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A curious interest attaches to the demise of a friend. When "the rider on the pale horse" stops at the house of a friend, we seldom fail to inquire the cause of death. Death is to us so deep a mystery. It changes a being full of energy and life and hope, into an inanimate object, with a rapidity that is appalling. We stand aghast in its presence. The friend, whose welcome smile we meet to-day, is dead to-morrow. We eagerly inquire the cause. So it seemed to me that it would be of interest to make a collection of facts in regard to the death of celebrated persons; those whom we have learned to know and love from their written pages; and those whose deeds have moved men's hearts, in the times in which they lived. It is impossible to ascertain the cause of death in many instances. Diagnosis
MICHEL RS. THE CAUSE OF DEATH OF PROMINENT PERSONS. JAMA. 1896;XXVI(13):621–622. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430650023002f
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