Wit is the epitaph of an emotion.
Let no man write my epitaph… When my country takes her place among the nations of the earth, then shall my character be vindicated, then may my epitaph be written.
The term ‘epitaph’ itself means ‘something to be spoken at a burial or engraved upon a tomb.’ When an epitaph is a poem written for a tomb, and appears in a book, we are aware that we are not reading it in its proper form: we are reading a reproduction. The original of the epitaph is the tomb itself, with its words cut into the stone.
Let there be no inscription upon my tomb; let no man write my epitaph: no man can write my epitaph.
And were an epitaph to be my story I’d have a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.