Chapter FAMOUS LAST WORDS Miscellane

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                                     Chapter 7

                            EPITAPHS, FAMOUS LAST WORDS


              The ashes of a person after cremation weigh about 4 pounds.

              Alexander  the  Great's  body  was submerged in honey.  Honey
         does not disintegrate and is a hermetic seal.

              Tibetians used to cut their dead into pieces  and  offer  the
         bits  as food to birds. This custom was practiced until only about
         forty years ago.

              Mary,  Queen  of  Scots  was  executed.    The   method   was
         decapitation  by  axe.  Evidently the axe wasn't very sharp, since
         the executioner had to hit her again and again fifteen times until
         her head came off.

              In  the  Renaissance  era,  people  who  were  condemned   to
         execution  had  to  bribe  their  executioners  to  do a quick and
         merciful job.

              The Nazi's thought the  guillotine  needed  improvement.  The
         version  that  the  used had the victims lay face up with the eyes
         propped open so that they wouldn't miss seeing anything.


              This epitaph can be found in Storrington Churchyard, England:
                        "Here lies the Body of Edward Hyde.
                         We laid him here because he died.

              Mary Keith Marshall's epitaph is in a graveyard in Kentucky:
                                   "She was good
                                 but not brilliant;
                                     Useful but
                                    not great."

              King Robert III of Scotland wanted  this  epitaph:  (He  also
         requested to be buried in an anthill.)
              "Here  lies  the worst king and the most miserable man
               in the kingdom."

              This is the epitaph of Ellen Shannon which speaks for itself:
                               Who was fatally burned
                                   March 21, 1870
                             by the explosion of a lamp
                            filled with "R.E. Danforth's
                                  Burning Fluid."

              John Brown, a  dentist's epitaph:
                            Stranger! Approach this spot
                                   with gravity!
                               John Brown is filling
                                 his last cavity."

              This one was from a woman who had never married:
                           "No hits, no runs, no heirs."

              This epitaph was written for a young baby:
                            Ope'd my eyes, took a peep;
                          Didn't like it, went to sleep."

              William Shakespeare's epitaph:
              "Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear, to dig  the  dust
              enclosed  here!   Blessed  be  the man that spares these
              stones, and cursed be he that moves my bones."

              Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr's epitaph:
                           "Free at last, free  at  last,
                       thank God Almighty I'm free at last."

              W.C. Fields' epitaph:
                 "On the whole I would rather be in Philadelphia."

              George Bernard Shaw's epitaph:
              "I knew if I stayed around long enough,  something  like
              this would happen."

                        Famous Last Words

              Pablo Picasso's last words were, "Drink to me."

              On  February  14,  1884,  an  artist  was  painting President
         Franklin D.  Roosevelt, who announced, "Well,  we've  got  fifteen
         minutes more to work." He then died of a stroke.

              The  last  thing  Lou  Costello  did was eat a strawberry ice
         cream soda.  The last thing he said was, "That was  the  best  ice
         cream soda I ever tasted."

              Perhaps the most famous last words in all history were spoken
         by  Major  general  John  Sedgwich  in  the  Civil  War  battle of
         Spottsylvania.  He said, "Why, they couldn't hit  an  elephant  at
         this dist..."

              On the Fourth of July, 1826, exactly 50 years  after  signing
         the  Declaration  of  Independence,  the  American  President John
         Adams' last words were, "Thomas Jefferson still survives." He  was
         wrong. Thomas Jefferson died the same day.

              Leonardo da Vinci's last words were, "I have offended God and
         mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have."

              H.G.  Wells  last  words  were,  "Go away, I'm all right!" He
         couldn't have been further from the truth.

              The last thing P.T. Barnum wondered about  as  he  lay  dying
         was:  "How  were  the  circus  receipts  today  at  Madison Square

              Last  words of Carl Panzram, mass murderer: "I wish the whole
         human race had one neck and I had my hands on it."

              James Rogers, when standing before his firing squad was asked
         if he had a last request. He  answered,  "Why,  yes,  I'd  like  a
         bulletproof vest."

              William Palmer was sentenced to the gallows.  As the rope was
         put  around his head and he stood on the trap door in the floor he
         asked, "Are you sure it's safe?"

              Dominique Bouhours, a grammarian, had these last words: "I am
         about to - or I am going to - die: either expression is used."

              The  physicist  James  Croll  wanted  a  glass  of Scotch. He
         stated, "I don't think there's much fear of me learning  to  drink

              The  last  words  of Fontenelle were, " I suffer nothing, but
         feel a sort of difficulty in living longer."

              The last words of Benjamin Franklin:  "A  dying  man  can  do
         nothing easy."

              The last words of King  Louis  XVIII.   "A  king  should  die

              The  Thing  Lord  Thurlow  said was, "I'll be shot if I don't
         believe I'm dying."

              The  last  words  of  Georg  Wilhelm  Hegel:  "Only  one  man
         understood me ...  and he didn't understand."

              The  big-time  gangster  Arnold  Rothstein was asked who shot
         him.  Keeping faithful to the gangster tradition of  secrecy  even
         as he was dying, he said, "Me mudder did it."