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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

There are Gitanos living together


regards the Gipsies of Spain, Dr. Bright remarks: That the disposition of the Gitano is more inclined to a fixed residence than that of the Gipsy of other countries, is beyond doubt. The generality are the settled inhabitants of considerable towns, and, although the occupations of some necessarily lead them to a more vagrant life, the proportion is small who do not consider some hovel in a suburb as a home. 'Money is in the city--not in the country,' is a saying frequently in their mouths. In the vilest quarters of every large town of the southern provinces, there are Gitanos living together, sometimes occupying whole barriers. But Seville is, perhaps, the spot in which the largest proportion is found. Their principal occupation is the manufacture and sale of articles of iron. Their quarters may always be traced by the ring of the hammer and anvil, and many amass considerable wealth. An inferior class have the exclusive trade in second-hand articles, which they sell at the doors of their dwellings, or at benches at the entrance of towns, or by the sides of frequented walks. A still inferior order wander about, mending pots, and selling tongs and other trifling articles. In Cadiz, they monopolize the trade of butchering, and frequently amass wealth. Others, again, exclusively fill the office of Matador of the Bull Plaza, while the Toreros are for the most part of the same race. Others are employed as dressers of mules and asses; some as figure-dancers, and many as performers in
the theatre. Some gain a livelihood by their musical talents. Dancing, singing, music and fortune-telling are the only objects of general pursuit for the females. Sometimes they dance in the inferior theatres, and sing and dance in the streets. Palmistry is one of their most productive avocations. In Seville, a few make and sell an inferior kind of mat. Besides these, there is a class of Gipsies in Spain who lead a vagrant life throughout--residing chiefly in the woods and mountains, and known as mountaineers. These rarely visit towns, and live by fraud and pillage. There are also others who wander about the country--such as tinkers, dancers, singers, and jobbers in asses and mules.

Bishop Pocoke, prior to 1745, mentions having met with Gipsies in the northern part of Syria, where he found them in great numbers, passing for Mahommedans, living in tents or caravans, dealing in milch cows, when near towns, manufacturing coarse carpets, and having a much better character than their relations in Hungary or England. By the census of the Crimea, in 1793, the population was set down at 157,125, of which 3,225 were Gipsies. Bishop Heber states that the Persian Gipsies are of much better caste, and much richer than those of India, Russia or England. In India, he says, the Gipsies are the same tall, fine-limbed, bony, slender people, with the same large, black, brilliant eyes, lowering forehead, and long hair, curled at the extremities, which are to be met with on a common in England. He mentions, in his journal of travels through Bengal, having met with a Gipsy camp on the Ganges. The women and children followed him, begging, and had no clothes on them, except a coarse kind of veil, thrown back from the shoulders, and a ragged cloth, wrapped round their waists, like a petticoat. One of the women was very pretty, and the forms of all the three were such as a sculptor would have been glad to take as his models.

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