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Letters Of George Borrow by George Borrow

To the Rev. A. Brandram

(Endorsed: recd.27th June, 1838)
MADRID, June 16, 1838.

REVD. AND DEAR SIR, -- I have received your communication of the 30th ult., containing the resolutions of the Committee, to which I shall of course attend.

Of your letter in general, permit me to state that I reverence the spirit in which it is written, and am perfectly disposed to admit the correctness of the views which it exhibits. [Greek text]. But it appears to me that in one or two instances I have been misunderstood in the letters which I have addressed [to you] on the subject of Graydon.

I bear this unfortunate gentleman no ill will, God forbid, and it will give me pain if he were reprimanded publicly or privately; moreover I can see no utility likely to accrue from such a proceeding. All that I have stated hitherto is the damage which he has done in Spain to the cause and myself, by the -- what shall I call it? -- imprudence of his conduct; and the idea which I have endeavoured to inculcate is the absolute necessity of his leaving Spain instantly.

Take now in good part what I am about to say, and O! do not misunderstand me! I owe a great deal to the Bible Society, and the Bible Society owes nothing to me. I am well aware and am always disposed to admit that it can find thousands more zealous, more active, and in every respect more adapted to transact its affairs and watch over its interests. Yet with this consciousness of my own inutility I must be permitted to state that linked to a man like Graydon I can no longer consent to be, and that if the Society expect such a thing, I must take the liberty of retiring, perhaps to the wilds of Tartary or the Zigani camps of Siberia.

My name at present is become public property -- no very enviable distinction in these unhappy times, and neither wished nor sought by myself. I have of late been subjected to circumstances which have rendered me obnoxious to the hatred of those who never forgive, the bloody Church of Rome, which I have doubt will sooner or later find means to accomplish my ruin; for no one is better aware than myself of its fearful resources, whether in England or Spain, in Italy or in any other part. I should not be now in this situation, had I been permitted to act alone. How much more would have been accomplished, it does not become me to guess.

I had as many or more difficulties to surmount in Russia than I originally had here, yet all that the Society expected or desired was effected without stir or noise, and that in the teeth of an imperial Ukase which forbade the work which I was employed to superintend.

Concerning my late affair, I must here state that I was sent to prison on a charge which was subsequently acknowledged not only to be false but ridiculous. I was accused of uttering words disrespectful towards the Gefe Politico of Madrid; my accuser was an officer of the police who entered my apartment one morning before I was dressed, and commenced searching my papers and flinging my books into disorder. Happily, however, the people of the house who were listening at the door heard all that passed, and declared on oath that, so far from mentioning the Gefe Politico, I merely told the officer that he, the officer, was an insolent fellow and that I would cause him to be punished. He subsequently confessed that he was an instrument of the Vicar General and that he merely came to my apartment in order to obtain a pretence for making a complaint. He has been dismissed from his situation, and the Queen has expressed her sorrow at my imprisonment. If there be any doubt entertained on the matter, pray let Sir George Villiers be written to!

I should be happy to hear what success attends our efforts in China. I hope a prudent conduct has been adopted; for think not that a strange and loud language will find favour in the eyes of the Chinese; and above all, I hope that we have not got into war with the Augustines and their followers, who, if properly managed, may be of incalculable service in propagating the Scriptures.

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


P.S. -- The documents, or some of them, shall be sent as soon as possible.

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