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WORTHIES OF IRELAND,
EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE PRESENT TIME.
WRITTEN AND COMPILED
BY RICHARD RYAN.
« On Lough Neagh's banks as the fisherman strays,
“ When the clear cold eve's declining,
“ In the wave beneath him shining:
“ Catch a glimpse of the days that are over;
Moore's Irish MELODIES.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
JOHN WARREN, OLD BOND STREET;
WORTHIES OF IRELAND.
A MINOR poet, of considerable abilities, and a miscellaneous writer of some note in his day, was a native of Ireland, and was descended from a good family in that kingdom. He was liberally educated by his parents, and was bred to the law, in which profession he seems not to have made any great figure. From some cause or other, he conceived an aversion to Dr. Swift, for his abuse of whom the world has taxed him with ingratitude. Copcanen, it is true, had once enjoyed some degree of Swift's favour (who was not always very happy in his choice of companions); and it is said, he had an opportunity of perusing some of the Doctor's poems in manuscript, which he unhesitatingly thought fit to appropriate and publish as his own. But this story is by no means authenticated. As affairs did not prosper much with him in Ireland, he came over to London, in company with a Mr. Stirling, a dramatic poet of little celebrity; and deeming nothing so profitable or so likely to recommend him to public notice as political writing, he speedily commenced an advocate VOL. II.
B e nellement BAB 9** *****
for the government. There is an anecdote told of these authors, which we sincerely hope is not true, which is, that in order to render their trade more profitable, they resolved to espouse different interests, one should oppose and the other defend the ministry, and determined the side of the question each was to take by tossing up a half- . penny, when it fell to the share of Concaņen to defend the ministry, which task he performed with as much abilities as ephemeral political writers generally discover. His companion, Stirling, afterwards went into orders, and became a clergyman in Maryland*. Concanen was, for some time, concerned in the “ British” and “ London Journals, and in a paper called “ The Speculatist,” which last was published in 1730. These periodical pieces are long since buried in neglect, and, doubtless, would have sunk to utter oblivion, had not Pope, by his satirical writings, given them a kind of disgraceful immortality. In these journals, be published many scurrilities against Pope, and in a pamphlet entitled “The Supplement to the Profound,” he used him with great virulence and little candour. He not only imputed to him Brown's verses (for which he might, indeed, seem in some degree accountable, having corrected what that geötleman did), but those of the Duke of Buckingham and others. To this rare piece somebody humorously persuaded him to take for his motto, 46. De profundis clamavi.” He afterwards wrote a paper called “The Daily Courant," wherein, he évinced much spleen against Lord Bolingbroke, and many of bis friends. All those provocations excited Mr. Pope to allot him a place in his;“ Dunciad.” In his second book, dine 287, where he represents the dunces diving in the mud of the Thames for the prize, he speaks thus of Concanen :
“Firm to the bottom, see Concanen creep,
A cold, long-winded native of the deep;
* He was the author of two plays, entitled “ The Rival Generals," trag. 8vo. 1722; and “ The Parricide," trag. 8vo. 1736.