The laughter thus provoked extinguished the Predictions for three years, and in 1715 Partridge died in fact; but the episode left a permanent trace in classic literature, for when in 2709 Steele was to start the Tatler, it occurred to him that he could secure the public ear in no surer way than by adopting the name of Bickerstaff.
He promoted the subscription for Pope's Homer, contributed some numbers to the Tatler, Spectator, and Intelligencer, and joined with Pope and Arbuthnot in establishing the Scriblerus Club, writing Martinus Scriblerus, his share in which can have been but small, as well as John Bull, where the chapter recommending the education of all blue-eyed children in depravity for the public good must surely be his.
Contributions to the Examiner, Tatler, Spectator, &c., ed.
This species of composition had been brought into fashion by the success of the Tatler, and by the still more brilliant success of the Spectator.
Although the frequenters of the clubs and coffee-houses were the persons for whom the essay-papers were mainly written, a proof of the increasing refinement of the age is to be found in the fact that now for the first time were women specially addressed as part of the reading public. The Taller was commenced by Richard Steele in 1709, and Tatler, &c. issued thrice a week until 1711.