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A Historical Survey of the Customs, Habits, & Pres

But to extirpate Gypsey habits


Were

they to be educated during the whole of the year, it is obvious that some establishment would be necessary for their maintenance and clothing. The author of this Survey is not aware of any Institutions so much adapted to their case, as the charity schools for boys and girls, which are common to every part of the kingdom. It is not probable that Gypsey population would furnish more than two boys, and two girls, for each of these schools. Their being placed among a much greater number of children, and those of settled, and in some degree of civilized habits, would greatly facilitate the training of Gypsies to salutary discipline and subordination; and the associations it provided for them out of school hours, being under the superintendence of a regular family, would, in an especial manner, be favorable to their domestication.

Charity schools, by admitting children so early as at six years of age, and continuing them to fourteen, seem particularly suited to the case of Gypsies, in supplying all that is requisite until the boys are at an age to go out apprentices, and the girls to service in families.

Gypsies being the children of a whole county, if not of the nation at large, perhaps the expense of their maintenance might, without inconsistency, be defrayed out of county rates, which would prevent its being burdensome to any particular district. By a process so simple and easy, expensive establishments on the

account of Gypsies, might be entirely avoided. And many parents among them, express a willingness to part with their children, for education, provided they were cared for in other respects.

After several centuries, a degree of solicitude being at length apparent in the Gypsies, for the improvement of their children, the time has arrived when some effectual benefit may be communicated to them.

The distribution proposed, would admit of these itinerants seeing their children once in the year. But to extirpate Gypsey habits, education alone would not be sufficient. Yet as there is no reason to think this people are less susceptible than others, of gainful considerations, a fund might be provided, out of which, twenty pounds should be paid with each boy, on his apprenticeship to some handicraft business, in lieu of finding him with clothes during the term. And in consideration of its being faithfully served, five pounds might be allowed to find the young man with tools for his trade, or otherwise setting him forward in the world. This would excite an interest in civil associations and order, which are necessary for the successful prosecution of trade; and probably, an encouragement like this, would have a greater effect in giving a new direction to Gypsey pursuits, than any coercive or restrictive measures which could be devised. And who would not wish to contribute to the means of rescuing from ignorance and vice, such a portion of the population of their country! Who would not be desirous of emulating in some degree, that best kind of patriotism, by which the correspondent H. of the Christian Observer, is so remarkably distinguished!


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