. Forget not what I have said and charged you withal; for when I am dead ye shall, peradventure, understand my words better."

D'Aubigné's "History of the Reformation."

On the morning of the second day, as Cavendish was watching near Wolsey, he inquired the hour, and being told eight o'clock,—"That cannot be," he replied, "for at eight o'clock you will lose your master: my time is at hand, and I must depart this world." His confessor, who was standing near, requested Cavendish to enquire if he would be confessed. "What have you to do with that?" answered the Cardinal, angrily; but was appeased by the interference of the confessor. He continued to grow weaker all that day: about four o'clock the next morning, he asked for some refreshment, which having received, and made his final confession, Sir William Kingston entered his room, and enquired how he felt himself: "I tarry," said the dying man, "but the pleasure of God, to render up my poor soul into His hands. I have now been eight days together troubled with a continual flux and fever, a species of disease which, if it do not remit its violence within that period, never fails to terminate in death." Then follows his message to the King, concluding with, "Had I served my God as diligently as I have served the King, He would not have given me over in my grey hairs." He then continued, for a short time, to give Sir William some advice, concluding with, "Forget not what I have said; and when I am gone,312 call it often to mind." Towards the conclusion, his accents began to falter; at the end, his eyes became motionless, and his sight failed. The abbot was summoned to administer the extreme unction, and the yeomen of the guard were called to see him die. As the clock struck eight he expired, on the 29th of November, 1530.

Welby: "Predictions Realized."

He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one;
Exceeding wise, fair spoken and persuading;
Lofty and sour to them that loved him not,
But, to those men that sought him, sweet as summer.
And though he was unsatisfied in getting,
(Which was a sin), yet in bestowing, madam.
He was most princely.—Shakspeare.

Wood (Rev. John George, English naturalist, author of "Man and Beast Here and Hereafter"), 1827-1889. "Give me a large cup of tea."

At six o'clock he complained of thirst and asked for a cup of milk. Still his mind was perfectly clear, for, finding that he could no longer raise his head to drink, he asked whether there happened to be an invalid's cup in the house, and, finding that there was not, suggested that a small milk jug would answer the purpose instead. This was procured, and he drank his milk, asking immediately afterward for a large cup of tea, which he drank also. And almost immediately afterward he turned his head upon one side, and quietly passed away.[55]Theodore Wood.

313Woodville (William, English physician and author of a work on "Medical Botany"), 1752-1805. "I shall not live more than two days, therefore make haste," last recorded words said to a carpenter who had come to measure him for a coffin.

Woolston (Thomas, English theologian), 1669-1733. "This is a struggle which all men must go through, and which I bear not only with patience, but with willingness."

Woolton (John. Bishop of Exeter), 1535-1594. "A Bishop ought to die on his legs." He insisted upon standing up to die, as did also the Rev. Patrick Bronté.

Wordsworth (William, distinguished English poet), 1770-1850. "God bless you! Is that you Dora?"

Mrs. Wordsworth, with a view of letting him know what the opinion of his medical advisers was concerning his case, said gently to him, "William, you are going to Dora!" More than twenty-four hours afterward one of his nieces came into the room, and was drawing aside the curtain of his chamber,314 and then, as if awakening from a quiet sleep, he said, "Is that you Dora?"[56]

Memoirs of Wordsworth, Vol. ii, p. 506.

315Wotton (Sir Henry, English diplomatist, author of some very beautiful short poems and of a number of books, chief among which are "The State of Christendom," and "The Characters of Some of the English Kings"), 1568-1639. "I now draw near to the harbor of death—that harbor that will rescue me from all the future storms and waves of this restless world. I praise God, I am willing to leave it, and expect a better—that world wherein dwelleth righteousness, and I long for it."

Wyatt (Sir Thomas, the younger), 1520-1554. On the scaffold he said to the people: "Whereas it is said abroad that I should accuse my Lady Elizabeth's grace and my Lord Courtenay; it is not so, good people, for I assure you that neither they nor any other now yonder in bold endurance was privy of my rising a commotion before I began." Weston, his confessor, shouted, "Believe him not, good people! he confessed otherwise before the council." Wyatt answered: "That which I said then I said, but that which I say now is true." These were Wyatt's last words.

Wycherley (William, author of "The Plain-dealer," "The Country Wife," and several other comedies), 1640-1715. "Promise me you will never again marry an old man," said to his wife.

When he was over seventy years old he married a young woman, but he survived his marriage only eleven days.

316Ximenes de Cisneros (Francisco, Spanish cardinal), 1719-1774. "This is death."

Yancey (William Lowndes, American politician, secessionist and commissioner to Europe to secure recognition of the Southern Confederacy. He was called "The Fire-Eater"), 1815-1863. "Sarah," his wife's name.

Yvart (J. A. Victor, called "The Arthur Young of France"), 1764-1831. "Nature, how lovely thou art!"

Zane (Giacomo, a Venetian poet), 1529-1560. "I should like to live." There is dispute about these words; some writers say his last words were: "I should not like to live."

Zeisberger (David, German missionary among the American Indians, author of a number of books in the language of the Delaware Indians), 1721-1808. "I am going, my people, to rest from all my labors and to be at home with the Lord. He has never forsaken me in distress, and will not forsake me now. I have reviewed my whole life, and found that there is much to be forgiven."

Zeno, or Zenon (Greek philosopher and founder of the school of the Stoics), about b. c. 355—about b. c. 257. "Earth, dost thou demand me? I am ready." Last recorded words.

317 The occasion of the philosopher's death is related as follows: "One day, as he was coming out of his school, he ran against some object and broke his finger; this he considered as an intimation from the gods that he must soon die; and, immediately striking the ground with his hand, he said, 'Earth, dost thou demand me? I am ready.' Instead of seeking to have his finger healed, he deliberately strangled himself.

"He had taught publicly forty-eight years without intermission; and, reckoning from the time when he commenced his studies under Crates, the Cynic, he had devoted himself to philosophy for sixty-eight years."—Fenelon.

Zimmermann (Johann Georg von, eminent Swiss physician of the eighteenth century, and author of a famous essay on "Solitude"), 1728-1795. "I am dying; leave me alone."

He was completely deranged for some time before his death.

Zinzendorf (Nicolaus Ludwig, Count and Lord of Zinzendorf and Pottendorf, founder of the Moravian Church, and the author of a number of beautiful hymns), 1700-1760. Around his bed more than a hundred members of the community gathered to receive his blessing, and hear his last council and encouragement. When he had spoken kindly to them all he said to his son-in-law: "Now, my dear318 son, I am going to the Saviour. I am ready; I am quite resigned to the will of my Lord. If He is no longer willing to make use of me here I am quite ready to go to Him, for there is nothing more in my way." His son-in-law offered prayer, and as he closed with the petition, "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace," the great and holy man fell asleep in his Saviour.

Zwingle, or Zwinglius (a Swiss Reformer who was killed at the battle of Cappel), 1484-1531. "Can this be considered a calamity? Well! they can, indeed, kill the body, but they are not able to kill the soul." Said after receiving a mortal wound.


Great men may by their courage and virtue fortify us against the terrors of death, if by their vices, and fears begotten of vices, they do not distress us ten-fold more than we were distressed before; they may point the way from a present twilight to the infinite day-dawn beyond; and yet in the end must every pilgrim choose for himself the road over which he is to journey. The foregoing pages give only the experiences of others. Nevertheless, they may soften in our minds the dark outlines of the landscape, and cast a ray of light into the great unseen. Happy is the soul that in an age of doubt and uncertainty can trust, even though it be with trembling faith, One greater than the greatest, and Who has named Himself the Resurrection and the Life!

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.



Casta suo gladium cum traderet Arria Pæto
Quem de visceribus traxerat ipsa suis,
Si qua fides, vulnus, quod feci, non dolet, inquit;
Sed quod tu facies, hoc mihi, Pæte, dolet.

[2] Charles I., of England, put on two shirts the morning of his execution, saying, "If I tremble with cold, my enemies will say it was from fear: I will not expose myself to such reproaches."—Lingard: "History of England."

[3] See Voltaire's "Account of the Death of the Chevalier de la Barre."

[4] Enter the King, Salisbury, Warwick, to the Cardinal in bed.

King. How fares my lord? speak, Beaufort, to thy sovereign.

Car. If thou be'st death, I'll give thee England's treasure, Enough to purchase such another island, So thou wilt let me live and feel no pain.

King. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life, Where death's approach is seen so terrible!

War. Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks to thee:

Car. Bring me unto my trial when you will. Died he not in his bed? where should he die? Can I make men live, whether they will or no? O, torture me no more! I will confess. Alive again? Then show me where he is: I'll give a thousand pound to look upon him. He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded them. Comb down his hair; look, look! it stands upright, Like lime-twigs set to catch my winged soul. Give me some drink; and bid the apothecary Bring the strong poison that I bought of him.

King. O thou eternal Mover of the heavens, Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch! O, beat away the busy meddling fiend That lays strong siege unto this wretch's soul, And from his bosom purge this black despair!

War. See how the pangs of death do make him grin!

Sal. Disturb him not; let him pass peaceably.

King. Peace to his soul, if God's good pleasure be! Lord cardinal, if thou think'st on heaven's bliss, Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy hope. He dies, and makes no sign. O God, forgive him!

War. So bad a death argues a monstrous life.

King. Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. Close up his eyes and draw the curtain close; And let us all to meditation.

Exeunt.    —King Henry VI, Part II, Act iii.

[5] Lablache (1794-1858), the celebrated French singer and actor, whose wonderful voice, embracing two full octaves, has been described as firmer and more expressive than that of any singer of his time or before it, attempted to sing upon his death-bed. He bade his son go to the piano and accompany him. The young man, struggling with emotion, obeyed. Lablache sang in English the first stanza of Home, Sweet Home. At the second stanza the muscles of the throat refused to move; not a note could he sound. In distress and great amazement he gazed around him for a moment, and then, closing his eyes, fell asleep in death.

It is recorded of Captain Hamilton, whose portrait was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, that he came to his death in this wise: "He imprudently ventured in a boat from his ship to land at Plymouth, on a tempestuous day, all in his impatience to rejoin his wife ashore. The boat turned keel upwards, and the captain, being a good swimmer, trusted to his skill, and would not accept of a place on the keel, but, that he might leave room there for others, clung merely to the edge of the boat. His great coat was a hindrance to him, and this he attempted to throw off; but, in the words of Lord Eliot, whose too are the italics, 'finding his strength fail, he told the men he must yield to his fate, and soon afterwards sank while singing a psalm.'"—Francis Jacox.

When Latour was guillotined at Foix, in 1864, for the murder of a family of four persons, great was the throng in the streets, despite the heavy rain that fell; for, to ensure a good attendance, the condemned man had announced his intention to compose for the occasion a series of verses, which he would sing on his way (in a cart, vis-à-vis with messieurs the headsmen) from prison to scaffold. And sing them he did, all the way—a matter of some three hundred and fifty yards. Lightly he tripped up the steps of the scaffold, and then, after a deliberate survey of the crowd below and all around, he thundered forth, tonna, the following lines—a parody, or rather a personal appropriation, of the Marseillaise:

"Allons, pauvre victime,
Ton jour de mort est arrivé:
Contre toi de la tyrannie
Le couteau sanglant est levé!"

Being then tied to the plank and flung into the usual horizontal position in order to be brought under the blade, he still went on—Allons, pauvre victime, Ton jour de mort ... —until a heavy sound was heard, the blade fell, something else fell with it, and all was over.—Jacox.

[6] It is too early for the last words of John Burroughs (may it be yet many years before they are spoken), but we are struck with the wonderful accord between the last words of Bolingbroke and the closing paragraph to the preface with which Burroughs introduces his, "The Light of Day:" "I am content to let the unseen powers go their own way with me and mine without question or distrust. They brought me here, and I have found it well to be here; in due time they will take me hence, and I have no doubt that will be well for me too."

[7] Some have thought it an evidence of strength of will to die standing; and some have even wished to be buried in that posture. In Oliver Heywood's Register is the following entry:—"Oct. 28, 1684. Captain Taylor's wife, of Brighouse, buried in her garden, with head upwards, standing upright, by her husband, daughter, and other Quakers."

Mrs. George S. Norton, of Pawling, N. Y., was buried at her own request sitting upright in a rocking chair enclosed in a box made of seasoned chestnut. The funeral services were held July 27, 1899.—Albany Argus.

M. Halloin of the neighborhood of Caen, in Normandy, who died in the early part of this century, when he felt his end approach inserted in his last will a clause expressing his desire to be buried at night, in his bed, comfortably tucked in, with pillows and coverlets as he had died. As no opposition was raised against the execution of this clause, a huge pit was sunk, and the corpse was lowered into its last resting place, without any alteration having been made in the position in which death had overtaken him. Boards were laid over the bed, that the falling earth might not disturb this imperturbable quietist.—S. Baring-Gould: "Curiosities of Olden Times."

[8] There is a story which comes to us from Scioppius, that Bruno rejected "with a terrible menacing countenance" a crucifix which was held up to him, and which may have been heated red hot, as was customary, in order to convince the spectators of the sufferer's impiety, and prevent them from feeling pity for him in his distress. The story has no very good foundation, but we know that heated crucifixes were not uncommon among the ghostly persecutors of earlier and darker days; and we can easily see how a man asked to kiss such a crucifix might exhibit "a terrible menacing countenance."

[9] In the Appendix of Allan Cunningham's "Life of Burns" we read of an examination of the poet's Tomb, made immediately after that life was published:

"When Burns's Mausoleum was opened in March, 1834, to receive the remains of his widow, some residents in Dumfries obtained the consent of her nearest relative to take a cast from the cranium of the poet. This was done during the night between the 31st of March and 1st of April. Mr. Archibald Blacklock, surgeon, drew up the following description:

"The cranial bones were perfect in every respect, if we except a little erosion of their external table, and firmly held together by their sutures, &c., &c. Having completed our intention [i. e., of taking a plaster cast of the skull, washed from every particle of sand, &c.], the skull securely closed in a leaden case, was again committed to the earth, precisely where we found it."

[10] On February 5th, 1881, in the tranquil exhaustion of a ripe old age, this true Sage of modern times passed away at his home in Cheyne Row, Chelsea, where he had lived for fifty years: and,—as the Times remarked,—the world seemed duller, colder, and darker, in that this one grey old man had left it.

No time was lost in collecting funds to provide for a public monument of the philosopher. The work was entrusted to Mr. J. E. Boehm, R.A., with the result of a most admirable statue in bronze, life-size, representing Carlyle as he was in his latter days, in an attitude of thought, seated in an arm-chair, and wearing his well-known dressing-gown. "For this noble piece of portraiture," Mr. Ruskin wrote of it, "I cannot trust myself to express my personal gratitude, or to speak at all of the high and harmonious measure in which it seems to me to express the mind and features of my dear master." It is appropriately placed in the little public garden, at the end of Great Cheyne Row, Chelsea, where Carlyle had spent the last forty years of his life. There, on October 26th, 1882, in presence of many of those who were his attached friends in life, it was unveiled by Professor Tyndall, who delivered an eloquent address on the occasion. Among those who assisted were Lord Houghton, Mrs. Oliphant, Miss Swanwick, Moncure D. Conway, Robert Browning, Dr. Martineau, Mr. W. E. H. Lecky, and others. A simple inscription on the massive pedestal, of Aberdeen granite, records the dates of the birth and death of the remarkable man in whose honour it is erected.—William Bates.

[11] I mention the discovery of the body of Charles I. when George IV. was Prince Regent. It has been asserted, and is, I believe, true, that the nation wished the body of him whom they always called "the saint and martyr" to be removed from Windsor and buried in Westminster Abbey: and that a sum of no less than £70,000 was entrusted by Parliament to Charles II. to erect a tomb over the remains of his father. If the story be true, the entire sum disappeared and was not put to the intended purpose. It was, however, supposed that the "White King's" coffin, at any rate, had been transferred to the Abbey. It was in order to settle a doubt on this point that George IV., then Prince Regent, went down into the vaults of Windsor with the famous physician, Sir Henry Halford. There they found the coffins of Henry VIII. and of his wife, Lady Jane Seymour; and between them lay a coffin on which were rudely scratched the letters "C. I." In order to be sure that this was indeed the coffin of the executed king, they opened it—and there lay before them the handsome face, just as Vandyke depicted it; though (as always happens in such cases) the nose fell in immediately that the corpse was exposed to the open air. Then—I simply tell the tale as it was told to me; for, though there must be some printed account of the event, I have never seen it—Sir Henry Halford took up by the hair the decapitated head, and placed it on the palm of his hand, which was covered by his silk handkerchief. When he replaced the head in the coffin the vertebra of the neck, which had been smoothly severed by the axe of the executioner, was lying on his handkerchief; and the Prince Regent remarked to Sir Henry that this would be an interesting relic for him. He took it; and had it set in gold with the inscription, "Os Caroli Primi, heu intercisum." I believe that, by the wish and right-feeling of H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, this relic of the hapless king has been replaced in the coffin. Everyone will recall the sanguinary epigram of Lord Byron upon the incident which I have narrated.—Farrar.

[12] In his History of the Stage, Curll states that Nell first captivated the king by her manner of delivering the epilogue to Dryden's Tyrannic Love: or, The Royal Martyr. The tragedy was founded upon the story of the martyrdom of St. Catherine, by way of compliment to Catherine of Braganza. She personated Valeria, the daughter of Maximin, tyrant of Rome.

[13] The massacre of St. Bartholomew lasted seven days, during which more than 5,000 persons were slain in Paris, and about 50,000 in the country. During all this season of murder, the king betrayed neither pity nor remorse, but fired with his long gun at the poor fugitives across the river; and on viewing the body of Coligni on a gibbet, he exulted with a fiendish malignity. In early life this monster had been noted for his cruelty: nothing gave him greater pleasure than cutting off the heads of asses or pigs with a single blow from his couteau de chasse. After the massacre, he is said to have contracted a singularly wild expression of feature, and to have slept little and waked in agonies. He attributed his thirst for human blood to the circumstance of his mother having at an early period of his life familiarized his mind with the brutal sport of hunting bullocks, and with all kinds of cruelty.—Winslow's Anatomy of Suicide, p. 52, note.

[14] It is a tradition in Corsica that when St. Pantaleon was beheaded, the caput mortuum, as it might have been thought, rose from the block and sang.

A reliable gentleman who witnessed an execution, wrote as follows: "It appears to be the best of all modes of inflicting the punishment of death, combining the greatest impression on the spectator with the least possible suffering to the victim. It is so rapid that I should doubt whether there was any suffering; but from the expression of the countenance, when the executioner held up the head, I am inclined to believe that sense and consciousness may remain for a few seconds after the head is off. The eyes seemed to retain speculation for a moment or two, and there was a look in the ghastly stare with which they stared upon the crowd, which implied that the head was aware of its ignominious situation."

[15] Upon the 14th of February, in the 30th year of Queen Mary, was Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, brought to the stake, where he first thrust his right hand into the fire (with which he had before subscribed a recantation) till it first, and then his whole body was consumed; but what was most remarkable, his heart remained whole, and was not once touched by the fire.—Baker's Chron. p. 463.

We have the same story about the heart of Zuinglius. Three days after it had been cast into the fire to be burned to ashes some friends found it untouched by the flames.—Melch. Adam. Vit. p. 37.

"Mr. J. C. Jeaffreson in his book 'The Real Shelley' writes: 'All the world knows how Shelley's torn and disfigured corpse was reduced to ashes and a few fragments of bone (with the exception of the heart that would not be burnt) on the pyre;' and probably, since Trelawny, shortly after the poet's death, reported that 'his heart remained entire,' his statement has been unhesitatingly accepted. I have, however, reason for thinking that the story does not rest on trustworthy evidence.

"When a body is burnt the part which longest resists the action of the fire after the base of the skull and one or two of the most solid portions of bone, is the liver. The heart, being hollow and smaller, is easily destroyed: but the liver, a moist and solid mass, repels intense heat, and ultimately deposits an ash of pure carbon, which no continued burning or increase of temperature can further change. In the cemetery of Milan where I have seen human cremations completely carried out in seventy minutes by Signor Venini's reverberatory furnace, the best method known, I also learned that the liver, perhaps from its containing this element of carbon, can endure for a considerable time even that concentrated whirlwind of fire, and remain almost intact after the heart has totally disappeared. Moreover, in Shelley's case the liver would have been saturated with sea-water, and thereby rendered still more incombustible. It is extremely improbable that Byron, Leigh Hunt, or Trelawny knew enough anatomy to identify accurately the charred substance they took to be the heart, and it is more likely, owing to the thin edge of the liver being consumed, and its size consequently being much reduced, that they mistook the shrunken remains of the one organ for the whole of the other.

"From observing the Milanese cremations alluded to I think it barely possible that the human heart is ever capable of withstanding fire for more than a brief period; but since Mr. J. A. Symonds asserts, to my surprise, that Shelley's heart was given by Leigh Hunt to Mrs. Shelley, and is now at Boscombe, the seat of the present baronet, it would be easy for some competent anatomist to determine the question I have raised.

"In any case, the hero-worshipping and sentimental tourists who go in crowds to that lovely spot beneath the pyramid of Caius Cestius to mourn over Shelley's untimely fate have been strangely deceived for more than sixty years in believing that beneath the marble graven with the touching words 'Cor Cordium' lies the flame proof heart of their favorite poet."—Bicknell.

The man whose mind, on virtue bent,
Pursues some greatly good intent,
With undiverted aim,
Serene beholds the angry crowd;
Nor can their clamors, fierce and loud,
His stubborn honor tame.
Not the proud tyrant's fiercest threat,
Nor storms, that from their dark retreat
The lawless surges wake;
Not Jove's dread bolt, that shakes the pole,
The firmer purpose of his soul
With all its power can shake.
Should nature's frame in ruins fall,
And chaos o'er the sinking ball
Resume the primeval sway,
His courage chance and fate defies,
Nor feels the wreck of earth and skies
Obstruct its destined way.
Translated by Blacklocke.

[17] Charles V., of Spain, seems to have entertained the same morbid desire for a personal acquaintance with his own postmortem appearance and condition. In Robertson's History of the Reign of the Emperor Charles V. we have this account of the monarch's attendance upon his own funeral: "He resolved to celebrate his own obsequies before his death. He ordered his tomb to be erected in the chapel of the monastery. His domestics marched thither in funeral procession, with black tapers in their hands. He himself followed in his shroud. He was laid in his coffin with much solemnity. The service for the dead was chanted, and Charles joined in the prayers which were offered up for the rest of his soul, mingling his tears with those which his attendants shed, as if they had been celebrating a real funeral. The ceremony closed with sprinkling holy water on the coffin in the usual form, and all the assistants retiring, the doors of the chapel were shut. Then Charles rose out of the coffin, and withdrew to his apartment, full of those awful sentiments which such a singular solemnity was calculated to inspire." This story is somewhat changed in Stirling's "Cloister Life of the Emperor Charles V."

If I must die, I'll snatch at every thing
That may but mind me of my latest breath;
Death's-heads, Graves, Knells, Blacks, Tombs, all these shall bring
Into my soul such useful thoughts of death,
That this sable king of fears
Shall not catch me unawares.—Quarles.

[18] These instructions were probably ignored; for, when his tomb was opened by the Society of Antiquaries in 1771, those present gazed for a moment on the features of the great victor before they sank into dust. The gold cloth was still folded round the colossal corpse; and the cast in the eyes was distinctly noticeable. The snow-white hair still remained. The coffin was then filled with pitch.—Farrar.

John Zisca, general of the insurgents who took up arms in 1419 against the Emperor Sigismund, seems to have had a like spirit with Edward I. He would revenge the deaths of John Huss and Jerome of Prague, who had been cruelly burned at the stake for their religious faith. He defeated the Emperor in several pitched battles, and gave orders that, after his death, they should make a drum out of his skin. The order was most religiously obeyed, and those very remains of the enthusiastic Zisca proved, for many years, fatal to the Emperor, who, with difficulty, in the space of sixteen years, recovered Bohemia, assisted by the forces of Germany. The insurgents were 40,000 in number, and well disciplined.

[19] There is a dim tradition that, much more than a century ago, the tomb under which the two sister-queens—Mary, the Roman Catholic, and Elizabeth, the Protestant, regno consortes et urna—lie side by side had fallen into disrepair, and that a bold Westminster boy crept into the hollow vault, and, through an aperture in the coffin, laid his hand on the heart of the mighty Tudor queen.—Farrar.

[20] The quiet little town of Concord is greatly stirred up over the discovery of a dastardly attempt on Saturday night to rob the last resting place of its noted dead, the grave of Ralph Waldo Emerson. The fact that the grave had been visited by vandals was discovered early Sunday afternoon by a visitor to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where the remains are interred. At the head of the grave was a large aperture seven feet in depth and twenty inches wide extending to the box containing the casket.

An alarm was at once given, and the town authorities, together with the Sleepy Hollow Commissioners, made an investigation. The perpetrators of the deed have not been discovered, but the theory is that the attempted vandalism was made some time during Saturday night, and the villains were frightened away by some passing team on the Bedford road just adjacent. Whether the motive was to obtain possession of the remains, or to despoil the casket of its valuable trimmings, is, of course, a matter of conjecture; but the general impression is that the skull was what was most wanted. The wooden box inclosing the casket had decayed somewhat, the interment having taken place over seven years ago, and in the earth which the rascals had thrown out were some pieces of the box. One side of the casket had fallen down a little, but this is attributable to natural decay. Otherwise the casket had not been disturbed or opened.

Mr. Edward W. Emerson, son of Ralph Waldo, arrived home this afternoon, and the investigation of the desecration of his father's grave was immediately entered upon by him with the town authorities. Mr. Emerson has been out of town for two weeks or more, and the first information he had of the affair was that given him upon his arrival this noon. The earth has been replaced, and a watch placed over the grave.

N. Y. Times, Oct. 15, 1889.

[21] It has been suggested that Franklin was helped to his famous epitaph upon himself by Benjamin Woodbridge's funeral elegy upon John Cotton, preserved in Mather's Magnalia:

"A living, breathing Bible; tables where
Best covenants at large engraven were;
Gospel and law in his heart had each its column;
His head an index to the sacred volume;
His very name a title-page; and next
His life a commentary on the text.
O, what a monument of glorious worth,
When in a new edition he comes forth,
Without erratas, may we think he'll be
In leaves and covers of eternity."

[22] Mr. Carlyle may well call it a "characteristic trait" in his favorite Friedrich Wilhelm, as that "wild son of Nature" lay a-dying, that on a certain German hymn which he "much loved" being sung to him, or along with him,—when they came to the words, "Naked I came into the world, and naked shall I go out,"—"No," said he, with vivacity, "not quite naked; I shall have my uniform on." After which the singing went on again with vivacity, akin to that with which the mother of Henri Quatre—not left the world, but brought her son into it; for historians, without romancing, tell us she sung a gay Béarnais song as her brave boy was coming into the world at Pau.

[23] Mr. Berkley, of Knightsbridge, who died in 1805, left a pension of £25 per annum to his four dogs. This man, when he felt his end approaching, called for his four dogs. These were placed by his side; and he reached them his trembling hand, caressed them, and breathed his last between their paws. The four dogs were sculptured, according to his last wish, upon the corners of his tomb.

[24] The King of Siam is sending an envoy to India to receive the relics of Buddha, discovered some time ago on the Nepal frontier, which were offered his Majesty by the Indian Government. The King, who gratefully accepted the offer, has agreed to distribute portions of the relics among the Buddhists of Burma and Ceylon from Bangkok. It will probably be remembered that in January last a well-preserved stupa was opened at the village of Piprahwa, on the Nepal frontier, in the Basti district of the North-west Provinces. This village was in the Birdpur grant, a large property owned by Mr. William C. Peppé and his brother. Inside the building was found a large stone coffer, crystal and steatite vases, bone and ash relics, fragments of lime, plaster, and wooden vessels, and a large quantity of jewels and ornaments placed in two vases in honor of the relics. A careful list was at once made of all the articles, and Mr. Peppé generously offered to place them at the disposal of the Government. The special interest of the discovery lies in the fact that the relics in honor of which the stupa was erected appear to be those of Gautama Buddha Sakya Muni himself, and may be the actual share of the relics taken by the Sakyas of Kapilavastir at the time of the cremation of Gautama Buddha.

The inscription on one of the urns proves that the builders of the stupa believed the relics to be those of Gautama Buddha himself, and runs: "This relic-receptacle of the Blessed Sakya Buddha is dedicated by the renowned brethren with their sisters and their sons' wives." The characters of the record, Prof. Bührer points out, do not mark medial long vowels, and appear to be older than those of the Asoka inscription.

The actual relics, being a matter of such intense interest to the Buddhist world, were offered by the Indian Government to the King of Siam, who is the only existing Buddhist monarch, with a proviso that he would not object to offer a portion of the relics to the Buddhists of Burma and Ceylon, and it was suggested that his Majesty should send a deputation to receive the sacred relics with due ceremonial.

No relics of Buddha authenticated by a direct inscription have before been found in modern times, so the relics are as rare as they are unique, and by all Buddhists will be regarded as most sacred and holy objects of devotion. Their presentation to the King of Siam, the recognized head of the religion, is therefore highly proper. The accessories which were discovered will, it is understood, be distributed among the Imperial Museum at Calcutta, the Lucknow Provincial Museum, and perhaps the British Museum, Mr. Peppé retaining a reasonable number of duplicates for his own use. The stone coffer above referred to is over four feet in length and two in height. It is made out of a solid block of sandstone, and weighs about sixteen hundredweight. It is understood that the acknowledgments of the Government have been conveyed to Mr. Peppé for his public-spirited action in the matter.—London Times, Dec. 17, 1886.

[25] A paragraph from one of Mr. Gough's public addresses, carved upon his monument in Hope Cemetery, Worcester, shows the strength of his conviction and illustrates the directness and force of his style:

"I can desire nothing better for this great country than that a barrier high as heaven be raised between the unpolluted lips of the children and the intoxicating cup; that everywhere men and women should raise strong and determined hands against whatever will defile the body, pollute the mind, or harden the heart against God and His truth."

[26] Tacitus said, "At my funeral let no tokens of sorrow be seen, no pompous mockery of woe. Crown me with chaplets, strew flowers on my grave, and let my friends erect no vain memorial to tell where my remains are lodged."

Ludovious Cortesius, a rich lawyer at Padua, commanded by his last will, that no man should lament; but, as at a wedding, music and minstrels to be a delight to the people, should be provided; and instead of black mourners, he ordered that twelve virgins clad in green should carry him to the church.

The Hon. T. G. Shearman wrote in his diary (read at his funeral in Plymouth church, Brooklyn, N. Y.) under date of May 21, 1894: "Give me an unostentatious, cheery funeral, in no darkened room, and with no dreariness of any kind."

[27] It has been thought that Lieber's death was occasioned by rupture of the heart. See the last words of Charles Sumner and the foot note on his sudden death. See also the last words of John Palmer and the account of his death appended from the Annual Register.

[28] In the Last Journals the date is May 1st; on the stone, May 4th. The attendants could not quite determine the day.

[29] The section of the tree containing the inscription made by Jacob Wainwright has been brought to England and deposited in the house of the Geographical Society.

[30] To some of the most distinguished of our race death has come in the strangest possible way, and so grotesquely as to subtract greatly from the dignity of the sorrow it must certainly have occasioned. Æschylus, whose seventy tragedies, to say nothing of his many satiric dramas, have given their author an immortal name, was killed by the fall of a tortoise on his bald head from the talons of an eagle high in the air above him.

There was a singular propriety in the death of Anacreon by choking at a grape stone or a dried grape. The poet whose sweetest and most enticing lines celebrate wine and love came to his death at the ripe age of eighty-five from the fruit of the vine. Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse, was given by the treacherous Maenon a poisoned toothpick which soon rendered his mouth incurably gangrened, and deprived him of the power of speech. While in this miserable and helpless condition he was stretched upon the funeral pile and burned alive.

Fabius, the Roman praetor, died from the same cause that occasioned the death of Anacreon. A single goat hair in the milk he was drinking, lodged in his trachea and choked him. Chalchas, the soothsayer, outlived the time predicted for his death, which struck him as so comical that he burst into a fit of most immoderate laughter from which he died. Thus also died the famous Marquette, who was convulsed with a fatal merriment on seeing a monkey trying to pull on a pair of boots. Philomenes was seized with an equally disastrous merriment when he came suddenly upon an ass that was devouring with greediness the choice figs that had been prepared for his own desert.

Laughter killed the great Zeuxis, of whom Pliny relates the story of a trial of skill with the painter Parrhasius. The former painted a bunch of grapes that were so natural a bird endeavored to eat the fruit. Charles VIII., while gallantly conducting his queen into the tennis court, struck his head against the lintel and died soon after from the accident.

Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, was struck by a cricket ball, which caused his death. A pig occasioned the death of Louis VI., the creature ran under the monarch's horse causing it to stumble. But of all strange deaths that of Itadach is the strangest. He expired from thirst while toiling in the harvest field, because, in obedience to the rule of St. Patrick, he would not drink "a drop of anything."

[31] Her Will, by which her personalty, sworn under £10,000, is suitably divided among her brothers and sisters, an old servant, and a few friends, contains one peculiar provision which indicates the desire of the testatrix, even when dead, to benefit the living. "It is my desire," she says, "from an interest in the progress of scientific investigation, that my Skull should be given to Henry George Atkinson, of Upper Gloucester Place, London, and also my Brain, if my death should take place within such distance of his then present abode, as to enable him to have it for the purposes of scientific observation." By the second codicil, dated October 5th, 1872, this direction is revoked; "but," the codicil proceeds, "I wish to leave it on record that this alteration in my testamentary directions is not caused by any change of opinion as to the importance of scientific observation on such subjects, but is made in consequence merely of a change of circumstances in my individual case." The "circumstances" alluded to were doubtless these. When the removal of Miss Martineau to London took place, the "Burke and Hare" murders, and "body-snatching" generally, were the special horrors of the day. The only authorized supply of "subjects" for dissection was from the gallows; and philanthropic persons sought by selling the reversion of their bodies (a transaction which, legally, does not hold good), or like Jeremy Bentham, leaving them to some institution, or medical expert, by a special bequest (also nugatory), to dissolve the association of disgrace with the necessary procedure of dissection. The difficulty was, in great measure, relieved by the passing of Mr. Warburton's Bill; and hence the necessity for such an arrangement as that made by Miss Martineau ceased to exist. The singular provision, had however, become known; and shortly after the execution of the document, the testatrix received a letter from the celebrated aurist, Mr. Toynbee, asking her point-blank to bequeath him a "legacy of her ears." She had suffered from deafness all her life; a large amount of mischief and misery was caused by the ignorance of surgeons with regard to the auditory apparatus; and this ignorance could only be removed by such means as he proposed. The lady to whom this strange request was made, says with grim humour, that she felt "rather amused when she caught herself in a feeling of shame, as it were, at having only one pair of ears,—at having no duplicate for Mr. Toynbee, after having disposed otherwise of her skull." She, however, told him how the matter actually stood; and a meeting took place between the doctor and the legatee, "to ascertain whether one head could, in any way, be made to answer both their objects."

An autopsy of her body was eventually made by Dr. T. M. Greenhow, of Leeds; a full detail of the appearances at which will be found in the British Medical Journal, for April 14th, 1877, p. 449.—William Bates in "The Maclise Portrait Gallery."

[32] Mlle. Maillard, the actress, is mentioned by Lamartine as one of the Goddesses, who was compelled to play the part much against her will. "Chaumette, assisted by Laïs, an actor of the Opera, had arranged the fête of December 20, 1793. Mademoiselle Maillard, an actress, brilliant with youth and talents, played the part of the goddess. She was borne in a palanquin, the canopy of which was formed of oak branches. Women in white, with tri-colored sashes, preceded her. Attired with theatrical buskins, a Phrygian cap and a blue chlamys over a transparent tunic, she was taken to the foot of the altar and seated there. Behind her burnt an immense torch, symbolizing 'the flame of philosophy,' the true light of the world. Chaumette, taking a censer in his hands, fell on his knees to the goddess, and offered incense, and the whole concluded with dancing and song."—Lamartine.

There was also a Goddess of Liberty. The wife of Momoro went attended by the municipal officers, national guards and troops of ballet girls to the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Gobet (the archbishop of Paris), and nearly all the bishops, vicars, canons, priests, and curés of Paris stripped themselves of their canonicals, donned the red nightcap, and joined in this blasphemous mockery.

[33] Jeremy Bentham, when he firmly believed that he was near his last hour, said to one of his disciples, who was watching over him:—"I now feel that I am dying. Our care must be to minimize the pain. Do not let any of the servants come into the room, and keep away the youths. It will be distressing to them, and they can be of no service. Yet I must not be alone, and you will remain with me, and you only, and then we shall have reduced the pain to the least possible amount."

Bentham dreaded the silence and darkness of the grave, and wished to remain even after his death in a world of living men. He left his body to Dr. Southwood Smith who was to perform certain experiments to ascertain that no life remained. After these experiments the following disposition was to be made of his remains: "The skeleton Dr. Smith shall cause to be put together in such manner that the whole figure may be seated in a chair usually occupied by me when living, in the attitude in which I am sitting when engaged in thought in the course of the time employed in writing. I direct that the body, thus prepared, shall be transferred to my executor, and that he shall cause the skeleton to be clothed in one of the suits of black usually worn by me. The body so clothed, together with the chair and the staff in my later years borne by me, he shall take charge of, and for containing the whole apparatus he shall cause to be prepared an appropriate box or case, and shall cause to be engraved in conspicuous characters on a plate to be affixed thereon, and also in the glass case in which the preparations of the soft parts of my body shall be contained, as, for example, in the manner used in the case of wine decanters; my name at length with the letters ob: followed by the day of my decease. If it should so happen that my personal friends and other disciples should be disposed to meet together on some day, or days of the year for the purpose of commemorating the founder of the Greatest Happiness System of Morals and Legislation, my executor shall cause to be conveyed into the room in which they meet the case with its contents."

Humphry Repton, author of a delightful book on "Landscape Gardening and Landscape Architecture," requested that his remains might be deposited in a "garden of roses." He selected a small enclosure by the church of Aylsham, in Norfolk, one of the most lovely spots in all England, where were a number of roses and vines, as his last resting place. On the monument over his grave, after his name and age, are these lines written by himself:—

"Not like the Egyptian tyrants—consecrate,
Unmixt with others shall my dust remain;
But mouldering, blended, melting into earth,
Mine shall give form and colour to the rose;
And while its vivid blossoms cheer mankind,
Its perfum'd odour shall ascend to heaven."

[34] Malinche, Montezuma's name for Cortes, was borrowed from the original name of the conqueror's mistress and interpreter, known in the Spanish records as Marina. See "Death of Montezuma," in Prescott's "Conquest of Mexico."

The world recedes. It disappears.
Heaven opens to my eyes. My ears
With sounds seraphic ring.
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O grave, where is thy victory!
O death, where is thy sting!
Pope: "The Dying Christian to his Soul."

[36] It has been generally supposed that the burial of Sir John Moore, who fell at the battle of Corunna, in 1809, took place during the night, an error which doubtless arose from the statement to that effect in Wolfe's celebrated lines. Rev. Mr. Symons, who was the clergyman on the occasion, states, however, in "Notes and Queries," that the burial took place in the morning, in broad day-light.

[37] A common undistinguished grave received the coffin, which was then left without memorial—almost forgotten—for nearly twenty years; and when, in 1808, some inquiries were made as to the precise spot of the interment, all that the sexton could tell was that, at the latter end of 1791, the space about the third and fourth row from the cross was being occupied with graves; but the contents of these graves being from time to time exhumed, nothing could be determined concerning that which was once Mozart.—Home's "Life of Mozart."

[38] The heart of the first Napoleon had a narrow escape from disappearing forever, elsewhere than in the tomb. It is recorded that when he died at St. Helena his heart was extracted for preservation. The English physician who had charge of it placed it in a silver basin containing water, and leaving tapers burning beside it retired to rest. Sleep, however, visited him not, and suddenly, breaking the silence, he heard first a rustling, then a plunge in the water of the basin, then a fall with a rebound on the floor, all in quick succession. Springing from his couch, the physician saw an enormous rat dragging Bonaparte's heart to its hole: in a few moments more it would have formed a meal for rats.

[39] The effects of Mr. Cobbett were sold by auction, in 1836; and the bones brought forward to be offered for competition. The auctioneer, however, refused to put them up; and they were withdrawn, and remained in the possession of the receiver. This gentleman, desiring to be relieved, awaited the orders of the Lord Chancellor; but the latter, upon the matter being mentioned to him in court, refused to recognize them as part of the estate, or make any order respecting them. The receiver thus continued to hold them; but finding that none of the creditors would relieve him of them, or, indeed, make inquiry about them, he transferred them, in 1844, to a Mr. Tilley, who retained them in his possession until a public funeral could be arranged. I have never heard that this has been done, and know nothing more of these Thomæ venerabilis ossa.—William Bates: "The Maclise Portrait Gallery."

Ode to the Bones of the Im-mortal Thomas Paine, newly transported from America to England, by the no less Im-mortal William Cobbett, Esq., by Thomas Rodd, Senr., the Bookseller (London, 1819, 4to). A Brief History of the Remains of the late Thomas Paine, from the time of their disinterment, in 1819, by the late William Cobbett, M.P., down to the year 1846 (London, Watson, 1847); and Notes and Queries, Fourth Series.

"How Tom gets a living now ... I know not, nor does it much signify. He has done all the mischief he can in the world; and whether his carcase is at last to be suffered to rot on the earth, or to be dried in the air, is of very little consequence. Whenever or wherever he breathes his last, he will excite neither sorrow nor compassion; no friendly hand will close his eyes, not a groan will be uttered, not a tear will be shed. Like Judas, he will be remembered by posterity; men will learn to express all that is base, malignant, treacherous, unnatural, and blasphemous, by the single monosyllablePaine!"—Life of Thomas Paine, by William Cobbett.

[40] It is said that Peter was crucified with his head down, himself so requesting, because he thought himself unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Lord.

[41] On some occasion of alteration in the church at Twickenham, England, or burial of some one in the same spot, the coffin of Pope was disinterred, and opened to see the state of the remains. By a bribe to the sexton of the time, possession of the skull was obtained for the night, and another skull was returned in place of it. Fifty pounds were paid for the successful management of this transaction. Whether this account is correct or not, the fact is that the skull of Pope figures in a private museum.—William Howitt.

The head of the celebrated Duc de Richelieu, like that of Pope, the Mahdi, and Swendenborg, is above ground. At the time of the revolution in France the body of the Duke was exhumed from its grave in the Church of the Sorbonne. This having been subjected to numerous indignities, the head was cut off, and the latter eventually came into the possession of a grocer, who afterward sold it to M. Armez, the elder. M. Armez, after the Restoration, offered the head to the then Duc de Richelieu, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who took no notice whatever of the offer. The son of M. Armez inherited the skull. In 1846 the illustrious Montalembert, when President of the Historical Committee of Arts and Monuments, at the instance of his colleagues, did his best to recover the head of the Duke, but without success. M. F. Feuillet de Conches, in his "Causeries d'un Curieux," makes this comment: "We accuse no one, still the fact is undeniable that this terrible head, the personification of the absolute monarchy killing the aristocratic monarchy, is wandering upon the earth like a spectre that has straggled out of the domain of the dead."

[42] John Chastel was torn to pieces sixteen years before, for attempting the life of the same monarch. Salcede, the Spaniard, endeavored to assassinate Henri III., and was accordingly dismembered. Nicholas de Salvado and Balthazar de Gerrard suffered in the same way for attacking William, Prince of Orange. Livy records that Mettius Suffetius was dismembered by chariots for deserting the Roman cause.

[43] According to a writer in the Chicago "Open Court," the main cause of the death of Robert Louis Stevenson was probably his consumption of tobacco. Two years before his death he confessed that his bill for cigars amounted to $450 a year; and during the last six months of his life he smoked an average of forty cigarettes per day, and often as many as eighty in twenty-four hours. Can any one wonder that this frightful habit induced chronic insomnia, to cure or lessen which he smoked all night, till narcosis of the brain brought on stupefaction and temporary loss of consciousness—for weeks his nearest approach to refreshing slumber. His physician warned him in vain that he was burning life's candle at both ends, for he tried to write in spite of his misery; but he stuck to nicotine as the only specific for his nervousness, with the result that was inevitable,—his death a year afterwards.—

Mathews: "Nugæ Litterariæ."

[44] Rupture of the heart, it is believed, was first described by Harvey; but since his day several cases have been observed. Morgagni has recorded a few examples: Amongst them that of George II., who died suddenly, of this disease in 1760; and, what is very curious, Morgagni himself fell a victim to the same malady. Dr. Elliotson, in his Lumleyan Lecture on Diseases of the Heart, in 1839, stated that he had only seen one instance; but in the Cyclopædia of Practical Medicine, Dr. Townsend gives a table of twenty-five cases, collected from various authors. Generally this accident is consequent upon some organic disease, such as fatty degeneration; but it may arise from violent muscular exertion, or strong mental emotions.—Welby: "Mysteries of Life, Death and Futurity."

Dr. William Stroud endeavors to prove, in his "The Physical Cause of the Death of Christ," that our Saviour died upon the cross from rupture of the heart, produced by agony of mind. He says: "In the garden of Gethsemane Christ endured mental agony so intense that, had it not been limited by divine interposition, it would probably have destroyed his life without the aid of any other sufferings; but having been thus mitigated, its effects were confined to violent palpitation of the heart, accompanied with bloody sweat. On the cross this agony was renewed, in conjunction with the ordinary sufferings incidental to that mode of punishment; and having at this time been allowed to proceed to its utmost extremity without restraint, occasioned sudden death by rupture of the heart, intimated by a discharge of blood and water from his side, when it was afterward pierced with a spear."

[45] Swedenborg was buried in the vault of the Swedish Church in Prince's Square, on April 5, 1772. In 1790, in order to determine a question raised in debate, viz., whether Swedenborg was really dead and buried, his wooden coffin was opened, and the leaden one was sawn across the breast. A few days after, a party of Swedenborgians visited the vault. "Various relics" (says White: "Life of Swedenborg," 2nd ed., 1868, p. 675) "were carried off: Dr. Spurgin told me he possessed the cartilage of an ear. Exposed to the air, the flesh quickly fell to dust, and a skeleton was all that remained for subsequent visitors.... At a funeral in 1817, Granholm, an officer in the Swedish Navy, seeing the lid of Swedenborg's coffin loose, abstracted the skull, and hawked it about amongst London Swedenborgians, but none would buy. Dr. Wählin, pastor of the Swedish Church, recovered what he supposed to be the stolen skull, had a cast of it taken, and placed it in the coffin in 1819. The cast which is sometimes seen in phrenological collections is obviously not Swedenborg's: it is thought to be that of a small female skull."

[46] Being asked by the sheriff to explain these words, he said: "I am as you see, a man that hath a very great carcass, which I thought should have been buried in Hadley churchyard, if I had died in my bed, as I well hoped I should have done. But herein I see I was deceived. And there are a great number of worms in Hadley churchyard, which should have had jolly feeding upon this carrion which they have looked for many a day. But now I know we be deceived, both I and they; for this carcass must be burnt to ashes, and so shall they lose their bait and feeding that they looked to have had of it." Fox, the martyrologist, adds that, "when the sheriff and his company heard these words they were amazed, and looked at one another, marvelling at the man's constant mind, that thus without all fear made but a jest at the cruel torment and death now at hand prepared for him."

[47] Thus also did Themistocles, the most renowned of Grecian generals, grieve that when he had acquired the wisdom necessary for a useful life, it was time to die.

[48] The luminous faces and bodies of martyrs and saints are common enough in the chronicles of mediæval miracles. Some modern physicians think there were physiological causes for the strange and, at the time, startling phenomena.

Bartholin, in his treatise "De Luce Hominum et Brutorum" (1647), gives an account of an Italian lady whom he designates as "mulier splendens," whose body shone with phosphoric radiations when gently rubbed with dry linen; and Dr. Kane, in his last voyage to the polar regions, witnessed almost as remarkable a case of phosphorescence. A few cases are recorded by Sir H. Marsh, Professor Donovan and other undoubted authorities, in which the human body, shortly before death, has presented a pale, luminous appearance.

On the eve of St. Alcuin's death (May 19th, 804), the entire monastery was enveloped in a mysterious light, so that many thought the building was on fire. The soul of the saint was seen to ascend in the form of a dove, and the spectators heard celestial music in the air.—Early Superstitions.

The soul of St. Engelbert while going up to heaven was so bright that St. Hermann mistook it for the moon.

Andrew Jackson Davis (the "Poughkeepsie Seer") records that while in the clairvoyant condition he saw the entire process of the soul's disengagement from the body.—"The Great Harmonia," vol. 1, p. 163.

[49] It was commonly believed that the immortal soul escaped from the dead body through the mouth. Sometimes it passed out under the form of a bird, and sometimes it seemed to be a vapor. The appearance of the departing soul is mentioned as a known fact, by the celebrated mystic, Jacob Böhmen, in his curious book. "The Three Principles," where it is described as that of "a blue vapor going forth out of the mouth of a dying man, which maketh a strong smell all over the chamber."

[50] Dr. Moore states that when the vital flame was flickering, the heart was faltering with every pulse, and every breath was a convulsion, he said to a dying believer, who had not long before been talking in broken words of undying love, "Are you in pain?" and the reply, with apparently the last breath, was, "It is delightful!" In another person, in whom a gradual disease had so nearly exhausted the physical powers that the darkness of death had already produced blindness, the sense of God's love was so overpowering, that every expression for many hours referred to it in rapturous words, such as, "This is life—this is heaven—God is love—I need not faith—I have the promise." It is easy to attribute such expressions to delirium; but this does not alter their character, nor the reality of the state of the soul which produces them. Whether a dying man can maintain any continued attention to things through his senses, we need not inquire. It is enough for him, if, in the spirit, he possesses the peace and joy of believing.—The Use of the Body in Relation to the Mind.

[51] "And Meonothai begat Ophrah: and Seraiah begat Joab, the father of the Valley of Charashim; for they were craftsmen."—1 Chronicles iv: 14; Julius Cæsar was called the Father of his country; Cosmo de Medici is so described on his tombstone; Andrea Doria has upon his statue at Genoa, Pater Patriæ; and Louis XVIII. of France was commonly called the Father of the Country.

[52] The United States has produced no greater orator than Daniel Webster; nevertheless, in the minds of many, he fell from his most exalted station as the interpreter of the public conscience, when he delivered, March 7, 1850, his famous speech, assenting to the Fugitive Slave Law. It was this speech that called forth Whittier's poem "Ichabod," which has been often compared with Browning's "Lost Leader."

[53] Walter von der Vogelweid requested that he might repose where a leafy tree should cast its shadow, and the light of the summer day should linger long; and that the birds might be fed every day from the stone over his grave. See Longfellow's beautiful poem, "Walter von der Vogelweid."

[54] Horace lib. iii, Ode 3.

[55] Sir Charles Blagden, the distinguished English physician and chemist (1748-1820) died so quietly and peacefully that not a drop of coffee in the cup which he held in his hand was spilt. He was sitting in his chair at a social meal with his friends, Monsieur and Madame Berthollet, and Gay Lussac. Dr. Joseph Black, also a famous physician, died whilst eating his customary meal of bread and milk, and so quiet and peaceful was his departure that he did not even spill the contents of a spoon which he held in his hand.

[56]William Wordsworth died April 23rd, 1850, at the age of 80, and was buried in the little centry-garth of St. Oswald's, Grasmere, between, as De Quincey records, "a yew-tree of his own planting, and an aged thorn." On his tombstone is an inscription from the pen of Keble, in which he is styled, "a chief minister, not only of noblest poesy, but of high and Sacred truth." Surely the tender lover of Nature, and high-priest of her mysteries, could have no fitter resting-place than this Westmoreland churchyard, where, as some one has written, "the turf is washed green by summer dew, and winter rain, and in early spring is beautifully dappled with lichens and golden moss?" This reads very prettily, and represents the thing as it should be. But what are the facts? The literary pilgrim who may chance to visit the spot will follow a narrow muddy path among the grave mounds, till he reaches a gloomy dingy corner, with a group of blue-black head-stones of funereal slate. Everything round the place is decayed and blighted; no green grass is there; all is dull, dark and depressing. The poet's corner is ill-drained; and there is a tiny moat of water round the base of the stone curb, in which is fixed the iron railing that surrounds the grave. Yet here is a remarkable group of memorial tombs. Near to the poet lie all the beloved members of his household. Here slumbers his favorite sister, Dorothy; here, too, Mrs. Wordsworth,—Dora Wordsworth,—her husband, Edward Quillinan, the poet, and translator of the Lusiad,—the two infant children of Wordsworth,—and behind these, Hartley Coleridge, that "inheritor of unfulfilled renown," whose bier the poet followed one snowy day in January, unwitting that, before the trees were again clad with verdure, he would be borne along the same narrow path to his own long rest. Surely something should be done to rescue the poet's monument from decay, and render it more in accordance with the verdant foliage and the sun-bright hills around, of which he sung so lovingly and so well.

William Bates.


The following changes have been made to the original text:

Page   21:  Added footnote marker missing in text.

Page   78:  "Delagado" changed to "Delgado"

Page   90:  "Good-by" changed to "Good-bye" (Good-bye, General; I'm done.)

Page 102:  "philososopher" changed to "philosopher" (Benjamin, moralist, statesman, and philosopher).

Page 107:  "Scotish" changed to "Scottish" (James, a Scottish officer distinguished for piety and courage).

Page 159:  "Labédoyére" changed to "Labédoyère".

Page 247 & 323:  "enfans" changed to "enfants" ("Ah! mes enfants,).

Page 304:  "distinguishd" changed to "distinguished" (John Greenleaf, distinguished American poet).

Page 323:  Missing page reference added (after "Begone, thou wretched beast,").

Page 327:  "they" changed to "thy" (I give thee thanks, O God, for all thy benefits).

Page 328:  "inquity" changed to "iniquity" (I have loved justice and hated iniquity).

Page 331:  "Tète" changed to "Tête" (La Nation Française, Tête d'armée).

In addition to this, minor punctuation errors have been corrected without comment. A few instances of missing opening or closing parenthesis or quotation marks have also been corrected without note.

All other variations in spelling or inconsistent hyphenation have been retained as they appear in the original book.

Also worth mentioning is that throughout this book there are a number of factual errors and misspellings of names. These have also been retained as they appear in the original text, except for in the cases mentioned above where they have been altered for consistency (for example: General Robert Edmund Lee born 1806 is in fact General Robert Edward Lee born 1807 and Jacob Böhmen's name is in fact Jakob Böhme).

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