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The success or failure of a life, as far as posterity goes, seems to lie in the more or less luck of seizing the right moment of escape.
      - Alice James

The moment in which the spirit meets death is perhaps like the moment in which it is embraced in sleep. I suppose it never happened to any one to be conscious of the immediate transition from the waking to the sleeping state.
      - Mrs. Anna Brownell Jameson

. . . they found, in duke Ursini, Death's pale flags advanced in his cheeks, and he ready to take his oath to be Death's true liegeman.
      - Richard Johnson,
        Famous History of the Seven Champions of Christendom
         (pt. III, ch. XI),
        similar in Shakepeare's "Romeo and Juliet" (act V, scene iii)

If one was to think constantly of death, the business of life would stand still.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

It seems to be remarkable that death increases our veneration for the good, and extenuates our hatred for the bad.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Philosophy has often attempted to repress insolence by asserting that all conditions are leveled by death; a position which, however it may defect the happy, will seldom afford much comfort to the wretched.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

The time will come to every human being when it must be known how well he can bear to die.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

The uncertainty of death is, in effect, the great support of the whole system of life.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

To neglect at any time preparation for death is to sleep on our post at a siege; to omit it in old age is to sleep at an attack.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

When a friend is carried to his grave, we at once find excuses for every weakness, and palliation of every fault. We recollect a thousand endearments, which before glided off our minds without impression, a thousand favors unrepaid, a thousand duties unperformed; and wish, vainly wish, for his return, not so much that we may receive as that we may bestow happiness, and recompense that kindness which before we never understood.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

When we see our enemies and friends gliding away before us, let us not forget that we are subject to the general law of mortality, and shall soon be where our doom will be fixed forever.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
  No cold gradations of decay,
    Death broke at once the vital chain,
      And freed his soul the nearest way.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet
         (st. 9)

Good men but see death, the wicked taste it.
      - Ben Jonson

Thou art but gone before,
  Whither the world must follow.
      - Ben Jonson, Epitaph on Sir John Roe
         (p. 190), in Dodd's "Epigrammatists"

From the middle of life onward, only he remains vitally alive who is ready to die with life.
      - Carl Gustav Jung

Death alone discloses how insignificant are the puny bodies of men.
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal)

Death along discloses how insignificant are the puny bodies of men.
  [Lat., Mors sola fatetur
    Quantula sint hominum corpuscula.]
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal), Satires
         (X, 172)

Trust to a plank, draw precarious breath,
  At most seven inches from the jaws of death.
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal), Satires
         (XII, 57), Gifford's translation

Death is Life's high meed.
      - John Keats (1)

Love masters agony; the soul that seemed
  Forsaken feels her present God again
    And in her Father's arms
      Contented dies away.
      - John Keble

No one can obtain from the Pope a dispensation for never dying.
  [Lat., Nemo impetrare potest a papa bullam numquam moriendi.]
      - Thomas a Kempis

I tell myself that God gave my children many gifts--spirit, beauty, intelligence, the capacity to make friends and to inspire respect. There was only one gift he held back--length of life.
      - Rose Kennedy

The world will turn when we are earth
  As though we had not come nor gone;
    There was no lack before our birth,
      When we are gone there will be none.
      - Omar Khayyam ("The Tent-Maker")

When you and I behind the Veil are past.
      - Omar Khayyam ("The Tent-Maker"),
        The Rubaiyat (st. 47),
        (FitzGerald's translation)

Strange--is it not?--that of the myriads who
  Before us passed the door of Darkness through,
    Not one returns to tell us of the road
      Which to discover we must travel too.
      - Omar Khayyam ("The Tent-Maker"),
        The Rubaiyat (st. 68),
        (FitzGerald's translation)

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