Hiffernan, Paul

, a minor author of the last century, much patronized and befriended by Garrick, was born in the county of Dublin in 1719, and educated for a popish priest, first in Ireland, and afterwards for many years in France. Yet after all, he took his degree of bachelor in physic, and returned to Dublin that he might practise. Indolence, however, prevented his application jto that or any profession, and he came to London about 1753, where he subsisted very scantily and idly, as an author, for the remainder of his life; producing several works, but none of any great merit. He was principally employed by the booksellers in various works of translation, compilement, &c. In short, with no principles, and slender abilities, he was perpetually disgracing literature, which he was doomed to follow for bread, by such a conduct as was even unworthy of the lowest and most contemptible of the vulgar. His conversation was highly offensive to decency and good manners, and his whole behaviour discovered a mind over which the opinions of mankind had no influence. He associated, however, occasionally with some of the most celebrated men of his time, Foote, Garrick, Murphy, Goldsmith, Kelly, Sec. who tolerated his faults, and occasionally supplied his necessities, although when he thought their liberality insufficient, he made no scruple of writing the grossest libels on their character. One of his peculiar fancies was to keep the place of his lodging a secret, which he did so completely, that he refused to disclose it even when dying, to a friend who supported him, and actually received his last contributions through the channel of the Bedford coffee-house. When he died, which was in June 1777, it was discovered that he had lodged in one of the obscure courts near St. Martin’s-lane. Dr. Hiffernan, as he was usually called, was author of the folio wing works: 1.“The Ticklers,” a set of periodical and political papers, published in Dublin about 1750. 2. “The Tuner,” a set of periodical papers, published in London in 1753. 3. “Miscellanies in prose and verse,1754. 4. “The Ladies’ Choice,” a dramatic petite piece, acted at Coventgarden in 1759. 5. “The Wishes of a free People,” a dramatic poem, 1761. 6. “The New Hippocratrs,” a farce, acted at Drury-lane in 1761, but not published, 7. “The Earl of Warwick,” a tragedy, from the French of La Harpe, 1764. 8. “Dramatic Genius,” an essay, ia | five books, 1770. 9. “The Philosophic Whim,” a farce, 1774. 10. “The Heroine of the Cave,” a tragedy, loft unfinished by Henry Jones, author of the “Earl of Essex,” completed by Hiffernan, and acted at Drury-lane in 1774. He also issued proposals for a quarto volume of additional Miscellanies in prose and verse, which we believe never appeared. 1

1

Biog. Dram. —Davies’s Life of Garrick, vol. I. p. 247. —Ireland’s Life of Henderson, p. 61.