[PW] ? Beethoven "Last Words" (Quotation Query #767)

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sun Feb 19 22:18:46 PST 2017

On Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 9:56 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

A singular anecdote is told of his death-bed. On his medical
> attendants informing him of his approaching end, he immediately cried
> out to those around him, "Plaudite, amici! comedia finita è" (clap
> your hands, my friends! the play is over).

This version is mixed Latin and Italian.  "Comedia" is Latin and would be
"la commedia" in Italian (it's a borrowing rather than an inherited word).
 "È" is Italian; the Latin would be "est".  "Plaudite", "amici" and
"finita" could be either.

John Cowan          http://vrici.lojban.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
Most people are much more ignorant about language than they are about
[other subjects], but they reckon that because they can talk and read and
write, their opinions about talking and reading and writing are as well
informed as anybody's.  And since I have DNA, I'm entitled to carry on at
length about genetics without bothering to learn anything about it.  Not.
                        --Mark Liberman

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