Letters of George Borrow to Bible Society
Letter 35: 22nd May, 1836
To the Rev. A. Brandram
(ENDORSED: recd. June 1, 1836)
MADRID, MAY 22, 1836.
REVD. AND DEAR SIR, - I write in the greatest hurry. I shall receive the
permission, the Lord willing, in a few days; the Duke de Rivas has this moment
told me so, and he is Minister of the Interior.
The Ecclesiastical Court declined deciding upon the matter, and left it entirely in
the hands of the Ministers. Just as the English Ambassador was about to remind
Mr. Mendizabal of his promise to me, the latter gentleman and his colleagues
retired from office; a new Ministry was formed composed entirely of my friends,
amongst them Alcala Galiano (turn to my last letter).
As soon as the Minister of Finance, with whom I am very intimate, returns from
France, I shall request to be permitted to introduce the Catalan New Testament
upon paying a reasonable duty.
I received Mr. Jackson's letter containing the money, and yours, also with money,
and a rap on the knuckles besides; it was scarcely merited, as I can prove in five
Not having the Scripture to offer to the people, I was obliged to content myself
with mentioning it to them; the people here know not the Scripture even by name,
but they know a certain personage well enough, and as soon as the subject of
religion is brought up they are sure to bring him forward, as they consider him the
fountainhead of all religion. Those therefore in the situation of myself have three
things at their option; to speak nothing - to speak lies - or to speak the truth. In
simpleness of heart I thought proper to adopt the last principle as my line of
conduct; I do not think I have erred, but I shall be more reserved in future.
In conclusion let me be permitted to observe that the last skirts of the cloud of
papal superstition are vanishing below the horizon of Spain; whoever says the
contrary either knows nothing of the matter or wilfully hides the truth.
I remain, Revd. and dear Sir, most truly yours,