Letters of George Borrow to Bible Society HTML version

Letter 8b: 4th February, 1834
To the Rev. J. Jowett
(ENDORSED: recd. March 10th, 1834,
with Report on the Mandchou New Testament.)
4 FEBRUARY (old style) 1834.
REVD. AND DEAR SIR, - In compliance with the request of the Committee,
expressed in your epistle of the 2nd January, I herewith send a report upon Mr.
Lipoftsoff's translation; and as there were many things which I wished to mention
in my last letter, but was unable from want of room, I take this opportunity of
stating them, with the hope that they will meet with your approbation.
In the first place, whatever communication you wish to make to Mr. Lipoftsoff I
think you had best charge me with to him, for in that case you will be certain that
he will receive it, without loss of time. But I must inform you that he is rather a
singular man, and to all appearances perfectly indifferent to the fate of his
excellent translation, caring nothing whether it be published as a powerful
instrument to open the closed eyes and soften the hard hearts of the idolators of
China and Tartary, or whether it be committed to the flames, and for ever lost to
the world. You cannot conceive the cold, heartless apathy in respect to the affair,
on which I have been despatched hither as an ASSISTANT, which I have found
in people, to whom I looked, not unreasonably, for encouragement and advice.
But thanks be to the Lord, the great object has been accomplished, permission
has been obtained to print the New Testament, and have no doubt that
permission for the whole Bible is within our reach. And in regard to what we have
yet to do, let it be borne in mind, that we are by no means dependent upon Mr.
Lipoftsoff; though certainly to secure the services which he is capable of
performing would be highly desirable, and though he cannot act outwardly in the
character of Editor, he having been appointed Censor, he may privately be of
great utility to us. Therefore let the attempt to engage his services be made
without delay.
At the Sarepta House is a chest containing Mandchou characters, belonging to
the Bible Society, which I shall cause to be examined for the purpose of
ascertaining whether they have sustained any injury from rust during the long
time they have been lying neglected; if any of them have, my learned friend
Baron Schilling, who is in possession of a small fount of Mandchou types for the
convenience of printing trifles in that tongue, has kindly promised to assist us
with the use of as many of his own as may be necessary. There is one printing
office here, where they are in the habit of printing with the Mongolian character,
which differs but little from the Mandchou; consequently the Mongolian
compositors will be competent to the task of composing in Mandchou. There are