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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

And any peculiarities exclusively Gipsy


I should conclude, from what Mr. Offor says, that the Quaker married the Gipsy girl. If children were born of the union, they will be Gipsy-Quakers, or Quaker-Gipsies, whichever expression we choose to adopt.

In such a way--what with the supreme influence which the mother has exercised over the mind of the child from its very infancy; the manner in which its imagination has been dazzled; and the dreadful prejudice towards the Gipsies, which they all apply, directly or indirectly, to themselves--does the Gipsy adhere to his race. When he comes to be a youth, he naturally enough endeavours to find his way to a tent, to have a look at the "old thing." He does not, however, think much of it as a reality; but it presents something very poetical and imaginative to his mind, when he contemplates it as the state from which his mysterious forefathers have sprung.[264] It makes very little difference, in the case to which I have alluded, whether the father be a Gipsy or not; the children all go with the mother, for they inherit the blood through her. What with the blood, the education, the words, and the signs, they are simply Gipsies, and will be such, as long as they retain a consciousness of who they are, and any peculiarities exclusively Gipsy. As it sometimes happens that the father, only, is a Gipsy, the attachment may not be so strong, on the part of the children, as if the blood had come through the mother; still, it likewise attaches them

to the body. A great deal of jealousy is shown by the Gipsies, when a son marries a strange woman. A greater ado is not made by some Catholics, to bring up their children Catholics, under such circumstances, than is exhibited by Gipsies for their children knowing their secret--that is, the "wonderful story;" which has the effect of leading them, in their turn, to marry with Gipsies. The race is very jealous of "the blood" being lost; or that their "wonderful story" should become known to those who are not Gipsies.

[264] I have picked up quite a number of Scottish Gipsies of respectable character, from their having gone in their youth, to look at the "old thing." It is the most natural thing in the world for them to do. What is it to look back to the time of James V., in 1540, when John Faw was lord-paramount over the Gipsies in Scotland? Imagine, then, the natural curiosity of a young Gipsy, brought up in a town, to look at something like the original condition of his ancestors. Such a Gipsy will leave Edinburgh, for example, and travel over the south of Scotland, "casting his sign," as he passes through the villages, in every one of which he will find Gipsies. Some of these villages are almost entirely occupied by Gipsies. James Hogg is reported, in Blackwood's Magazine, to say, that Lochmaben is "stocked" with them.

There are people who cannot


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