From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878
Derrick, Samuel, a writer, the friend of Johnson and Boswell, occasionally referred to in Boswell's Johnson, was born in Dublin in 1724. Abandoning the linen-drapery business, he went to London in 1751, made an unsuccessful appearance upon the stage as an actor, and wrote some poetical pieces of a secondary character. Johnson, when asked whether Derrick or Smart was the better poet, replied : "Sir, it is not easy to settle the point of precedency between a louse and a flea." His flighty, careless way of living involved him in repeated monetary embarrassments; but when Beau Nash died, he had the good fortune to be chosen to succeed him as Master of the Ceremonies at Bath. The best known of his works (of which works a list will be found in Allibone) are his Letters, written from Liverpool to Chester, published in 1767. A collection of his jests appeared the year he died, 1769.
16. Authors, Dictionary of British and American: S. Austin Allibone. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1859-'71.
39. Biographical Dictionary, Imperial: Edited by John F. Waller. 3 vols. London, N.D.
46. Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson; with Notes and Illustrations: Edward Malone, London, 1848.
In Popular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland (first published in 1924) John J. Marshall examines the origin of a variety of rhymes and sayings that were at one time in vogue around different parts of the country, including those which he recalled from his own childhood in County Tyrone. Numerous riddles, games and charms are recounted, as well as the traditions of the ‘Wren Boys’ and Christmas Rhymers. Other chapters describe the war cries of prominent Irish septs and the names by which Ireland has been personified in literature over the centuries.
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