Angel of Death, Dante Alighieri, Death, Inferno, J.J. O'Molloy, James Joyce, Ned Lambert, Resurrection, The last will and testament of Dr. William Tiger Dunlop, The last will and testament of Mary Joyce, Ulysses
I, Hedges Eyre Chatterton, being of sound mind and body despite the indifferent care given me by the inflated windbags and weathercocks amongst my nearest and most dear relations hereby declare this document to be my last will and testament thus nullifying all previous versions. The Angel of Death nears and on this the occasion of my ninetieth birthday I note the meanderings of some purling rill as it babbles on its way, tho’ quarreling with the stony obstacles, to the tumbling waters of Neptune’s blue domain, and my thoughts, fanned by the gentlest zephyrs, drift towards a meditation upon this our mortal coil and as I meekly resign my soul to its Creator in the humble hope (thro’ the merits of Jesus Christ) of its future happiness as in the disposal of a Being infinitely good. My body I direct to be decently buried with no damn cross or any other bloody instrument of torture at my tomb but instead at the discretion of my Executor hereinafter named as to such temporal estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me, to provide from said estate a suitably sized angelic statue in pensive posture which shall be placed at my final bed of rest to remind those sad mourners particularly amongst my dearest family that although they might subscribe to the charming principle that all blows over and this too shall pass they ought rather dwell on the far more apt verse from our most holy book being as follows: they who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind. As I have left no issue from my certainly most capable loins, and am unlikely to do so as the vernal green of my youth turns toward the the transcendent translucent glow of mysterious twilight, I hereby bequeath the following mortal possessions from this my earthly life to my most dearest ones, and once they get wind of my passing may they trample each other to death with pulling hair and biting to get their filthy hands on it thus consigning their wretched souls to burn forever in the fiery gales of miserable hell in their lust for a windfall the bastards. To the relations of my departed first wife Mary Halloran, because I promised the dear pitiful creature on her dying bed as she lay ‘neath the shadows cast o’er her pensive bosom by the overarching leafage of the giants of the forest to remember her family upon my own sad demise, I hereby remember you. Agonizing Christ! how could I forget such a miserable batch of high falutin bladderbags, and in addition to a reminiscence of your kindness (as most certainly I love you as you love me) to each and every one of you I bequeath a pustulating heartburn on your arse. To my niece Jane Chatterton Steer I leave one dollar for the kindness and love she never showed me. To my nephew the Reverend Eyre Chatterdon I leave ten dollars to buy a book on manners. Make that twenty. To the Mr. Bell who married my niece Rebecca Chatterton Bell I leave my collection of antiques for the service he has done the family in taking a woman no man of taste would have taken. To Mr. Garcia the husband of my niece Susan Chatterton Garcia I leave my collection of aged scotch and other spirits and my crystal collection so he may drink therefrom to comfort him under the affliction of a slatternly wife. I leave my silver tankard to my grand-nephew Abraham Eyre Chatterton, son of my nephew Abraham Chatterton. As the representative of the family I ought to have left it to Abraham himself, but he would melt it down to make temperance medals, and that would be sacrilege — however, I leave my big horn snuff-box to him: he can only make temperance horn spoons of that. I leave all my landed property and furnishings therein to my nieces Mary Chatterton Berry and Martha Chatterton, the former because she is married to a man whom (God help him) she henpecks. The latter because she is married to nobody, nor is she like to be, for she is an old maid, and not market-rife. I wish peace and affluence to all my friends and a piece of effluence to all my enemies. And last and most certainly least I leave the entirety of my monetary fortune to my great-nephew Edward (Ned) Lambert under the condition that he touch none of it, not so much as a penny, but instead hold it safefully for the personal use of Jesus Christ, when He returns.
I do hereby constitute and appoint J.J. O’Molloy to be the executor of this my last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the twenty-ninth day of February in the year of our Lord two thousand and twelve.