Last Word | November 2016 | Life & Death

You may say plenty of profound things in your life but posterity seems to put significant weight on the ones you say right before you die

To celebrate our Life & Death issue we’ve compiled some of our favorite final pronouncements by a rogues gallery of European greats. May they rest in peace.

last word
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
German poet – March 22, 1832 // © Joseph Karl Stieler, 1828

“Mehr Licht.”
(More light.)






last word
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Austrian composer – December 5, 1791

“Der Geschmack des Todes ist auf meiner Zunge, ich fühle etwas, das nicht von dieser Welt ist.”
(The taste of death is on my tongue, I feel something that is not from this world.)





last word
Immanuel Kant
German Enlightenment philosopher – February 12, 1804

“Es ist gut.”
(It is good.)






last word
Karl Kraus
Austrian satirist and author – June 12, 1936

“Pfui Teufel!”
(Ugh, disgusting!)






last word
Oscar Wilde
Irish playwright, novelist and poet – November 30, 1900 // © Napolean Sarony – Library of Congress

“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”






last word
Gustav Mahler
Austrian composer – May 18, 1911 // © Josef Székely/Wikimedia Commons



 “Mozart! Mozart!”







last word
Leo Tolstoy
Russian novelist – November 20, 1910


 “But the peasants…how do the peasants die?”







last word
French Enlightenment philosopher, when asked by a priest to renounce Satan. – May 30, 1778 // © Workshop of Nicolas de Largillière

“Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies.”







last word
Elisabeth (Sisi), Empress of Austria
stabbed to death –September 10, 1898. // © ÖNB

“Was ist mit mir geschehen?”
(What has happened to me?)






last word
John-Maynard Keynes
English economist – April 21, 1946 // © Harvard Theatre Collection

“I should have drunk more Champagne.”







last word
Joseph Haydn
Austrian composer –Last words, as Napoleon’s troops lay siege upon Vienna. May 31, 1809 // © Thomas Hardy

“Kinder, seid’s doch getröstet. Mir gehts gut.”
(Children take comfort, I am well.)







last word
Edith Piaf
French chansonniere – October 10, 1963 // © Nationaal Archief

“Every damn fool thing you do in this life you pay for.”






The Editors
This was written by the Metropole editorial Team. Sometimes its an expat, sometimes a native, most of the time the lines are blurred, and sometimes we're sharing someone else's content, but we always say so. Oh yeah, and buy our magazine! Thanks.

RECENT Articles


Join over 5,000 Metropolitans, who already get monthly news updates and event invitations.