No authority whatever—Interference—Wondrous farrago—Brandt and Struensee—What a life!—The hearse—Mortal relics—Great poet—Fashion and fame—What a difference—Oh, beautiful—Good for nothing.
And now once more to my pursuits, to my Lives and Trials. However partial at first I might be to these lives and trials, it was not long before they became regular trials to me, owing to the whims and caprices of the publisher. I had not been long connected with him before I discovered that he was wonderfully fond of interfering with other people’s business—at least with the business of those who were under his control. What a life did his unfortunate authors lead! He had many in his employ toiling at all kinds of subjects—I call them authors because there is something respectable in the term author, though they had little authorship in, and no authority whatever over, the works on which they were engaged. It is true the publisher interfered with some colour of reason, the plan of all and every of the works alluded to having originated with himself; and, be it observed, many of his plans were highly clever and promising, for, as I have already had occasion to say, the publisher in many points was a highly clever and sagacious person; but he ought to have been contented with planning the works originally, and have left to other people the task of executing them, instead of which he marred everything by his rage for interference. If a book of fairy tales was being compiled, he was sure to introduce some of his philosophy, explaining the fairy tale by some theory of his own. Was a book of anecdotes on hand, it was sure to be half filled with sayings and doings of himself during the time that he was common councilman of the City of London. Now, however fond the public might be of fairy tales, it by no means relished them in conjunction with the publisher’s philosophy; and however fond of anecdotes in general, or even of the publisher in particular—for indeed there were a great many anecdotes in circulation about him which the public both read and listened to very readily—it took no pleasure in such anecdotes as he was disposed to relate about himself. In the compilation of my Lives and Trials I was exposed to incredible mortification, and ceaseless trouble,