Parting Quips: 5 Historical Figures’ Memorable Last Words

History is full of remarkable moments, but few are as intriguing as the parting words of those who shaped it. From intellectuals to monarchs, these five individuals left behind memorable phrases as they exited the stage. Familiarize yourselves with their must-know final utterances.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

As epic as his existence, da Vinci’s final words were “I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” Drop mic. The epitome of Renaissance brilliance, da Vinci expressed regret for his perceived shortcomings in his final moments, showcasing his relentless pursuit of excellence. Naturally, we disagree.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

This American president’s last uttering was as classic as “No, doctor, nothing more.” People often like citing an alternative: “Is it the Fourth?” – as in, 4th of July. It’s romantic to think that Jefferson inquired about Independence Day on his deathbed, but the real version is no less impressive in elegance.

Marie Antoinette (1755-1793)

Like a true queen, Antoinette’s final words were “Pardon me, sir. I meant not to do it.” The controversial Queen of France during the French Revolution, she gracefully held on to her last bits of dignity with an apology as she faced execution. You must give her some credit for that.

Joan of Arc (1412-1431)

A feminist icon before feminism was a thing, this strong woman’s last words were “Hold the cross high so I may see it through the flames.” Renowned for her bravery and faith, Joan of Arc asked to see the cross as she was viciously burned at the stake, demonstrating her unwavering devotion.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

This grand French leader’s final sentence was concise but meaningful: “France, the army, the head of the army, Joséphine.” Bonaparte, an unforgettable figure in European history, expressed his loyalty to France, the military, and his wife in his final moments, capturing his essence.

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