DERRICK, Samuel. ~ A Collection of original Poems. London: Printed for the Author; and sold by A. Millar... 1755.
8vo (215 × 128 mm), pp. xvi, 240, including subscribers’ list; contemporary sprinkled sheep, rebacked, preserving original red label; Heytesbury House and Esher bookplates.
First edition. The subscribers’ list includes Cibber, Cowper, Garrick, Johnson and Smollett. Dublin-born (in 1724) Derrick had fled to London with the intention of becoming an actor, before turning his hand to writing. ‘He was acquainted with both Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, whose opinion of him was somewhat ambivalent. Johnson, while having “a kindness’”for him, on being asked which was the finer poet, Derrick or Christopher Smart, replied that there was “no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea” (Boswell, 272, 1214). Boswell, though an associate of Derrick during his first trip to London in 1760, later turned against this “little blackguard pimping dog”’ (Oxford DNB). In 1763 he became Master of Ceremonies at Bath, where he lived until his death in 1769.