第76章 14th January,1837(2)

Now permit me to propose a very important question to you.What is to be done with the volumes when the work shall have passed through the press?As I am sure you will feel at a loss to give a satisfactory answer,allow me to propose the only plan which appears feasible.Believe me when I say that it is not the result of a few moments'cogitation.I have mused on it much and often.

I mused on it when off Cape Finisterre in the tempest,in the cut-throat passes of the Morena,and on the plains of La Mancha,as Ijogged along a little way ahead of the smuggler.It is this.

As soon as the work is printed and bound,I will ride forth from Madrid into the wildest parts of Spain,where the Word is most wanted,and where it seems next to an impossibility to introduce it.I will go through the whole of the Asturias and Galicia,and along the entire line of the Pyrenees,not forgetting to visit every part of Biscay.To accomplish this I must have horses and a man to take care of them.To purchase horses will be much more economical than to hire them,as the hire of an animal for a journey of only thirty leagues generally amounts to nearly its full value;the purchase of three horses will not amount to more than 36pounds,and a servant may be obtained for 9d.per day and his board.

I will take with me 1200copies,which I will engage to dispose of,for little or much,to the wild people of the wild regions which Iintend to visit.As for the rest of the edition it must be disposed of,if possible,in a different way -I may say the usual way;part must be entrusted to booksellers,part to colporteurs,and a depot must be established at Madrid.Such work is every person's work,and to any one may be confided the execution of it;it is a mere affair of trade.What I wish to be employed in is what,I am well aware,no other individual will undertake to do:

namely,to scatter the Word upon the mountains,amongst the valleys and the inmost recesses of the worst and most dangerous parts of Spain,where the people are more fierce,fanatic and,in a word,Carlist,-parts where bookshops are unknown,and where none of those means can be resorted to for the spread of the Bible which can be used in the more civilised portions of the kingdom.

This is the plan which I most humbly offer to the consideration of the Committee and yourself.I shall not feel at all surprised should it be disapproved of altogether;but I wish it to be understood that in that event I could do nothing further than see the work through the press,as I am confident that whatever ardour and zeal I at present feel in the cause would desert me immediately,and that I should neither be able nor willing to execute anything which might be suggested.I wish to engage in nothing which would not allow me to depend entirely on myself.It would be heart-breaking to me to remain at Madrid,expending the Society's money,with almost the certainty of being informed eventually by the booksellers and their correspondents that the work has no sale.In a word,to make sure that some copies find their way among the people I must be permitted to carry them to the people myself;and what people have more need of Christian instruction than the inhabitants of the districts alluded to?

Ere the return of the CONTRABANDISTA to Cordova,I purchased one of the horses which had brought us to Madrid.It is an exceedingly strong,useful animal,and as I had seen what it is capable of performing,I gave him the price which he demanded (about 11pounds,17s.).It will go twelve leagues a day with ease,and carry three hundred-weight on its back.I am looking out for another,but shall of course make no further purchase until I hear from you.I confess I would sooner provide myself with mules,but they are very expensive creatures.In the first place,the original cost of a tolerable one amounts to 30pounds;and they,moreover,consume a vast quantity of fodder,at least two pecks of barley in the twenty-four hours with straw in proportion,and if they are stinted in their food they are of no manner of service;the attendance which they require is likewise very irksome,as they must be fed once every four hours night and day;they are,however,noble animals,and are much in vogue amongst the principal nobility.

Hoping to hear from you soon,I remain,Revd.and dear Sir,most truly yours,G.B.