Anecdote: Meeting someone in hell [Was: You shall either die upon the gallows or of a social disease]

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Oct 28 18:47:20 UTC 2012

At 10/28/2012 01:27 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>A: You, sir, will certainly either die upon the gallows or of a
>social disease.
>B: That depends, sir, upon whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.

I am reminded by this of an anecdote told of Harvard Tutor Henry
Flynt.  When George Whitefield was in Boston in 1740, he criticized
the Harvard tutors "who read 'bad books' such as the works of
Tillotson and Clarke".  When he met Flynt, Whitefield remarked, "It
is my opinion, that Dr. Tillotson is in hell for his heresy." Flynt
replied, "It is my opinion, that you will not meet him there."

The earliest I have for this tale is 1846, and it was repeated in
1946 by Samuel Eliiot Morison.  The Harvard Archives have nothing
earlier.  I invite additional investigation.  :-)


The American Dialect Society -

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