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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

And all for knowing the Gipsy language


[205] It is interesting to notice the reason for this old Gipsy chief being so backward in giving our author some of his language. "He was ashamed to do it." Pity it is that there should be a man in Scotland, who, independent of personal character, should be ashamed of such a thing. Then, see how the Gipsy woman, in our author's house, said that "the public would look upon her with horror and contempt, were it known she could speak the Gipsy language." And again, the two female Gipsies, who would rather allow themselves to be murdered, than give the meaning of two Gipsy words to Sauchie colliers, for the reason that "it would have exposed their tribe, and made themselves odious to the world." And all for knowing the Gipsy language!--which would be considered an accomplishment in another person! What frightful tyranny! Mr. Borrow, as we will by and by see, says a great deal about the law of Charles III, in regard to the prospects of the Spanish Gipsies. But there is a law above any legislative enactment--the law of society, of one's fellow-creatures--which bears so hard upon the Gipsies; the despotism of caste. If Gipsies, in such humble circumstances, are so afraid of being known to be Gipsies, we can form some idea of the morbid sensitiveness of those in a higher sphere of life.

The innkeeper evidently thought himself in bad company, when our author asked him for the Tinkler's house, or that any intercourse

with a Tinkler would contaminate and degrade him. In this light, read an anecdote in the history of John Bunyan, who was one of the same people, as I shall afterwards show. In applying for his release from Bedford jail, his wife said to Justice Hale, "Moreover, my lord, I have four small children that cannot help themselves, of which one is blind, and we have nothing to live upon but the charity of good people." Thereat, Justice Hale, looking very soberly on the matter, said, "Alas, poor woman!" "What is his calling?" continued the judge. And some of the company, that stood by, said, (evidently in interruption, and with a bitter sneer,) "A Tinker, my lord!" "Yes," replied Bunyan's wife, "and because he is a Tinker, and a poor man, therefore he is despised, and cannot have justice." Noble woman! wife of a noble Gipsy! If the world wishes to know who John Bunyan really was, it can find him depicted in our author's visit to this Scottish Gipsy family, where it can also learn the meaning of Bunyan, at a time when Jews were legally excluded from England, taking so much trouble to ascertain whether he was of that race, or not. From the present work generally, the world can learn the reason why Bunyan said nothing of his ancestry and nationality, when giving an account of his own history.--ED.

_Pagrie_, to break. _Humf_, give me. _Mar_, to strike. _Mang_, to speak. _Kair_, house. _Drom_, street or road. _Vile_, village. _Gave_, village. _Jaw drom_, take the road, get off quickly. _Hatch here_, come here. _Bing_, the devil. _Bing lee_, devil miss me. _Moolie_,


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