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The Bible in Spain, Or, the Journeys, Adventures, and Imprisonments of An Englishman: In An Attempt to Circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula

By George Borrow | Go to book overview

These proceedings of mine did not fail to cause a great sensation: the priests and their partisans were teeming with malice and fury, which, for some time, however, they thought proper to exhibit only in words; it being their opinion that I was favoured by the ambassador and by the British government; but there was no attempt, however atrocious, that might not be expected from their malignity; and were it right and seemly for me, the most insignificant of worms, to make such a comparison, I might say, like Paul at Ephesus, I was fighting with wild beasts.

On the last day of the year I837, my servant Antonio thus addressed me: "Mon maitre, it is necessary that I leave you for a time. Ever since we have returned from our journeys, I have become unsettled and dissatisfied with the house, the furniture, and with Donna Marequita. I have therefore engaged myself as cook in the house of the Count of ----, where I am to receive four dollars per month less than what your worship gives me. I am fond of change, though it be for the worse. Adieu, mon maitre, may you be as well served as you deserve; should you chance, however, to have any pressing need de mes soins, send for me without hesitation, and I will at once give my new master warning, if I am still with him, and come to you."

Thus was I deprived for a time of the services of Antonio. I continued for a few days without a domestic, at the end of which time I hired a certain Cantabrian or Basque, a native of the village of Hernani, in Guipuscoa, who was strongly recommended to me.


CHAPTER XXXVII.

Euscarra--Basque not Irish--Sanscrit and Tartar Dialects--A Vowel Language--Popular Poetry---The Basques---Their Persons--Basque Women.

I NOW entered upon the year 1838, perhaps the most eventful of all those which I passed in Spain. The despacho still continued open, with a somewhat increasing sale. Having at this time little of particular moment with which to occupy myself, I committed to the press two works, which for some time past had been in the course of preparation. These were the Gospel of St. Luke in the Spanish gipsy and the Euscarra languages.

With respect to the Gipsy Gospel, I have little to say, having already spoken of it in a former work ( "The Zincali"): it was translated by myself, together with the greater part of the New Testament, during my long intercourse with the Spanish gipsies. Concerning the Luke in Euscarra, however, it will be as well to be more particular, and to avail myself of the present opportunity to say a few words concerning the language in which it was written, and the people for whom it was intended.

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