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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

In regard to their motive or migration


Asia against their will; and

as little for supposing that they fled rather than submit to a particular creed, if we judge from the great readiness with which, in form, they have submitted to such in Europe, when it would serve their purpose. The only conclusion, in regard to their motive or migration, to which we can come, is, that having, in the course of time, gradually found their way to the confines of Western Asia, and most likely into parts of Northern Africa, and there heard of the growing riches of modern Europe, they, with the restlessness and unsettledness of their race, longed to reach the Eldorado of their hopes--a country teeming with what they were in quest of, where they would meet with no rivals of their own race to cross their path. The step must have been long and earnestly debated, possibly for generations, ere it was taken; spies after spies may have surveyed and reported on the country, and the movement been made the subject of many deliberations, till at last the influence, address, or resolution of some chief may have precipitated them upon it, possibly at a time when some accidental or unavoidable cause urged them to it. Nor would it be long ere their example was followed by others of the tribe; some from motives of friendship; others from jealousy at the idea of all the imagined advantages being reaped by those going before them; and others from the desire of revenging unsettled injuries, and jealousy combined. After the die had been cast, their first step would be to choose leaders
to proceed before the horde, spy out the richness of the land, and organize stations for those to follow; and then continue the migration till all the horde had passed over. Considering that the representative part of the Gipsies have retained their peculiarities almost uncontaminated, it is in the highest degree probable, it may even be assumed as certain, that this was the manner in which they entered Europe: at first stragglers, with systematic relays of stations and couriers, followed up by such small, yet numerous and closely following, companies, as almost to escape the notice of the authorities of the countries through which they passed; a mode of travelling which they still pursue in Great Britain. But when any special obstacle was to be encountered in their journey--such, for example, as the hostility of the inhabitants of any particular place--they would concentrate their strength, so as to force their way through. Their next step would be to arrange among themselves the district of country each tribe was to occupy. After their arrival, they seem to have appeared publicly in large bands, growing emboldened by the generous reception which they met with for some time after their appearance; and they seem to have had the sagacity to know, that if they secured the favour of the great, that of the small would necessarily follow.

But if the first appearance of the Gipsies in Europe had a different complexion from what I have conjectured, there are other causes to which may be attributed the fact of its not being known. Among these is to be found the distracted state of the Eastern Empire in its struggles with the Turks, which led to the capture of its capital, and the subversion of the Greek rule in the East. The literary and other


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