Monday, 26 March 2012

Famous last words

I used to collect my favourite last words and have a large collection which I shall post here one by one if I have the energy. Please feel very welcome to add your own examples in comments.

For now, here are the last words of King Frederick William I of Prussia, the father of Frederick the Great. A Lutheran clergyman was giving him the last rites and said 

Naked came you into the world and naked will you go out

when the King woke from his coma and uttered this valediction: 

Not quite naked, for I shall be wearing the uniform of a Field Marshal of the Brandenburg Royal Guard.

My ignorance of both the King and his famous son is profound (as is my ignorance of history in general). It extends little further than Lord Macaulay's Essay on Frederick the Great which I read a couple of times. It is great prose and very enjoyable reading but no longer up to date, but then increasingly nor am I.