Word Ways


John Holgate


Deathbed utterances of famous people are sometimes recorded for posterity and generally contain the last spark of wisdom before they go to greet the great Anagrammatist in the Sky. Who could forget Madame de Pompadour's bon mot to a priest at her bedside "Stay a little longer and we will go together" or Bredan Behan's remark to the obliging nun "Bless you, Sister. May you be the mother of a bishop"? In fact many of these gems are apocryphal or said while the notable enjoyed good health. His or her very last Rhodes' dictum "So much to do, so little time" was not his final message but rather "Turn me over, Jack" which isn't particularly quotable at after-dinner speeches.