free ebooks

A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

If to all this we add the very nature of Gipsydom


present just the desideratum

which the other was in quest of. For, although "Gipsies marry with Gipsies," it is only as a rule, the exceptions being many, and, in all probability, much more common, in the early stage of their European history. The present "dreadfully mixed" state of Gipsydom is a sufficient proof of this fact. The aversion, on the part of the Gipsy, to intermarry with the ordinary natives, proceeds, in the first place, from the feelings which the natives entertain for her race. Remove those feelings, and the Gipsies, as a body, would still marry among themselves; for their pride in their peculiar sept, and a natural jealousy of those outside of their mystic circle, would, alone, keep the world from penetrating their secrets, without its being extended to him who, by intermarriage, became "one of them." There is no other obstacle in the way of marriages between the two races, excepting the general one, on the part of the Gipsies, and which is inherent in them, to preserve themselves as a branch of a people to be found in every country. Admitting the general aversion, on the part of the Gipsies, to _marry_ with natives, and we at once see the unlikelihood of their women _playing the wanton_ with them. Still, it is very probable that they, in some instances, bore children to some of the "unspotted gentlemen," mentioned, by act of parliament, as having so greatly protected and entertained the tribe. Such illegitimate children would be put to good service by the Gipsy chiefs. By one means or other,
there is no doubt but the Gipsies made a dead-set upon certain native families of influence. The capacity that could devise such a scheme for remaining in the country, as is contained in the act of 1540, and influence the courts of the regency, and of Queen Mary, to reinstate them in their old position, after the severe order of 1541, proclaiming banishment within thirty days, and death thereafter, even when the "lords understood, perfectly, the great thefts and _skaiths_, (damages,) done by the said Egyptians," could easily execute plans to secure a hold upon private families. If to all this we add the very nature of Gipsydom; how it always remains true to itself, as it gets mixed with the native blood; how it works its way up in the world; and how its members "stick to each other;" we can readily understand how the tribe acquired important and influential friends in high places. Do not speak of the attachment of the Jewess to her people: that of the Gipsy is greater. A Jewess passes current, anywhere, as a Jewess; but the Gipsy, as she gets connected with a native circle, and moves about in the world, does so clandestinely, for, as a Gipsy, she is _incog._; so that her attachment remains, at heart, with her tribe, and is all the stronger, from the feelings that are peculiar to her singularly wild descent. I am very much inclined to think that Mrs. Baillie, of Lamington, mentioned under the head of Tweed-dale and Clydesdale Gipsies, was a Gipsy; and the more so, from having learned, from two different sources, that the present Baillie, of ----, is a Gipsy. Considering that courts of justice have always stretched a point, to convict, and _execute_, Gipsies, it looks like something very singular, that William Baillie, a Gipsy, who was condemned to death, in 1714, should have had his sentence commuted to banishment, _and been allowed to go at large_, while others, condemned with him, were executed. And three times did he escape in that manner, till, at last, he was slain by one of his tribe. It also seems very singular, that James Baillie, another Gipsy, in 1772, should have been condemned for the murder of his wife, and, also, had his sentence commuted to banishment, and been allowed to go at large: and that twice, at least. Well might McLaurin remark: "Few cases have occurred in which there has been such an expenditure of mercy." And tradition states that "the then Mistress Baillie, of Lamington, and her family, used all their interest in obtaining these pardons for James Baillie." No doubt of it. But the reason for all this was, doubtless, different from that of "James Baillie, like his fathers before him, _pretending_ that he was a bastard relative of the family of Lamington."

eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us