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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

Observing the determined Gipsy quite serious


as the farmer's servants. So

sure was the Gipsy of his lodgings, that he seldom needed to ask permission to stay all night on the farm, when he arrived. On learning that the farmer was in jail, he immediately went to see him. When he called, the jailer laughed at him, and, for long, would not intimate to the farmer that he wished to see him. With tears in his eyes, the Gipsy then told him he "would be into the jail, and see the honest man, whether he would or not." At last, an hour was fixed when he would be allowed to enter the prison. When the time arrived, the Gipsy made his appearance, with a quantity of liquor in his hand, for his friend the farmer. "Weel, man," said he to the turnkey, "is this your hour, now?" being displeased at the delay which had taken place. The jailer again said to him that he was surely joking, and still refused him admittance. "Joking, man?" exclaimed the Gipsy, with the tears again glistening in his dark eyes, "I am not joking, for into this prison I shall be; and if it is not by the door, it shall be by another way." Observing the determined Gipsy quite serious, the jailer at last allowed him to see the object of his search. The moment he saw the farmer, he took hold of both his hands, and, immediately throwing his arms around him, burst into tears, and was for some time so overcome by grief, that he could not give utterance to his feelings. Recovering himself, he enquired if it was the laird that had put him in prison; but on being told it was a writer, one of his creditors,
the Gipsy exclaimed, "They are a d----d crew, thae writers,[247] and the lairds are little better." With much feeling, he now said to his friend, "Your father, honest man, was aye good to my horse, and your mother, poor body, was aye kind to me, when I came to the farm. I was aye treated like one of their own household, and I can never forget their kindness. Many a night's quarters I received from them, when others would not suffer me to approach their doors." The grateful Gipsy now offered the farmer fifty pounds, to relieve him from prison. "We are," said he, "not so poor as folk think we are;" and, putting his hand into his pocket, he added, "Here is part of the money, which you will accept; and if fifty pounds will not do, I will sell all that I have in the world, horses and all, to get you out of this place." "Oh, my bonnie man," continued the Gipsy, "had I you in my camp, at the back of the dyke, I would be a happy man. You would be far better there than in this hole." The farmer thanked him for his kind offer, but declined to accept it. "We are," resumed the Gipsy, "looked upon as savages, but we have our feelings, like other people, and never forget our friends and benefactors. Kind, indeed, have your relatives been to me, and all I have in this world is at your service." When the Gipsy found that his offer was not accepted, he insisted that the farmer would allow him to supply him, from time to time, with pocket money, in case he should, during his confinement, be in want of the necessaries of life. Before leaving the prison, the farmer asked the Gipsy to take a cup of tea with him; but long the Gipsy modestly refused to eat with him, saying, "I am a black thief-looking deevil, to sit down and eat in your company; but I will do it, this day, for your sake, since you ask it of me." The Gipsy's wife, with all her family, also insisted upon being allowed to see the farmer in prison.[248]

[247] A _writer_ in Scotland corresponds with an _attorney_ in England. It is interesting to notice the opinion which the Gipsy entertained of the writers. Possibly he had been a good deal worried by them, in connection with the conduct of some of his folk.--ED.


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