Progress - Glorious John - Utterly unintelligible - What a difference.
BY the month of October I had， in spite of all difficulties and obstacles， accomplished about two-thirds of the principal task which I had undertaken， the compiling of the Newgate lives； I had also made some progress in translating the publisher‘s philosophy into German. But about this time I began to see very clearly that it was impossible that our connection should prove of long duration； yet， in the event of my leaving the big man， what other resource had I - another publisher？ But what had I to offer？ There were my ballads， my Ab Gwilym， but then I thought of Taggart and his snuff， his pinch of snuff. However， I determined to see what could be done， so I took my ballads under my arm， and went to various publishers； some took snuff， others did not， but none took my ballads or Ab Gwilym， they would not even look at them. One asked me if I had anything else - he was a snuff-taker - I said yes； and going home， returned with my translation of the German novel， to which I have before alluded. After keeping it for a fortnight， he returned it to me on my visiting him， and， taking a pinch of snuff， told me it would not do. There were marks of snuff on the outside of the manuscript， which was a roll of paper bound with red tape， but there were no marks of snuff on the interior of the manuscript， from which I concluded that he had never opened it.
I had often heard of one Glorious John， who lived at the western end of the town； on consulting Taggart， he told me that it was possible that Glorious John would publish my ballads and Ab Gwilym， that is， said he， taking a pinch of snuff， provided you can see him； so I went to the house where Glorious John resided， and a glorious house it was， but I could not see Glorious John - I called a dozen times， but I never could see Glorious John. Twenty years after， by the greatest chance in the world， I saw Glorious John， and sure enough Glorious John published my books， but they were different books from the first； I never offered my ballads or Ab Gwilym to Glorious John. Glorious John was no snuff-taker. He asked me to dinner， and treated me with superb Rhenish wine. Glorious John is now gone to his rest， but I - what was I going to say？ - the world will never forget Glorious John.
So I returned to my last resource for the time then being - to the publisher， persevering doggedly in my labour. One day， on visiting the publisher， I found him stamping with fury upon certain fragments of paper. ‘Sir，’ said he， ‘you know nothing of German； I have shown your translation of the first chapter of my Philosophy to several Germans： it is utterly unintelligible to them.’ ‘Did they see the Philosophy？’ I replied. ‘They did， sir， but they did not profess to understand English.’ ‘No more do I，’ I replied， ‘if that Philosophy be English.’
The publisher was furious - I was silent. For want of a pinch of snuff， I had recourse to something which is no bad substitute for a pinch of snuff， to those who can‘t take it， silent contempt； at first it made the publisher more furious， as perhaps a pinch of snuff would； it， however， eventually calmed him， and he ordered me back to my occupations， in other words， the compilation. To be brief， the compilation was completed， I got paid in the usual manner， and forthwith left him.
He was a clever man， but what a difference in clever men！