This sometimes funny, frequently poignant compilation offers a glimpse at the death-bed departures of kings, courtiers, poets, painters, saints, villains, murderers, and martyrs through the ages. Among the notable parting sentiments are Bing Crosby’s breezy sign-off: That was a great game of golf, fellers,” Lawrence Oates’ farewell to Captain Scott on his mythically ill-fated expedition to the South Pole: I’m just going out. I may be some time
,” and Civil War commander General Sedgewick’s final miscalculation: They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist.” It is a fascinating record of our final thoughts at the brink of the unimaginable. Jonathan Green is a noted lexicographer and the author of many books, including Slang Down the Ages.