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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

The more intelligent the Gipsy

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that the Gipsy language in Great Britain is broken, but not so broken as to consist of words only; it consists, rather, of expressions, or pieces, which are tacked together by native words--generally small words--which are lost to the ordinary ear, when used in conversation. In that respect, the use of Gipsy may be compared to the revolutions of a wheel: we know that the wheel has spokes, but, in its velocity, we cannot distinguish the colour or material of each individual spoke; it is only when it stands still that that can be done. In the same manner, when we come to examine into the British Gipsy language, we perceive its broken nature. But it still serves the purpose of a speech. Let any one sit among English Gipsies, in America, and hear them converse, and he cannot pick up an idea, and hardly a word which they say. "I have always thought Dutch bad enough," said an Irishman, who has often heard English Gipsies, in the State of New Jersey, speak among themselves; "but Gipsy is perfect gibble-gabble, like ducks and geese, for anything I can make of it." Some Gipsies can, of course, speak Gipsy much better than others. It is most unlikely that the Scottish Gipsies, with the head, the pride, and the tenacity of native Scotch, would be the first to forget the Gipsy language. The sentiments of the people themselves are very emphatic on that head. "It will never be forgotten, sir; it is in our hearts, and, as long as a single Tinkler exists, it will be remembered," (page 297.) "So
long as there existed two Gipsies in Scotland, it would never be lost," (page 316.) The English Gipsies admit that the language is more easily preserved in a settled life, but more useful to travelling and out-door Gipsies; and that it is carefully kept up by both classes of Gipsies. This information agrees with our author's, in regard to the settled Scottish Gipsies. There is one very strong motive, among many, for the Gipsies keeping up their language, and that is, as I have already said, their self-respect. The best of them believe that it is altogether problematical how they would be received in society, were they to make an avowal of their being Gipsies, and lay bare the history of their race to the world. The prejudice that exists against the race, and against them, they imagine, were they known to be Gipsies, drives them back on that language which belongs exclusively to themselves; to say nothing of the dazzling hold which it takes of their imagination, as they arrive at years of reflection, and consider that the people speaking it have been transplanted from some other clime. The more intelligent the Gipsy, the more he thinks of his speech, and the more care he takes of it.

People often reprobate the dislike, I may say the hatred, which the more original Gipsy entertains for society; forgetting that society itself has had the greatest share in the origin of it. When the race entered Europe, they are not presumed to have had any hatred towards their fellow-creatures.[292] That hatred, doubtless, sprang from the severe reception, and universal persecution, which, owing to

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