John Randolph of Roanoke by William Cabell Bruce, 1922

Death of John Randolph of Roanoke

Randolph then said: “John told me this morning, ‘Master, you are dying’” and the Doctor made no attempt to keep the truth from him. On the contrary, he assured Randolph that he would be entirely candid with him, and informed him that he had been rather surprised that he had lasted so long. Thereupon, Randolph made his preparations to die; John, obeying his directions as if every- thing had been thoroughly preconcerted between them. The gold stud, which had belonged to his father, was, agreeably with his command, placed in his shirt bosom by John, as we have mentioned in a previous chapter. At his request, a napkin was also placed upon his breast by John. For a short time, he lay perfectly quiet with his eyes closed, and Dr. Parrish thought that he was inclined to sleep; but suddenly he roused himself and exclaimed : “Remorse! Remorse!”, uttering the word the second time at the top of his voice in a state of great excitement, and then crying out: “Let me see the word.” Dr. Parrish thought it prudent to remain wholly silent. Randolph continued: “Get a dictionary — let me see the word.” The Doctor looked about him and told Randolph that he believed that there was none in the room. “Write it down then,” commanded Randolph. “Let me see the word.” The Doctor picked up one of Randolph's cards from the table with the words “Randolph of Roanoke” on it, and asked whether he should write the word “Remorse” on that. “Yes, nothing more proper,” replied Randolph. At this, with his pencil, the Doctor wrote the word “Remorse” on the card, and Randolph took it into his hands hurriedly, and fastened his eyes on it with great intensity. “Remorse, you have no idea what it is — you can form no idea of it whatever; it has contributed to bring me to my present situation; but I have looked to the Lord Jesus Christ and hope I have obtained pardon.” He then said: “Now let John take the pencil and draw a line under the word” which was accordingly done. The Doctor asked what disposition was to be made of the card, and he replied: “Put it in your pocket and take care of it; when I am dead, look at it.”

John Randolph of Roanoke, 1773-1833 by William Cabel Bruce, 1922, Page 42.