Letters of George Borrow to Bible Society HTML version

Letter 10: 15th April, 1834
To the Rev. J. Jowett
(ENDORSED: recd, May 16th, 1834)
15TH APRIL (old style) 1834.
REVD. AND DEAR SIR, - Upon the receipt of your letter of the [21st] ult. [date
omitted], I lost no time in endeavouring to obtain the necessary information upon
the points to which you directed my attention; and I have some hope that what I
am about to communicate will not be altogether unsatisfactory; but I must first of
all state that it was not acquired in a day, and that I have been obliged to go to
many people and many places, which will account for my not having sooner
returned an answer.
First, respecting the most important point, the expense of printing the New
Testament in Mandchou. I was quite terrified at the enormous sums which some
of the printers to whom I made application required for the work. At length our
friend Dr. Schmidt recommended me to the University Press, and I having
spoken to the directors of the establishment, they sent me in the course of a
week an estimate which neither Dr. Schmidt nor myself considered to be
unreasonable, and of this estimate I here subjoin a translation:
To Mr. Borrow.
'After much consultation with the compositor, I have come to the following result
concerning the Mandchou business about which you consulted me. If the work
be printed on as thin paper as that of the original, it can only be printed on one
side. Now supposing that the size is to be folio like that of the original, two sides
will make a sheet, and the price of composition will be 26 roubles, 20 copecks -
that is to say; 12R. to the compositor, wages 2R. 50c., percentage to the printing
office 11R. 60c., making 26R. 20c. The printing of 1000 on one side 2R. 50c.,
percentage 2R., making 4R. 50c. Thus for composition and printing 30R. 60c. for
1000; for 2000, 35R. 10c.; for 3000, 39R. 60c. -
Your very obedient servant,
In the meantime I had become acquainted with two German printers, Schultz and
Beneze, who being young men and just entered into business are very eager to
obtain the printing of a work of such importance, which they hope will serve to
bring them into notice, as well as being advantageous to them in a pecuniary
view. The difference, as to the expense of printing, in the estimate made by these