'I am about to - or I am going to - die; either expression is used.'
- DOMINIQUE BOUHOURS, French grammarian
'I have spent a lot of time searching through the Bible for loopholes.'
- W.C. FIELDS, US comedian
'I feel nothing, apart from a certain difficulty in continuing to exist.'
- BERNARD FONTANELLE, French philosopher
‘Watch out, please!’
- EGON FRIEDELL, Austrian historian and writer, to a passing pedestrian before jumping out of a window in Vienna
as the Gestapo knocked at his door (a wonderful example of the famous Viennese courtesy)
‘Get me my bedpan.’
- J.W. GOETHE, German poet, according to his servant (his acolytes prefer the ‘More light!’ quote)
‘God will forgive me. That’s his profession.’
- HEINRICH HEINE, German poet
- BOB HOPE, English-born American comedian, when his wife asked him where we wanted to be buried
'On the contrary !'
- HENRIK IBSEN, Norwegian dramatist, when his nurse told a visitor that he was feeling better
'I told you I was ill.'
- SPIKE MILLIGAN, British comedian
'I do not have to forgive my enemies, I've had them all shot.'
- RAMON MARIA NARVAEZ, Spanish general
‘I am just going outside, and may be some time.’
- LAWRENCE OATES, member of Robert F. Scott’s fatal expedition to the South Pole, before lighting his pipe
and walking into a blizzard (due to his physical condition he delayed the group)
'They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist--'
- JOHN SEDGWICK, US general
'It is not my appearance, but my disappearance, that troubles me.'
- THADDEUS STEVENS, US politician and leading abolitionist (after a visitor commented on his appearance)
'I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's a record...'
- DYLAN THOMAS
'Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six.'
- LEO TOLSTOY, refusing to reconcile with the church
'Now, my good man, is no time for making enemies.'
- VOLTAIRE, when asked to renounce Satan
'Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.'
- OSCAR WILDE
'Alas, I am dying beyond my means' (while sipping champagne on his deathbed)