1757 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Matthew Concanen

William Warburton to Richard Hurd, 3 January 1757; in Letters of a Late eminent Prelate (1808) 159.



Your little history is very dear to me, though it calls the sins of my youth to remembrance. I was very much a boy when I wrote that thing about prodigies, and I never had the courage to look into it since, so I have quite forgot all the nonsense it contains. But since you mention it, I will tell you how it came to see the light. I met many years ago with an ingenious Irishman at a Coffee-house near Gray's-Inn, where I lodged. He studied the law, and was very poor. I had given him money for a dinner; and at last I gave him those papers, which he sold to the booksellers for more money than you would think, much more than they were worth. But I must finish the history both of the Irishman and the papers. Soon after, he got acquainted with Sir William Younge, wrote for Sir Robert, and was made Attorney-General of Jamaica: he married there an opulent widow, and died very rich, a few years ago here in England: but of so scoundrel a temper, that he avoided ever coming into my sight: so that the memory of all this intercourse between us has been buried in silence till this moment. And who should this man be but one of the heros of the Dunciad, Concannen by name.