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Letters Of George Borrow by George Borrow

To the Rev. A. Brandram

(Endorsed: recd. Oct.9, 1837)
CORUNNA, Sep. 15, 1837.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR, -- About ten days have elapsed since my return to Corunna. I stated in my last letter, from Compostella, that it was my intention to visit Pontevedra and Vigo, which I carried into effect. In the first of these places I left, as I passed through, eight copies of the New Testament in the hands of Senor Garcia, the public notary; three days subsequent, on my return, I found that he had disposed of them, and I have since sent him a fresh supply. He is a very zealous and exceeding intelligent person, and I have no doubt will prove a highly useful agent in Pontevedra and its beautiful neighbourhood, which is the garden of Galicia. In Vigo I disposed of four Testaments, but was not so fortunate as to find any person willing or calculated to undertake the charge accepted by my friend in the former town.

Having reached Padron, in my journey back, I sent my servant and horses forward to Saint James, and guided by a peasant, proceeded across the country to Cape Finisterre, on whose rocky sides I so narrowly escaped being shipwrecked last year. The distance was fifteen leagues, and the route lay over wild mountains and valleys, where we suffered much from fatigue and the heat of the sun. Arrived at Finisterre we were seized as Carlist spies by the fishermen of the place, who determined at first on shooting us, but at last contented themselves with conducting us prisoners to Corcubion, where the Alcalde of the district, after having examined me and perused my passport, ordered me to be set at liberty, and treated me with all manner of civility. By this journey I accomplished what has long been one of the ardent wishes of my heart. I have carried the Gospel to the extreme point of the old world, having left a Testament in the hands of Antonio de Trava, an ancient mariner of Finisterre, who took my part in a very friendly manner, and probably saved me from experiencing much violence at the hands of his companions. Finisterre is a place of wonders, which I hope at some future time to have the pleasure of narrating; but at present I must speak of other matters. About one hundred Testaments have been disposed of at Saint James of Compostella, and there is at present a steady regular demand for them there which inspires my heart with gratitude to the Almighty. Shortly previous to my journey to Saint James, I despatched fifty copies to Lugo, where the Lord vouchsafed me good success on a former occasion; this second supply being almost exhausted, I have sent more. Only fifty-eight copies have hitherto been sold at Corunna, for its inhabitants are far too much engrossed by party politics to entertain much relish for heavenly manna. I pray every night and morning that their eyes may be opened to their eternal welfare.

Having now arranged matters in Galicia, as well as circumstances will permit, I am about to quit this province, directing my course to Oviedo in the Asturias. The way is long, and is infested by robbers and factious; yet I go forth without much fear, hoping that the Lord will prove my shield and guard as on other occasions. From Oviedo I proceed to Santander, and from thence to the Basque provinces. Santander, being a large and flourishing town, affords me a tolerable prospect of success, and I have accordingly directed my agent at Madrid to despatch thither forthwith 150 Testaments. The intermediate country is, however, in a most distracted state, a great part of it being in the hands of the Carlists; it is therefore probable that the books may never reach me, in which event I shall have to apply to England. To the Basque provinces I hope to carry Saint Luke in a Biscayan version, which I shall print at Santander should an opportunity present itself.

No time must be lost in accomplishing all that is possible in Spain, which in the course of a few months may be entirely in the hands of the Pretender. I received the lines which you directed to the care of the British consul at Corunna, and was thankful for them. Pray present my kind remembrances to Mrs. Brandram and family, to Mr. Jowett, and Mr. and Mrs. Browne.

I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,

G. BORROW.

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