Letters of George Borrow to Bible Society HTML version

Letter 17: 15/27 December, 1834
To J. Tarn, Esq.
ST. PETERSBURG, DECR. 15/27, 1834.
ON the other side I send an account of the money disbursed since the period of
my last writing to you until the present moment. In respect to the 75 roubles
charged for the reprinting of three sheets of St. Matthew, I beg leave to observe,
that after several sheets of that Gospel had been printed, after the same manner
as that adopted in the first edition, Mr. Lipoftsoff, the Censor, gave me notice that
he had determined that the position of the vowel- points should be altered; and I
did not think proper to make any opposition. But as common-sense informed me
that it was by no means expedient to exhibit two systems of pointing in the same
work, I subsequently caused the first sheets to be reprinted. I think it necessary
to offer this short explanation to prevent any misunderstanding; for this
superfluous expense must be attributed to the Censor's not knowing originally his
own mind, and not to any negligence on my part. I am so pressed for time that I
have not been able to refer to my last account, which lies buried amongst the
ocean of my papers, and in stating that I retained in hand 123 roubles, I have
merely trusted to memory and calculation; but I am sure the Committee and
yourself will excuse my little inaccuracy, when I state my situation. My two
compositors, whom I had instructed in all the mysteries of Mandchou
composition, are in the hospital down with the brain fever, for every kind of
sickness is at present raging in this place; and during the last three days I have
been running about in all directions in quest of people to fill their situation, until
they recover.
Thanks be to the Lord, I have discovered and engaged the person who
composed the first Mandchou Gospel of St. Matthew, ten years since; and as
next week I shall again station myself in the printing office for the purpose of
assisting and instructing, the great work will not be delayed, and in a fortnight or
ten days I trust to be able, provided an opportunity occurs, to transmit to England
copies of the four Gospels. With my best rewards to Mr. Brandram and Mr.
Jowett (whose last letter I have received), I remain, etc.,