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Letters of George Borrow to Bible Society
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Letter 34: 20th April, 1836
To the Rev. A. Brandram
(ENDORSED: recd. May 5, 1836)
MADRID, NO. 3, CALLE DE LA ZARZA, 20 APRIL 1836
REVD. AND DEAR SIR, - I have received your letter of the 6th inst., in which you
request me to write to you a little more frequently, on the ground that my letters
are not destitute of interest; your request, however, is not the principal reason
which incites me to take up the pen at the present moment. Though I hope that I
shall be able to communicate matter which will afford yourself and our friends at
home subject for some congratulation, my more immediate object is to inform
you of my situation, of which I am sure you have not the slightest conception.
For the last three weeks I have been without money, literally without a farthing.
About a month ago I received fifteen pounds from Mr. Wilby, and returned him an
order for twenty, he having, when I left Lisbon, lent me five pounds, on account,
above what I drew for, as he was apprehensive of my being short of money
before I reached Madrid. 12 pounds, 5s. of this I instantly expended for a suit of
clothes, my own being so worn, that it was impossible to appear longer in public
with them. At the time of sending him the receipt I informed him that I was in
need of money, and begged that he would send the remaining 30 pounds by
return of post. I have never heard from him from that moment, though I have
written twice. Perhaps he never received my letters, or I may not have received
his, the post of Estremadura having been three times robbed; I can imagine no
other reason. The money may still come, but I have given up all hopes of it, and
am compelled to write home, though what I am to do till I can receive your
answer I am at a loss to conceive. But God is above all, and I am far from
complaining; but you would oblige me, upon receiving this, to procure me
instantly a letter of credit on some house in Madrid. I believe Messrs.
Hammersley of London have correspondents here. Whatever I undergo, I shall
tell nobody my situation: it might hurt the Society and our projects here. I know
enough of the world to be aware that it is considered as the worst of crimes to be
without money. Above all, let me intreat you never to hint of this affair in any
communication to Mr. Wilby; he is a most invaluable man, and he might take
A week ago, after having spent much time in drawing up a petition, I presented it
to the Ecclesiastical Committee of Censors. It was strongly backed by the Civil
Governor of Madrid, within whose department the Censorship is. In this petition,
after a preamble on the religious state of Spain, I requested permission to print
the New Testament without note or comment, according to the version of Father
Scio, and in the same form and size as the small edition of Paris, in order that the
book might be 'AL ALCANCE ASI DE LOS POBRES COMO DE LOS RICOS'