Arthur Murphy


Life
1727-1805; b. Clooniquin [var. Cloonyquin], Co. Roscommon; raised in London; ed. St. Omer; lived George’s Quay Dublin, after father’s death at sea; clerked for an uncle in Cork; returned to London; refused to travel to Jamaica and disinherited by an uncle; turned to stage; fnd. ed. Gray’s Inn Journal, 1752-54 (first iss. 21 Oct.), in opposition to the Spectator, contributing as ‘Charles Ranger’; appeared as Othello at Covent Garden (18 Oct. 1754); wrote nineteen of plays, chiefly farces, beginning with The Apprentice (1756); refused entrance to Middle Temple actor in 1757, but accepted by Lincoln’s Inns through influence of Henry Fox and others; The Upholsterer; or, What News?;
 
appeared at Smock Alley in 1757-58; enjoyed success with The Orphan of China (1759), a tragedy adapted from Voltaire’s L’Orphelin de la Chine; also adapted Three Weeks after Marriage (1760), after Molière; issued a novel, Isabella, or the Memoirs of a Coquette (1761); ed. Fielding’s Works (1762); bar, 1762 and acted as principal pleading barrister with Dalrymple, representing appellants in successful law suits to terminate perpetual copyright in books then pertaining to booksellers who acquired such texts as Paradise Lost for ‘a Bottle and a fowl’; supplied preface to Goldsmith’s The Goodnatur’d Man (1768);
 
wrote The Grecian Daughter (1773), tragedy based on the classical story of Valerius Maximus about the filial piety of the dg. who breast-fed her father in prison; retired from bar, through deafness, 1788; Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson (1792); Life of David Garrick (1801) (1801); trans. Tacitus, 4 vols. (1793), ded. Edmund Burke; granted pension under George III and made commissioner of Bankruptcy, 1803; d. 18 June, Knightsbridge, London; bur. Hammersmith; a biography was written by his executor, Dr. Jesse Foote (1811); there is a portrait by Nathaniel Dancer in the [Irish] National Portrait Collection. RR CAB ODNB PI NCBE DIB DIW DIL OCEL JMC FDA OCIL
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Works
The Works of Arthur Murphy, 7 vols. (London: T. Cadell 1786) [infra]; Richard B. Schwartz, ed. & intro., The Plays of Arthur Murphy [Eighteenth-century English Drama] (NY: Garland Publ. [q.d.), 438pp. [367, xxix, 100pp.; incl. reprint of the 1798 edn. of Arminius].

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Plays: Editions
Separate editions
  • The Apprentice: A Farce in Two Acts (London 1756, 1756, 1764); Do. (Belfast: James Magee 1773); Do. (London: Bell’s 1784); and Do. [other edns.] in British Stage, Sharpe’s British Theatre [q.d.] and Cawthorn’s Minor British Drama (1811), also in collections of Inchbald, Dibdin, London Stage, British Drama, and Dicks’s No. 207 [1877];
  • The Spouter or the Triple Revenge: A Comic Farce in Two Acts (1756);
  • The Grecian Daughters, Tragedy in Five Acts (2nd edn. 1772; edns. to 1874), and Do. in Italian as Eufrasia, o la Figlia Greca (Pisa 1787);
  • All in the Wrong: A Comedy in Five Acts (London: P Valliant 1761; Dublin 1762; Cork 1765; London 1775, 1787), also in collections of Jones, Bell, Inchbald, Dibdin, Oxberry, and Cumberland to 1829 and Dicks [1875]; [George Daniel], ed., All in the Wrong, with Biographical and Critical notes [q.d.];
  • Do., trans into German by F. L. Schroeder, as Die Eifersuchtign, oder Kenirer hat Recht, Ein Lustspiel in vier Aufzügen (German Stage [q.d.])
  • Alzuma: A Tragedy in Five Acts and Verse (3 edns. 1773), rep. in A Collection of New Plays (1774).
  • Arminius: a Tragedy in Verse in Five Acts (London 1798);
  • The Citizen: A Farce in Two Acts and Prose (1793, 3rd edn. 1770); Do. (Dublin: A Leathley 1774), 12o., and Do. (London 1784, 1786, 1804, &c), also in collections of Sharpe, Cawthorn, Inchbald, Oxberry, Cumberland, et al.;
  • Hamlet: A Tragedy in Three Acts (1811);
  • The Orphan of China (1759 & edns., incl. Dublin: G. & A. Ewing 1759), and Do. (Dublin: Leathey 1761);
  • The Rival Sisters: A Tragedy in Five Acts (London 1793), and Do. (Dublin: P. Wogan 1793), 79pp.;
  • The School for Guardians: A Comedy (London 1767), and Do. (1797; 2 edns.); ... &c.
Collected Editions
  • The Works of Arthur Murphy, 7 vols. (London: T. Caddell 1786) [see details];
  • John Pike Emery, ed., “The Way to Keep Him” and Five other plays by Arthur Murphy (NY UP 1956); George Taylor, ed. & intro. , Plays by Samuel Foote and Arthur Murphy (Cambridge UP 1984).
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Other Works
Poetry
  • The Desert Island: Three Act Dramatic Poem after Metastasio (1760), and Do. [Dutch trans.] (1774);
  • The Examiner: A Satire in Verse (London 1761) [orig. “The Expostulation” but altered on title-page];
  • Seventeen Hundred and Ninety One: A Poem in imitation of 13th satire of Juvenal (1791).
Fiction
  • Isabella, or the Memoirs of a Coquette (Dublin: James Hoey 1761).
Criticism
  • Essay on the Life and Genius of Henry Fielding, in The Works of Henry Fielding, Vol. I (1762, 1771, 1783, 1784, 1806, 1821, 1871);
  • Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson (1792, 1793, 1796, 1801, 1806, 1810; also 1824, 1825), Do., in Johnsonian Miscellanies, ed. G. B. Hill (1897); and Do. [abridged], in Selected Miscellanies of Johnson, ed. Rev. W. P. Page (1897);
  • Works of Samuel Johnson, LLD, with an Essay on his Life and Genius [new edn.] 12 vols. (London: G. Woodfall 1816) [see details]; The Works of Sallust, translated into English by the late Arthur Murphy [with a ‘Life of Sallust’ by Thomas Moore] (London: J. Carpenter 1807), 40pp., and Do. [2nd edn.] (Dublin: Gilbert & Hodges 1810), [2]+37pp.
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Miscellaneous
  • Charles Ranger [pseud. of A.M.], ed., The Gray’s Inn Journal (1753- ; rep. 1756);
  • Addisoni Epistola missa ex Italia ad illustram Dominum Halifax, anno 1701 (1799) [Addison’s Italian letters to Halifax trans. into Latin hexameters];
  • Beauties of the Magazines (1772) [essays], 12o;
  • Do. (1775), 8o; Boswell’s Life of Johnson to which are [sic] added anecdotes by A. Murphy (1835);
  • ed., Man of the World by Charles Macklin (1793);
  • ed., The Works of Cornelius Tacitus, with an Essay on the Life and Genius of Tacitus, 4 vols. (London: G. C. J. & J. Robinson 1793; rep. 1807, 1829, 1832, 1908) [see extract];
  • trans., The Bees: A Fourteenth-century Poem (1799) [viz., J. Vanière, Praedium Rusticum];
  • trans., [Bishop of Alba], A Game of Chess [1867], bilingual in Latin & English];

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Bibliographical details
The Works of Arthur Murphy
, 7 vols. (London: T. Cadell 1786) - Vol. 1: The Orphan of China; Zenobia; The Grecian Daughter; Alzuma. Vol. 2: The Apprentice; The Upholstered; The Old Maid; The Citizen; No One’s Enemy But His Own; Three Weeks After Marriage. Vol. 3: The Way to Keep Him; All in the Wrong; The Desert Island. Vol. 4: Know Your Own Mind; The School for Guardians; The Choice; News from Parnassus. Vol. 5-6: Gray’s-Inn Journal [Nos. 1-104]. Vol. 7: A Poetical Epistle to Dr. Johnson; The Expostulation; Prologues, Epilogues, &c.; The Game of Chess: A Poem ... from the Scacchia of Vida; Templum famæ: A Latin Poem, from the Temple of fame of Mr. Pope; Pope’s Ode on Solitude, tr. into Latin; Busy Curious Thirsty Fly, in Latin; Gray’s Churchyard Elegy, in Latin; The Rival Sisters; Prologue, occasioned by the Death of Mr. Henderson; Postscript.

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Works of Samuel Johnson, LLD, with an Essay on his Life and Genius [new edn.] 12 vols. (London: G. Woodfall 1816), Vol. 1, 328pp.; Vol. 2. [philological tracts], 423pp.; Vol. 3, 426pp; Vol. 4 [The Rambler], 402pp.; Vol. 5 [The Rambler, cont.], 406pp; Vol. 6 [Rambler, conclusion], 336pp.; Vol. 7 [The Idler], 336pp.; Vol. 8 [Journey to Western Islands of Scotland], 66pp.; Vol. 9 [Lives of the English Poets], 408pp.; vol. 10 [Lives, cont.], 353pp.; vol. 11 [Lives, conclusion], 336pp.; Vol. 12 [Lives of Eminent Persons], 432pp. See also Works of Johnson, new edn. 2 vols. (Henry Bohn 1862); The Englishman from Parts [1756] (Augustan Reprint Society [No. 17] 1969), 35pp. [See extract from the Essay, infra.]

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The Works of Cornelius Tacitus, with an Essay on the Life and Genius of Tacitus, by Arthur Murphy, Esq.. 4 vols. (London: for G. C. J. & J. Robinson, Paternoster Row 1793), ded. Edmund Burke [‘with a patriot spirit standing forth the champion of Truth, of your Country, and the British Constitution’, p.vi.], notes supplements & maps.

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Criticism
Richard Ryan, Biographia Hibernica: Irish Worthies (1821), Vol. II, pp.445-49; Howard A. [Hunter] Dunbar, The Dramatic Career of Arthur Murphy [Revolving Fund, No.14] (NY: MLA 1946; London: OUP 1946); John Pike Emery, Arthur Murphy (Philadelphia: Temple UP 1946), port. & bibl.; Robert Donald Spector, Arthur Murphy (Boston: Twayne Publ. 1979);

See also Philim Moculloch [pseud.], The Murphiad (1761), called ‘a very nasty production’ [Arnott/Lowe] and Robert Lynd, Essays on Life and Literature (London: Dent 1951), “A Pre-Boswell Group” [chap.] (London: Dent) [infra].

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Commentary
Allardyce Nicoll, British Drama: An Historical Survey from the Beginnings to the Present Time (London: George Harrap 1925; 5th rev. edn. 1962) [Drama in the Eighteenth Century: Comedy’s Temporary Revival, p.189ff.]: [S]entimental touches appear in the plays of Arthur Murphy, yet he too has three comedies, The Way to Keep Him (1760), All in the Wrong (1761), and Know Your Own Mind (1777), in which there is an evident effort to preserve the integrity of the comic tradition. While the Cumberlands and Kellys and Holcrofts were engaged in making their distressed heroines talk in terms far removed from those of ordinary conversation, he can introduce his lively Lady Bell reciting part of a love-lyric [quotes, as infra]. In a kindred manner Mrs Hannah Cowley, author of nearly a score of comedies, farces, and tragedies, strove to work in the older tradition. A Bold Stroke for a Husband (1783), The Belle’s Stratagem (1780), and A School for Greybeards (1786) are all equally vivacious, adding to cleverly constructed intrigues reminiscent [191] of the plays of Mrs Behn and Mrs Centlivre characters which take life on the stage; the Doricourt of the last-mentioned play, handsome, witty, and gallant, succeeds in recalling the vanished Dorimants and Mirabells of an elder age. [pp.191-95; end - followed by “6: The Domestic Drama”.]

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John P. Emery, Arthur Murphy (1946), notes that the Preface to Goldsmith’s The Goodnatur’d Man (1768), generally taken to be by the author, was claimed by Arthur Murphy in a letter to Mrs. Hester Thrale Piozzi (14 March 1792; cited in O’Leary, Hugh Kelly: Contributions towards a Critical Biography [Ann Arbour Microfilms] Fordham Univ. 1965, p.206, ftn.)

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Robert Lynd, Essays on Life and Literature (London: Dent 1951), “A Pre-Boswell Group” [chap.]: Of Johnson’s other early friends and acquaintances we may leave the most famous, Goldsmith and Sir Joshua Reynolds, to the next chapter, covering the period when Johnson was a great man among great men, though he knew both of them before he knew Boswell. Boswell, indeed, was the last of all his close friends, except the Thrales, to make his acquaintance. Of the others, Arthur Murphy, Irish actor, dramatist, journalist, and biographer - the “dear Mur” of Johnson - is chiefly memorable as the man who brought Johnson in his “abode of wretchedness” the offer of a pension from the Government and who introduced him to the Thrales. The story of his own introduction to Johnson, however, is interesting for the light it throws both on Murphy’s easy-going character and on the illimitable good nature of Johnson. Finding himself one day on a holiday in the country and with an article to write for the Gray’s Inn Journal, Murphy decided, instead of being at the pains to compose an essay himself, to translate an essay that he had found in a French journal. After the publication of the essay, he was alarmed to discover that what he had translated into English was itself a translation of one of Johnson’s Ramblers into French. He immediately resolved to call on Johnson and offer his apologies; and, on calling at Gough Square, he found him, as he says, “all covered with soot like a chimney-sweeper, in a little room, with an intolerable and strange smell, as if he had been acting Lungs in the Alchemist, making [aedler]” (for Johnson was an enthusiastic amateur chemist). Doubts have been cast on the accuracy of some of the details of the story, but it is at least certain that Murphy’s lazy theft from Johnson was the beginning of a long and close friendship between the two men.’ [Cont.]

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Robert Lynd (Essays on Life and Literature, 1951): ‘Murphy is by no means lively company as a writer, but he had a genius for winning affection, and was one of the few friends of Johnson of whom Mrs. Thrale spoke kindly. He was the only one of [them] who stood by her when literary London was tearing her to pieces at the time of her second marriage, which shows that, though something of a parasite, he was not an ungrateful parasite. Rogers, who knew him in later life, spoke of him contemptuously as a man in pecuniary difficulties, who had “eaten himself out of every tavern from the other side of Temple Bar to the west end of the town,’ but Rogers knew him, to his cost, as a borrower. And even he pays a tribute to the native generosity of Murphy as a man who, when an actress with whom he had lived left him her entire property, refused the bequest and gave every farthing of it to her relations. It is rather curious that, though Murphy was himself a comic writer and enjoyed the comic side of Johnson’s character[,] declaring to Mrs. Thrale that he was “incomparable at buffoonery,’ he has himself so signally failed in his reminiscences to write amusingly of Johnson. He did, however, preserve one or two, pieces of dialogue that have enriched Johnsonian biography, as [for example], the story of the evening on which he went with Johnson to see Garrick in King Lear and sat, not altogether silently, “near [the side] of the scenes.’ Garrick was naturally offended by the noise made by their conversation. When he came off the stage, he said: “You two talk so loud you destroy all my feelings.” “Prithee”, replied Johnson - and it was a gross reply, even as a jest - “Do not talk of feelings. Punch has no feelings.” On the whole, however, Murphy aims at generalizing about Johnson rather than at exhibiting him, as Boswell does, on particular occasion after particular occasion. To read Murphy’s Essay on Johnson’s Life and Genius, which was prefixed to his edition of the collected works, is to realize how consummate an artist was James Boswell. As a writer, Murphy has by now almost ceased to exist except in the reference library. His translation of Tacitus, it is true, has been included in Everyman’s Library, but to the reading world at large he is now no more than a vague figure and a name.’ (pp.107-08.)

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Peter Kavanagh, Irish Theatre (Tralee 1946), attributes to Murphy a flair for the typical tragic drama of the period 1750-1800; his Orphan of China (Drury Lane, 1759) mingles the classical and romantic tendencies. Murphy, in his prologue to Jephson’s Braganza, claims that the latter ‘comes from Shakespeare’s school’ (Drury Lane, 1775) [Kavanagh, p.300]; b. Clooniquin Co Roscommon; lived George’s Quay, Dublin after his f. death in 1729, and left for London in 1735, and Boulogne in 1736; learned classics at St. Omer, where he studied for six years; Foote reports that he knew the Aeneid by heart; took position with a Cork merchant in 1748; worked in London bank after refusing to go to Jamaica; started The Gray’s Inn Journal, 21 Oct. 1752, disinherited; played lead in Othello, CG 18 Oct. 1754; Refused admission to Middle Bar [sic] being actor; published The Test, and later The Auditor, supporting Henry Fox; entered bar, but retired through deafness, 1788; commissioner of bankrupts; attempts to publish trans. of classics; Member of Johnson’s circle; he lived with Miss Ann Elliot. Attacked by Churchill in the Rosciad [otherwise the ‘Apology’ (1761), ‘Could it be worth thy wondr’ous waste of pains / To publish to the world thy lack of brains’ (quoted in Kavanagh , Irish Theatre, 1946). [Lists Works, as supra.] Further remarks that his Gray’s Inn Journal, No. 96, contains an autograph definition of comedy. Apprentice satirises literary societies; Spouter attacks John Hill, Theo. Cibber, and Samuel Foote (who stole the plot of The Englishman from Paris when Murphy told it him, Baker, Biog. Dram.) [Foote is also caricatured as Dashwould in Know your Own Mind; Kavanagh, p.344]; Upholsterer shows tradesmen neglecting business for politics, and is based on The Tatler, Nos. 155, 160, 178. Orphan based on Voltaire’s L’Orphelin de la Chine, treated in the sentimental manner; Goldsmith thought it had ‘a strength of thought, a propriety of diction and a perfect acquaintance with the stage ... if not truly Chinese, at least entirely poetical’ (Critical Review, May 1759); other works are based on sundry French pieces. Kavanagh treats individually The Grecian Daughter and Know Your Own Mind. An elder brother, named James Murphy French, wrote a number of unacted plays, The Brothers, com. from Terence Adelphi, and The Conjurer or the Enchanted Garden, a farce. Note, Burton adds The Citizen; The Grecian Daughter, trag.; Know Your Own Mind; The School for Guardians; Three Weeks After Marriage [1764]; The Way to Keep Him; and, Zenobia, trag.

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G. C. Duggan, The Stage Irishman (1937), comments on Arthur Murphy’s farce, The Apprentice (1756), set among a group of theatrical enthusiasts at the Spouting Club, ‘a meeting of ’prentices and clerks and giddy young men intoxicated with plays [who] meet in public houses to act speeches’. The play contains an Irishman who opens his declamation of a soliloquy from Othello with “Arrah, my dear ...”, and is quoted back by Dick the apprentice with a speech from The Beaux Stratagem: ‘Arrah, my dear cousin MacShane, won’ you put a remembrance upon me?’

W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (1984), writes, ‘Arthur Murphy’s Grecian Daughter (1773) was regarded as best play of that once popular dramatist and a good classical scholar; bathetically lachrymose second act’ and adds that it is ‘based on Valerius Maximus’s story of a woman of filial piety breast-feeding her starving father as prisoner.’ (p.91.) Also cites Arthur Murphy, translation of Tacitus, 4 vols. (1793).

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Donald W. Nichol, ‘Murphy’s Law’, [feature-article] on ‘the man who won the first decisive battle in the literary property wars’, Times Literary Supplement (April 19 1996), Nichol writes: ‘Arthur Murphy was indefatigable: he edited The Gray’s Inn Journal, starred in Othello at Covent Garden, saw nineteen of his plays performed between 1756 and 1793, translated Tacitus, published biographies of Fielding (1762), Johnson (1792), and Garrick (1801). And in his spare time, he trained at Lincoln Inn to become a barrister, qualifying in 1762. He soon became something of a copyright specialist.’ (p.15.) quotes Johnson: ‘The question of literary property is this day before the Lords. Murphy drew up the appellants’ case, that is, the plea against the perpetual right. I have not seen it, nor heard the decision. I would not have the right perpetual’. The case in question was the appeal to the Lords in 1774 following Donaldson v. Becket in which the first-named, a Scottish publisher, took advantage of Scottish law to intrude on the supposed copyright of Becket, who had acquired Thomson’s Seasons. Nichol remarks, ‘In his brief, Murphy brings to bear various sides of his experience - an author occasionally at the mercy of his bookseller, and playwright with an insider’s knowledge of theatre, and, most importantly, a barrister with a flair for intricate argument’; Murphy countered the booksellers’ claim that they were ruined by the court’s finding with ironic oratory: ‘This is the ruin which gives the Bloom’, and coined the term ‘wilful misconstruction’ to described their account of their position; Nichol proposes to call the principal of non-perpetuity ‘Murphy’s Law’. Murphy’s papers, used in presentation of the appellants’ case, were acquired by the Edinburgh University library and filed misleadingly under the client’s name. (p.15-16.)

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Quotations
Three Weeks After Marriage (1760), contains a quarrel over bridge tricks which enduces Sir Charles to tell his wife in fury: ‘I know how the cards should be played as well as any man in England. And when your family were standing behind counters measuring out tape and bartering for Whitechapel needles, my ancestors - madam - were squandering away whole estates at cards, whole estates, Lady Rackett.’ (Extract in Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature, 1904.)

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Lines from Know Your Own Mind (1777):
Lady Bell
Yes, I’m in love, I own it now,
And Celia has undone me;
And yet, I swear, I can’t tell how
The pleasing plague stole on me.

What would I give to have some miserable swain talk in that style tome? “Belinda has undone me!” Charming!
Miss Neville. A lively imagination is a blessing, and you are happy, Lady Bell.
Lady Bell. I am so. But then I am not talked of. I am losing my time.
Lady Jane. Why, you bold creature! I hate to hear you talk with so much intrepidity.
Lady Bell. Prudery, my dear sister, downright prudery! I am not for making mysteries of what all the world knows.
Lady Jane. And how do I make mysteries, pray?
Lady Bell. Why, you confident thing, I’ll prove it against you.
Lady Jane. But what? What? What will you prove?
Lady Bell. That you are ready to jump out of your little wits for a husband, my demure, sober sister. Miss Neville, a poet is not more eager for the success of a new comedy, nor one of his brother poets more desirous to see it fail, than that girl is to throw herself into the arms of a man.
 
Quoted in Allardyce Nicoll, British Drama: An Historical Survey from the Beginnings to the Present Time (London: George Harrap 1925; 5th rev. edn. 1962), as supra; for longer extract on Murphy, Goldsmith and R. B. Sheridan, see in RICORSO Library, “Critics”, infra .

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Cornelius Tacitus (1793): ‘Almost all the nations of Europe have had the ambition to make Tacitus a denizen of their country, and to hear him in their own language. The Germans and the Dutch boast of good translations. Spain is proud of three translators, and Italy has a greter number; but the voice of Fame gives the preference to Davanzati, who is celebrated for a curious felicity of expression, that view with the sententious brevity of the original.’ (Works of Tacitus, 1793, p.xxxvi; quoted in Michael Cronin, Translating Ireland: Translations, Languages, Cultures, Cork UP 1996.)

Essay on Johnson (1792): ‘The exteriors of politeness did not belong to Johnson [...] His morbid melacholy had an effect on his temper; his passions were irritable; and the pride of science, as well as of a fierce independent spirit, inflamed him on some occasions beyond all bonds of moderation [...] Whenever he thought the contention was for superiority, he has been known to break out with violence, and even ferocity.’ (q.p.; quoted in C. E. Vullamy, Ursa Major: A Study of Dr. Johnson and His Friends, London: Michael Joseph 1946, p.117.)

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References
Dictionary of National Biography, calls him son of Richard, and Jane French; b. 27 Dec., Clomquin [sic] Co Roscommon; at Boulogne with aunt, Mrs Arthur Plunkett, in 1736; sent to English college at St. Omer under name of Arthur French, remaining 6 yrs.; sent by uncle Jeffery French to serve Edmund Harold, a merchant in Cork; refused to go to Jamaica and offended uncle, April 1749; transferred to London banking house, Ironside & Belchier; made friends with Sam. Foote; worked on Gray’s Inn Journal [no pseud. mentioned], 1752-54; disappointed in legacy; £300 in debt; appeared on stage as Othello to Ryan’s Iago and George Ann Bellamy’s Desdemona, Covent Garden, 18 Oct. 1754; prologue by himself; Apprentice (DL 2 Jan 1756), deriding ambition to act of uneducated; publ. anon. with connivance of Garrick The Spouter (1756), which incl. under transparent disguises Garrick, Rich, Theo. Cibber, Foote, and John Hill, the latter three satirised coarsely as Slender, Squint-eyed Pistol, and Dapperwit; his Englishman from Paris stolen by Foote and turned into Englishman returned from Paris (CG 3 Feb. 1756), though a continuation of Foote’s Englishman in Paris; Upholsterer, What News? (30 March 1757), a Mossop benefit; altered in 1763, and additional scene by Joseph Moser printed in European Magazine, Vol. LIII - it deals with meddling tradesmen neglecting their own business for politics; edited The Auditor in opposition to North Briton [ed. by John Wilkes, assisted by Richard Churchill]; Orphan of China (DL 21 Apr. 1759), after Voltaire, 9 nights; acted in Dublin as recently as 1810; The Desert Island, dull dramatic poem after Metastasio (1760); The Way to Keep Him, 3 acts (performed and printed, 1760), produced again in 5 acts (10 Jan 1761), Garrick playing Lovemore both times, and the chars. of Sir Bashful and Lady Constant being added; rep. 1761; All in the Wrong, adapt. Molière’s Cocu Imaginaire (DL 15 1761), prod. by Foote and Murphy in a Drury Lane summer season; What We Must All Come To (1764), from the Guardian, No. 173, hissed from the stage, revived 30 March 1776, and freq. played as Three Weeks after Marriage; [..] Murphy a favourite of society, a guest at noble houses, a man much respected and courted, used to walk arm in arm with Lord Loughborough; ‘much loved’ by Johnson; irascible corr. with Garrick, easily appeased; d. 18 Jun., Knightsbridge; bur. Hammersmith; executor Jesse Foote; ports. by Nathaniel Dance, engrav. by W. Ward; lived with Miss Ann Elliot, uneducated girl of natural abilities whom he brought on the stage; he wrote her biography (1769); he transferred her money to relatives at her death; invariably took his plots from prev. writers; ed. Works of Fielding with slight attention [to] chronology; minor works incl. The Examiner [orig. The Expostulation], a satire by Arthur Murphy (London 1761), written in answer to The Murphiad, a mock-heroic poem (London 1761); ‘Ode to the Naiads of Fleet Ditch’, by Arthur Murphy (London 1761), a furious attack on Churchill who in his Apology had derided Murphy and his Desert Island [q.d.]. Bibl, the principal source of information for all the foregoing, Foote, Life of Arthur Murphy (1811), itself founded on his papers, incl. an autobiographical manuscripts.

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Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations gives samples from Murphy though he is omitted from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1953 & Edns.).

Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), contains extract from Three Weeks After Marriage, and notes that his Orphan of China (1759), made Mrs Yates a favourite; All in the Wrong (1761 [sic]), also a success for Mrs Yates, and a financial success for Murphy; Know Your Own Mind, and The Way to Keep Him, held stage for years; The Grecian Daughter, trag., Three Weeks after Marriage, and The Citizen, comedies, also successful; Life and Genius of Johnson. In 1793 appeared trans. of Tacitus, with an essay on his life and genius, frequently reprinted; Life of Fielding, and Life of Garrick, his least talented work; Arminius (appeared 1798), in favour of the pending war, for which granted pension of £200; died in June.

Peter Kavanagh, The Irish Theatre (Tralee 1946) lists The Apprentice, farce (1756); The Spouter, or The Triple Revenge, farce, unacted (1756); The Upholsterer or What News?, farce (1758); The Orphan of China, trag. (1759); The Desert Island, dram. poem (DL 24 Jan. 1760); The Way to Keep Him, com. (1760); All in the Wrong, com. (1761) [Dublin Edn. 1762]; The Old Maid, farce (1761); The Citizen, farce (1763); No One’s Enemy but His Own, com. (1764); What We Must All Come To, farce (1764); The Choice, farce (DL 1764; in Works, 1786); The School for Guardians, com. (1767); Zenobia, trag. (1768); The Grecian Daughter, trag. (1773); Alzuma, trag. (1773); News from Parnassus, prelude (1776; in printed Works, 1786); Know Your Own Mind (1788); The Rival Sisters, trag. (1793; in Works, 1786); Arminius, unacted trag. (1798); Hamlet with Alterations, burl., unacted [1811] .

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Stephen Brown, Ireland in Fiction [Pt. I] (Dublin: Maunsel 1919), Mr. Murphy (?Arthur Murphy, 1727-1805, playwright, author of The Grecian Daughter and All in the Wrong, &c.), Isabella, or the Memoirs of a Coquette (Dublin: James Hoey 1761), a novel: ’just the reminiscences of an old lady who had been an inveterate flirt and turned over a new leaf in age’ [Brown].

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Sir Paul Hervey, ed., The Oxford Companion to English Literature [4th edn.] (OUP 1967), summarises Three Weeks after Marriage (1760), a play concerning the disillusionment of Mr Drugget, a rich retired tradesman, who has married his eldest dg. to Sir Charles Rackett, and now plans to marry second Nancy to Lovelace, another penniless man of fashion, though she is in love with Woodley, a rival suitor; he finally abjures all dealings with men of fashion]; The Way to Keep Him (produced 1764), on duty of wives to be bright and amiable and of husbands to be faithful.

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Brian McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800-1875: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale Research Co. 1978), lists The Works of Sallust, translated into English by the late Arthur Murphy (London 1807) as appearing in Prose Works of Thomas Moore [McKenna, p.286; see also Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, 1980, Vol. 2, under ‘Moore: Miscellaneous Prose’: ‘Life of Sallust’, in The Works of Sallust, trans. Arthur Murphy (London: J. Carpenter 1807), 40pp.; 2nd edn. (Dublin: Gilbert & Hodges 1810), [2]+37pp.

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British Library holds Addisoni Epistola missa ex Italia ad ilustram Dominum Halifax, anno 1701, auct. A Murphy (1799) [trans. into Latin hexameters]; Beauties of the Magazines ... consisting of essays by Murphy &c. (1772), 12o; Do., 1775, 8o; Boswell’s Life of Johnson to which are [sic] added anecdotes by Murphy (1835); Macklin’s Man of the World, ed. by A Murphy (1793); The Murphiad [mock heroic attack on Murphy] (1796[?]) [recte Arnott, by Philim Moculloch, presumed pseud.] (1761), ‘a very nasty production’ (acc. Lowe)]; The Works of Cornelius Tacitus, ed. Arthur Murphy, 4 vols. (1807, 1829, 1832, 1908); The Bees, 14th c. poem of J. Vanière, Praedium Rusticum, trans. Murphy (1799); Bishop of Alba, A Game of Chess, poem trans. by A. Murphy, Latin and English (1867 [sic]); Works of Arthur Murphy, 7 vols. (London: 1786); All in the Wrong, com. 5 acts (London: P. Valliant 1761; Cork 1765; Lon 1775, 1787), also in Jones, Bell, Inchbald, Dibdin, Oxberry, and Cumberland collections up to 1829; also in Dicks (?1875); All in the Wrong [reissue], with biographical and critical notes by D-. G. [George Daniel]; All in the Wrong, German trans. by FL Schroeder as Die Eifersuchtign, oder Kenirer hat Recht, Ein Lustspiel in vier Aufzügen [and prose], printed in German Stage; Alzuma, trag., verse, 5 acts (1773; 2nd & 3rd eds., 1773), also in A Collection of New Plays, 1774; The Apprentice , two-act farce (London 1756), further eds. in 1756, 1764; also Apprentice (Belfast: James Magee 1773), Bell’s ed. 1784; also in British Stage, Sharpe’s Brit. Theatre, Cawthorn’s Minor British Drama (1811); Inchbald, Dibdin, London Stage, British Drama, and Dicks’s, No. 207 (?1877); Arminius, trag. verse, 5 acts (London: J. Wright 1798); The Citizen, farce, 2 acts, prose (1793, 3rd ed. 1770); The Citizen (Dublin: A Leathley 1774), 12o; also London eds., 1784, 1786, 1804, 180 &c. incl. Sharpe, Cawthorn, Inchbald, Oxberry, Cumberland, et al.; The Desert Island, three act dramatic poem after Metastasio (1760), also Dutch trans. 1774; Essay on the life and Genius of Henry Fielding, in The Works of Henry Fielding, vol. I, 1762; and eds., 1771, 1783, 1784, 1806, 1821, 1871; Essay on the Life and Genius of Samuel Johnson (1792), and eds., 1793, 1796, 1801, 1810, 1816, 1824, 1825; rep. in G. B. Hill, ed., Johnsonian Miscellanies (1897), also abridged version of the essay in Rev. WP Page, ed., selected Miscellanies of Johnson (1897); The Examiner, a satire in verse (Lon. 1761, orig. called ‘The Expostulation’ but altered on title-page; The Gray’s Inn Journal, by Charles Ranger [pseud. A.M.] (1753- ); also 1756; The Grecian Daughters, trag. in five acts (2nd ed. 1772); numerous eds. to 1874, also Italian trans. as Eufrasia, o la Figlia Greca (Pisa 1787); Hamlet with alterations, trag. in three acts (1811), see Foot, Life of Murphy; Orphan of China, numerous eds. include Do. (DUB: G&A Ewing 1759), and Do. (Dublin: Leathey 1761); The Rival Sisters (5 act trag. (London 1793; The Rival Sisters, adapted for theatrical representation &c. (Dublin: P Wogan 1793), 79pp.; The School for Guardians, comedy (London 1767), also 2 other eds. 1797; Seventeen Hundred and Ninety One, poem in imitation of 13th satire of Juvenal (1791); The Spouter or the Triple Revenge, a comic farce in two acts (1756); … &c. &c. Commentary incls. Jesse Foote the Elder, Life of Arthur Murphy (1811) [4o, 464., pls.; front, in Arnott]; Works of Johnson ... life and genius (1806); Howard A Dunbar, Dramatic Career of Arthur Murphy, MLA Revolving Fund No.14 (MLA 1946); John Emery, Arthur Murphy, with port. and bibliography (1946). Also, [?Arthur Murphy], Histoire de François Wills, ou le Triomphe de la bienfaisance [i.e., ‘The Triumph of Benevolence’], par l’auteur du Ministre de Wakefield [e.g., pretended Oliver Goldsmith]; traduction de l’anglois ... 2 pts. (Amsterdam: D. J. Changuion: Rotterdam: H. Beman, &c. 1773), 8o.

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