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Letters of George Borrow to Bible Society

Letter 39: 7th July, 1836
To the Rev. A. Brandram
(ENDORSED: recd. July 18, 1836)
7 JULY, 1836, MADRID,
REVD. AND DEAR SIR, - The affair is settled - thank God!!! and we may begin to
print whenever we think proper.
Perhaps you have thought I have been tardy in accomplishing the business
which brought me to Spain; but to be able to form a correct judgment you ought
to be aware of all the difficulties which I have had to encounter, and which I shall
not enumerate; I shall content myself with observing that for a thousand pounds I
would not undergo again all the mortifications and disappointments of the last
two months.
The present Ministry have been afraid to offend the clergy, and with great
reason, as they are not of the movement or radical party, and many of their
friends are bigoted papists; nevertheless, influenced by the pressing applications
of the British Ambassador and being moreover well-disposed to myself, they
have consented to the printing of the Testament; but it must be done in a private
manner. I have just had a long interview with Mr. Isturitz, who told me that if we
were resolved upon the enterprise we had best employ the confidential printer of
the Government, who would keep the matter secret; as in the present state of
affairs he would not answer for the consequences if it were noised abroad. I of
course expressed my perfect readiness to comply with so reasonable a request.
I will now candidly confess to you that I do not think that the present Ministry, or,
as it is generally called, the Court Ministry, will be able to stand its ground;
nevertheless a change of Ministry would not alter the aspect of our affair in the
least, for if the other or movement party come in, the liberty of the press (a great
misfortune for Spain) would be probably granted; at all events, the influence of
the English Ambassador would be greater than it is even at present, and upon
his assistance I may rely at all times and occasions.
I am not aware that there is any great necessity for my continuance in Spain;
nevertheless, should you think there is, you have only to command. But I cannot
help thinking that in a month or two when the heats are over Mr. Graydon might
return, as nothing very difficult remains to be accomplished, and I am sure that
Mr. Villiers at my entreaty would extend to him the patronage with which he has
honoured me. But, as I before observed, I am ready to do whatever the Bible
Society may deem expedient.