Robert Ross (1869-1918)
From Literary Anecdotes About 20th Century Authors

Lord ALFRED Douglas, Robbie's most virulent enemy, though unfortunate in all else, was fortunate in living long enough to be the last surviving member of Oscar Wilde's circle, and thus able to leave for others, who had not known Ross, a distorted presentation of his character, and to show him as an unprincipled and injurious friend to the fallen writer, whereas in reality he was a martyr to this friendship, which, by the sorrows, worries and troubles it brought him, shortened and ruined his life. He had no foes, however, among the young. His wit, for which he was justly celebrated, was apt to die with the day that gave it birth, being of the type that, most exquisite of ephemerids, is so true and pointed as to depend for its value on the currents, trends and feelings almost of a particular week. A few mots survive, to hibernate in the mind, and come out again on an early summer day: and these, no matter if you disagree with the opinion they express, are brilliant. Such a one was the epitaph he designed for his tomb. . . When asked one evening by a friend what he would choose to be written on his own gravestone, he replied that, at the end of so stormy a career, the appropriate inscription would be,

`Here lies one whose name is writ in hot water.'

From Sitwell, Noble Essences, pp. 99-100.

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