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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Benjamin Franklin King

      If I should die to-night 1 
And you should come in deepest grief and woe—
And say:—“Here’s that ten dollars that I owe,”
  I might arise in my large white cravat
  And say, “What’s that?”
          If I should die.
    Nothing to do but work,
  Nothing to eat but food,
Nothing to wear but clothes
  To keep one from going nude.
          The Pessimist.
Note 1.
Parody on:
      If I should die to-night,
My friends would look upon my quiet face
Before they laid it in its resting-place,
And deem that death had left it almost fair.
Belle E. Smith. [back]