1458 c/o Crispin Best

The Art of Dying Well

Chapter IX

Some suggestions:

  • You could be deposed by your little brother. He will order your death by strangling. You will wonder if you'll make a fat ghost.

  • The date and place of your death could be recorded, but not the cause: February 20, 1458, 'At the circus'.

  • You could die in some abbey somewhere. Nobody will be sure if you were poisoned by a monk or had a stroke or what.

  • It could be decided by the Italians that since you are Catalan you are 'worth killing'. You could make it to a port and then die. Your Catalan friends could sail off, leaving you, your bewildered face, your bewildered dead body.

  • You could get a posthumous pardon for your daughter and then die, not burning, unlike her, but not hopeful, unlike her.

  • You could die shortly after your wife, but before you are able to name your disgraced illegitimate son as your true heir. Your illegimate son would stay disgraced and win a large amount of money one afternoon gambling on pigs.

  • You could put a stone roof on the cathedral to keep out the rain. You could pave the floor of the cathedral with stone and then die.

  • You could die in your hometown, in a small room in the college you founded, a book over your face because of what the smell means or just to block out the light, who knows.

  • You could die and be remembered for the poetic form you invented, of which your poems are the only example.

  • You could be said by all to be unattractive. You could have delicate health. You could fail to produce children and die.

  • You could die and be buried and someone could erect an alabaster monument to you and then someone else could come along and kick it down as a joke.