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Letters to his mother, Ann Borrow and Other Correspondents   By: (1803-1881)

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BORROW

Transcribed from the 1913 Thomas J. Wise pamphlet by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org. Many thanks to Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, UK, for kindly supplying the images from which this transcription was made.

LETTERS TO HIS MOTHER ANN BORROW AND OTHER CORRESPONDENTS

BY GEORGE BORROW

LONDON: PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION 1913

Copyright in the United States of America by Houghton , Mifflin & Co. for Clement Shorter .

LETTERS TO ANN BORROW AND OTHER CORRESPONDENTS

LETTER I. To ANN BORROW.

SPAIN, [ Post mark February 9 th , 1838.]

MY DEAR MAMA,

As I am afraid that you may not have received my last letter in consequence of several couriers having been stopped, I write to inform you that I am quite well.

I have been in some difficulties. I was selling so many Testaments that the Priests became alarmed, and prevailed on the government to put a stop to my selling any more. They were likewise talking of prosecuting me as a Witch, but they have thought better of it.

I hear it is very cold in England. Pray take care of yourself. I shall send you more in a few weeks.

God bless you, My Dear Mama, G. B.

Letter II. To A Correspondent.

OULTON, LOWESTOFT, SUFFOLK. August 11 th , 1843.

MY DEAR SIR,

Many thanks for your interesting and kind letter, in which you do me the honour to ask my opinion respecting the pedigree of your island goblin, le feu follet Belenger ; that opinion I cheerfully give, with a promise that it is only an opinion; in hunting for the etymons of these fairy names we can scarcely expect to arrive at any thing like certainty.

I suppose you are aware that the name of Bilenger, or Billinger, is of occasional though by no means frequent occurrence both in England and France. You have heard of Billings gate, and of Billing ham, the unfortunate assassin of poor Percival. Likewise of Billing ton, all modifications of the same root: Belingart, Bilings home or Billing ston. But what is Billin ger ? Clearly that which is connected some way or other with Billing. You will find ger , or something like it, in most European tongues—Boulan ger , horolo ger , tal ker wal ker , ba ker , bre wer , beg gar . In Welsh it is of frequent occurrence in the shape of ur or gwr —hin ur (an elder), her wr (a prow ler ); in Russian the ger, gwr, ur, er, appears in the shape of ik or k —Sapojgn ik , a shoemaker, Chinobu ik , a man possessed of rank. The root of all these, as well as of or in Senator, victor, etc., is the same as ker or kir ; which means, Lord, master, maker, doer, possessor of something or connected with something.

We want now to come at the meaning of Beling or Billing, which probably means some action, or some moral or personal attribute. Bolvile in Anglo Saxon means honest, Danish Bollig; Wallen, in German, to wanken or move restlessly about; Baylan, in Spanish, to dance, connected with which are to whirl, to fling, and possibly Walloon and Fleming.

Belenger therefore may mean a Billiger or honest fellow, or it may mean a Walter ger , a whirl enger , a flinger or something connected with restless motion... Continue reading book >>




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