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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

Greatly illustrates that of the Gipsies


[312] Tacitus makes Caius Cassius, in the time of Nero, say: "At present, we have in our service whole nations of slaves, the scum of mankind, collected from all quarters of the globe; a race of men who bring with them foreign rites, and the religion of their country, _or, probably, no religion at all_."--_Murphy's Translation._

While the history of the Jews, since the dispersion, greatly illustrates that of the Gipsies, so does the history of the Gipsies greatly illustrate that of the Jews. They greatly resemble each other. Jews shuffle, when they say that the only difference between an Englishman and an English Jew, is in the matter of creed; for there is a great difference between the two, whatever they may have in common, as men born and reared on the same soil. The very appearance of the two is palpable proof that they are not of the same race. The Jew invariably, and unavoidably, holds his "nation" to mean the Jewish people, scattered over the world; and is reared in the idea that he is, not only in creed, but in blood, distinct from other men; and that, in blood and creed, he is not to amalgamate with them, let him live where he may. Indeed, what England is to an Englishman, this universally scattered people is to the Jew; what the history of England is to an Englishman, the Bible is to the Jew; his nation being nowhere in particular, but everywhere, while its ultimate destiny he, more or less, believes to be Palestine. Now, an

Englishman has not only been born an Englishman, but his mind has been cast in a mould that makes him an Englishman; so that, to persecute him, on the ground of his being an Englishman, is to persecute him for that which can never be changed. It is precisely so with the Jew. His creed does not amount to much, for it is only part of the history of his race, or the law of his nation, traced to, and emanating from, one God, and Him the true God, as distinguished from the gods and lords many of other nations: such is the nature of the Jewish theocracy. To persecute a Gipsy, for being a Gipsy, would likewise be to persecute him for that which he could not help; for to prevent a person being a Gipsy, in the most important sense of the word, it would be necessary to take him, when an infant, and rear him entirely apart from his own race, so that he should never hear the "wonderful story," nor have his mind filled with the Gipsy electric fluid. An English Gipsy went abroad, very young, as a soldier, and was many years from home, without having had a Gipsy companion, so that he had almost forgotten that he was a Gipsy; but, on his returning home, other Gipsies applied their magnetic battery to him, and gipsyfied him over again. A town Gipsy will occasionally send a child to a Gipsy hedge-schoolmaster, for the purpose of being extra gipsyfied.

The being a Gipsy, or a Jew, or a Gentile, consists in birth and rearing. The three may be born and brought up under one general roof, members of their respective nationalities, yet all good Christians. But the Jew, by becoming a Christian, necessarily cuts himself off from associations with the representative part of his nation; for Jews do not tolerate those who forsake the synagogue, and believe in Christ, as the Messiah having come; however much they may respect their children, who, though born into the Christian Church, and believing in its doctrines, yet maintain the


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