Letters of George Borrow to Bible Society HTML version

Letter 21: 3rd May, 1835
To the Rev. J. Jowett
(ENDORSED: recd. June 1, 1835)
MAY 3, 1835 [old style], ST. PETERSBURG.
REVD. AND DEAR SIR, - I write a few hasty lines for the purpose of informing
you that I shall not be able to obtain a passport for Siberia, except on the
condition that I carry not one single Mandchou Bible thither. The Russian
Government is too solicitous to maintain a good understanding with that of China
to encourage any project at which the latter could take umbrage. Therefore pray
inform me to what place I am to despatch the Bibles. I have had some thoughts
of embarking the first five parts without delay to England, but I have forborne
from an unwillingness to do anything which I was not commanded to do. By the
time I receive your answer everything will be in readiness, or nearly so, to be
forwarded wherever the Committee shall judge expedient. I wish also to receive
orders respecting what is to be done with the types. I should be sorry if they were
to be abandoned in the same manner as before, for it is possible that at some
future time they may prove eminently useful.
As for myself, I suppose I must return to England, as my task will be speedily
completed. I hope the Society are convinced that I have served them faithfully,
and that I have spared no labour to bring out the work, which they did me the
honour of confiding to me, correctly and within as short a time as possible. At my
return, if the Society think that I can still prove of utility to them, I shall be most
happy to devote myself still to their service. I am a person full of faults and
weaknesses, as I am every day reminded by bitter experience, but I am certain
that my zeal and fidelity towards those who put confidence in me are not to be
shaken. Should it now become a question what is to be done with these
Mandchou Bibles which have been printed at a considerable expense, I should
wish to suggest that Baron Schilling be consulted. In a few weeks he will be in
London, which he intends visiting during a summer tour which he is on the point
of commencing. He will call at the Society's House, and as he is a nobleman of
great experience and knowledge in all that relates to China, it would not be amiss
to interrogate him on such a subject. I AGAIN REPEAT THAT I AM AT
In your last letter but one you stated that our noble President had been kind
enough to declare that I had but to send in an account of any extraordinary
expenses which I had been put to in the course of the work to have them
defrayed. I return my most grateful thanks for this most considerate intimation,
which nevertheless I cannot avail myself of, as according to one of the articles of
my agreement my salary of 200 pounds was to cover all extra expenses.
Petersburg is doubtless the dearest capital in Europe, and expenses meet an