John Fiske looked forward with sorrow to the great changes he was to find on his forthcoming visit to London. His dearest friends, Darwin, Lewes, Huxley, Sime, Tyndall, Lord Arthur Russell, Macmillan, all were gone. Only Spencer remained, and in a very feeble condition. Mr. Fiske felt that his visit would consist largely of delightful memories. But this visit was not to be.
John Fiske died at the Hawthorne Inn, East Gloucester, Massachusetts, on July 4, 1901. His son Herbert was with him. Shortly before his death in a state of semiconsciousness, he distinctly pronounced the name of his wife and of each of his children, in order. One of our great lights of learning was thus prematurely extinguished at the age of fifty-nine; just at the height of a glorious career. He was buried on July 7 in the old family burial lot at Petersham. Expressing his deep love for the town, Mr. Fiske used to say:
"Death takes on a pleasant seeming since it means going to Petersham to stay."
A monument bearing his cherished motto,
"Disce ut semper victurus
Vive ut cras moriturus"
marks his grave.