Friday, May 15, 2009

Catechism on American Wealth: How it Works and Why to Read Ben Franklin, VI.V

Mr. Poor Richard, Partridge?

Lemay is referring to Swift’s hoax in his Predictions for the Year 1708, in which Swift predicted (and later testified to) the death of shoemaker, quack astrologist and almanac maker, John Partridge. Partridge was tormented by the hoax—an undertaker coming to visit him and a tombstone carved—while he continued to aver that he was alive, only to suffer Swift’s rebuke that “they were sure no man alive ever to writ such damned stuff as this.”

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