‘We are dying in love’

January 17, 1914.

The New York coroner described the case of Joseph and Aranga Schauffley, man and wife, as the happiest case of suicide which he had ever been called on to investigate.

Both were victims of tuberculosis, and they made up their minds to die together rather than live a life of suffering.

First they entertained a party of friends at a banquet. Those present failed to grasp Schauffley’s meaning when, after his guests had been served with champagne, he made a little speech, in the course of which he said: “We are going away pretty soon, so let us drink and be merry.”

They wrote 21 farewell letters to other friends, in which they spoke with gladness of what they were about to do.

“This is the happiest festival of our lives,” they wrote. “We are dying in love and peace.”

Schauffley dressed for death in silk pyjamas, and his wife in a silken sleeping suit. Blue silk ribbons on their night attire spoke of their determination to avoid anything sombre in the final scene.

They tied a collar of the same blue silk around their dog’s neck, and then, closing the door and windows, they turned on the gas.

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John Litza, the author of the bill passed by the Milwaukee Assembly making cockfighting illegal, was one of 65 spectators arrested while witnessing a cockfight near Milwaukee.

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Johann Riemer, a workman at Raaden, Bohemia, and father of 14 children, was so overwhelmed with joy at having won £3,000 in a lottery that he burnt £250 in bank notes for sheer delight.

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An insurance policy against loss by fire or frost was effected on a pear tree - the most valuable in the world - owned by Mr H.A. Woodworth, of Whittier, California, who last season realised €640 from its fruit.

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Think before you speak; it’s not much use after.


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