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Letters Of George Borrow by George Borrow

To Rev. J. Jowett

(Endorsed: recd. Sept.14th, 1835)
ST. PETERSBURG, Aug. 12, 1835.

As it is probable that yourself and my other excellent and Christian friends at the Bible House are hourly expecting me and wondering at my non-appearance, I cannot refrain from sending you a few lines in order to account for my prolonged stay abroad. For the last fortnight I have been detained at St. Petersburg in the most vexatious and unheard-of manner. The two last parts of our Testaments have been bound and ready for shipping a considerable time, and are at present in the warehouse of a most pious and excellent person in this place, whom the Bible Society are well acquainted with; but I have hitherto not been able to obtain permission to send them away. You will ask how I contrived to despatch the first six volumes, which you have doubtless by this time received. But I must inform you that at that time I had only a verbal permission, and that the Custom House permitted them to pass because they knew not what they were. But now, notwithstanding I obtained a regular permission to print, and transacted everything in a legal and formal manner, I am told that I had no right at all to print the Scriptures at St. Petersburg, and that my coming thither on that account (I use their own words) was a step in the highest degree suspicious and mysterious, and that there are even grounds for supposing that I am not connected with the Bible Society or employed by them. To-day, however, I lost patience, and said that I would not be trifled with any longer; that next week I should send away the books by a vessel which would then sail, and that whosoever should attempt to stop them would do so at his peril -- and I intend to act up to what I said. I shall then demand my passport and advertise my departure, as every one before quitting Russia must be advertised in the newspapers two weeks successively. Pray do me the justice to believe that for this unpleasant delay I am by no means accountable. It is in the highest degree tormenting to myself. I am very unwell from vexation and disquietude of mind, and am exposed to every kind of inconvenience. The term for which I took my chambers is expired, and I am living in a dirty and expensive hotel. But there is One above who supports me in these troubles, and I have no doubt that everything will turn out for the best.

I take this opportunity of sending my accounts to Mr. Tarn; if there be any inaccuracy let him excuse it, for the post hurries me.


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