TO HIS MOTHER ANN BORROW AND OTHER CORRESPONDENTS
BY GEORGE BORROW
TO HIS MOTHER
AND OTHER CORRESPONDENTS
PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION
_Copyright in the United States of America_
_by Houghton_, _Mifflin & Co. for Clement Shorter_.
LETTERS TO ANN BORROW
AND OTHER CORRESPONDENTS
_To_ ANN BORROW.
[_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,
_To_ A Correspondent.
_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 tonguesвЂ”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_вЂ”hin_ur_ (an elder), her_wr_ (a prow_ler_); in Russian
the ger, gwr, ur, er, appears in the shape of _ik_ or _k_вЂ”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
Allow me to draw your attention to the word вЂњWillвЂќ in
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