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History of the Gipsies
Chapter X - Present condition and number of the Gipsies in Scotland


Every author who has written on the subject of the Gipsies has, I believe, represented them as all having remarkably dark hair, black eyes, and swarthy complexions. This notion has been carried to such an extent, that Hume, on the criminal laws of Scotland, thinks the black eyes should make part of the evidence in proving an individual to be of the Gipsy race. The Gipsies, in Scotland, of the last century, were of all complexions, varying from light flaxen hair, and blue eyes, and corresponding complexions, to hair of raven black, dark eyes, and swarthy countenances. Many of them had deep-red and light-yellow hair, with very fair complexions. I am convinced that one-half of the Gipsies in Scotland, at the present day, have blue eyes, instead of black ones. According to the statistical account of the parish of Borthwick, Mid-Lothian, (1839,) the Baillies, Wilsons, and Taits, at Middleton, the descendants of the old Tweed-dale Gipsies, are described as, "in general, of a colour rather cadaverous, or of a darkish pale; their cheekbones high; their eyes small, and light coloured ; their hair of a dingy white or red colour, and wiry; and their skin, drier and of a. tougher texture than that of the people of this country." This question of colour has been illustrated in my enquiry into the history of the Gipsy language; for the language is the only satisfactory thing by which to test a Gipsy, let his colour be what it may.

In other countries, besides Scotland, the Gipsies are not all of one uniform swarthy hue. A Russian gentleman stated to me that many of the Gipsies in Finland have light hair, and fair complexions. I am also informed there are Gipsies in Arabia with fair hair.

Among many other mal-practices, the Gipsies have, in all countries, been accused of stealing children; but what became of these kidnapped infants, no one appears to have given any account, that I am aware of. To satisfy myself on this trait of their character, I enquired of a Gipsy the reasons which induced his tribe to steal children. He candidly acknowledged the practice, and said that the stolen children were adopted as members of the tribe, and instructed in the language, and all the mysteries of the body. They became, he said, equally hardy, clever, and expert in all the practices of the fraternity. The male Gipsies were very fond of marrying the stolen females. Some of the kidnapped children were made servants, or, rather, a sort of slaves, to the tribe. They considered that the occasional introduction of another race into their own, and mixing the Gipsy blood, in that manner, invigorated and strengthened their race. In this manner would the Gipsies alter the complexion of their race, by the introduction of foreign blood among them.

[An objection is perhaps started, that these incorporated individuals are not Gipsies. They have been brought into the body at such an age as to leave no trace of past recollections, leaving alone past associations. There was no occasion for such children being either "squalling infants," or of such an age as was likely to lead them to "betray the Gipsies," as Mr. Borrow supposes would be the case, when he says that Gipsies have never stolen children, to bring them up as Gipsies. How are they to discover their origin, when so many of the body around them have the same colour of hair and complexion! If the idea has ever entered into their imaginations, it has led to a greater antipathy towards their own race, and attachment to the tribe, from the special education which they have received to those ends. So far as the matter of blood is concerned, they are not what may be physiologically called Gipsies; and, by being married to Gipsies, they become doubly attached to the body. What has been said of children introduced among the Gipsies, in the way described, applies with infinitely greater force to those born of one of such parents.

Suppose, for instance, that the Spanish race was originally of an exclusively dark hair and complexion: should we therefore say that a fair Spaniard, at the present day, was no Spaniard 1 Or that the Turks of Constantinople, on account of the mixture of their blood, were not Turks? In the -same manner are Gipsies with white blood in their veins Gipsies. They may be half-breed, but it would be improper to call them half-caste, Gipsies. But what are full-blood Gipsies, to commence with! The idea itself is intangible; for, by adopting, more or less, wherever they have been, others into their body, during their singular history, a pure Gipsy, like the pure Gipsy language, is doubtless nowhere to be found.

An English Gipsy acquaintance, of perfect European appearance, who, for love of race and language, may be termed "a Gipsy of the Gipsies," admitted that he was only one-eighth Gipsy; his father, a full-blood white. Before going into details to show the condition in which the Gipsies are at the present day, I will consider, shortly, the causes which have contributed to the change that has come over their outward circumstances, and driven so many of them, as it were, "to cover," in consequence of the unfortunate times on which they had fallen; a state of things which, however unfortunate to them, in their peculiar way of thinking, has been of so much benefit to civilization, and society at large.

About the commencement of the American war of independence, in 1775, the Gipsies, in Scotland, occupied a very singular position in society. Instead of being the proscribed, and, as they thought, persecuted, members of the community, many of them then became the preservers of the peace and good order of the country. The country, as appears by the periodical publications of the day, was, about this time, greatly pestered by rogues and vagabonds. The Gipsies had art enough to get a number of their chiefs appointed constables, peace-officers, and country-keepers, in several counties in Scotland. These public officers were to clear the country of all idle vagrants, vagabonds, and disturbers of the peace. This was, sure enough, a very extraordinary employment for the Gipsies. The situation of country-keeper was, of all others, the office in society the most completely to their liking. It gave them authority over every rogue in the country, and they certainly followed out their instructions to the very letter. They hunted down, with the utmost vigilance, every delinquent who was not of their tribe ; but, on the other hand, they took especial care to protect every individual of their own fraternity, excepting those that were obnoxious to themselves. When it agreed with their inclinations, these Gipsy country-keepers sometimes caused stolen property to be returned to the owners, as if it had been done by magic. It is needless to observe that they were themselves the very chiefs of the depredators, but had generally the dexterity never to be seen in the transactions. [The following extract from the Fife Herald, for the 18th June, 1829, will give the reader an idea of a. Scotch " country-keeper," at the time alluded to: "A Gipsy chief, of the name of Pat. Gillespie, was keeper for the county of Fife. He rode on horseback, armed with a sword and pistols attended by four men, on foot, carrying staves and batons. He appears to have been a sort of travelling justice of the peace. The practice seems to have been general. About the commencement of the late French war, a man, of the name of Robert Scott, (Rob the Laird,) was keeper for the counties of Peebles, Selkirk, and Roxburgh."]

A Gipsy country-keeper was at the height of his vanity and glory, when he got an unfortunate individual of the community into his clutches. In the presence of his captive, he would draw his sword, flourish it in the air, and swear a terrible oath, that he would, at a blow, cut the head from his body, if he made the least attempt at escape.

The public services of the Gipsies were in a short time discontinued, as their conduct only made matters a great deal worse. A friend of mine saw those Gipsy constables, for Peebles-shire, sworn into office, at the town of Peebles, when they were first appointed. He said he never saw such a set of gloomy, strange-looking fellows, in his life; and expressed his surprise at the conduct of the county magistrates, for employing such banditti as conservators of the public peace. The most extraordinary circumstance attending their appointment, he said, was, that not one of them had a permanent residence within the county.

During the American war, however, the tide of fortune again completely turned against the Gipsies. The Government was in need of soldiers and sailors ; the Gipsies were a proscribed race; their peculiar habits were continually involving them in serious scrapes and difficulties ; the consequence was, that the Tinklers were apprehended all over the country, and forced into our fleets and armies then serving in America. All the aged persons of intelligence with whom I have conversed on this subject, agree in representing that the kidnapping system at that period was the means of greatly breaking up and dispersing the Gipsy bands in Scotland. From this blow these unruly vagrants have never recovered their former position in the country. [We may very readily believe that almost all of the Gipsies would desert the army, on landing in America, and marry Gipsy women in the colonies, or bring others out from home, or marry with common natives, or return home. Indeed; native-born American Gipsies say that many of the British Gipsies voluntarily accepted the bounty, and a passage to the colonies, during the war of the Revolution, and deserted the army on landing. This would lead to a migration of the tribe generally to Ameriea.—Ed.]

The war in America had been concluded only a few years before that with France broke out. Our army and navy were, of necessity, again augmented to an extent beyond precedent. It was not difficult to find pretences for renewing the chase of the Gipsies, and apprehending them, under the name of vagrants and disorderly persons. They were again compelled to enlist into our regiments, and embark on board our ships of war, as sailors and marines. An individual stated to me that, about the commencement of this war, he had seen English Gipsies sent, in scores at a time, on board of men-of-war, in the Downs.

But, rather than be forced into a service so much against their inclinations, numerous instances occurred of Gipsies voluntarily mutilating themselves. In the very custody of press-gangs, and other hardened kidnappers, the determined Gipsies have, with hatchets, razors, and other sharp instruments, struck from their hands a thumb, or finger or two, to render them unfit for a military life. Several instances have come to my knowledge of these resolute acts of the Scottish Gipsies. I have myself seen several of the tribe without fingers; and, on enquiry, I found that they themselves had struck them from their hands, in consequence of their aversion to become soldiers and sailors. One man, of the name of Graham, during the last war, laid his hand upon a block of wood, and, in a twinkling, struck, with a hatchet, his thumb from one of his hands. Another, of the name of Gordon, struck two of his fingers from one of his hands with a razor. Such, indeed, was the aversion which the whole Gipsy race had to a military life, that even mothers sometimes mutilated their infants, by cutting off certain fingers, to render them, when they became men, entirely incapable of serving in either the army or navy.

["When Paris was garrisoned by the allied troops, in the year 1818, I was walking with a British officer, near a post held by the Prussian troops. He happened, at the time, to smoke a cigar, and was about, while passing the sentinel, to take it out of his mouth, in compliance with a general regulation to that effect; when, greatly to the astonishment of the passengers, the soldier addressed him in these words; 'Rauchen Sie immer fort; verdamt aey der Preusaische Dienst;' that is: "Smoke away; may the Prussian service be d------d.' Upon looking closer at the man, he seemed plainly to be a Zigeuner, or Gipsy, who took this method of expressing hia detestation of the duty imposed on him. When the riak he ran, by doing so, is considered, it will be found to argue a deep degree of dislike which could make him commit himself ao unwarily. If he had been overheard by a sergeant or corporal, the prugel would have been the slightest instrument of punishment employed."—Sir Walter Scott: Note to Quentin Durward.

Mutilation was also very common among the English Gipsies, during the French war. Strange as it may appear, the same took place among them, at the commencement of the late Russian war ; from which we may conclude, that they had suffered severely during the previous war, or they would not have resorted to so extreme a measure for escaping military duty, when a press-gang was not even thought of. An English Gipsy, at the latter time, laid two of his fingers on a block of wood, and, handing his broom-knife to his neighbour, said, "Now, take off these fingers, or I'll take off your head with this other hand!"

During the French war, Gipsies again and again accepted the bounty for recruits, but took "French leave" of the service. The idea ia finery illustrated in Burns' "Jolly Beggars:"

"Tune—Clout the caudron.

"My bonny lass, I work in brass,
A Tinkler is my station:
I've travell'd round all Chriatian ground,
In this my occupation.
I've ta'en the gold, an' been enroll'd
In many a noble squadron:
But vain they aearch'd when off I march'd
To go and clout the caudron."

Poosie Nancie and her reputed daughter. Racer Jess, were very probably Gipsies, who kept a poor "Tinkler Howff" at Mauchline.

Gipsies sometimes voluntarily join the navy, as musicians. Here their vanity will have a field for conspicuous display ; for a good fifer, on board of a man-of-war, in accompanying certain work with his music, is equal to the services of ten men. There were some Gipsy musicians in the fleet at Sebastopol. But, generally speaking, Gipsies are like cats—not very fond of the water.—Ed.]

Such causes as these, taken in connection with the improved internal administration of the country, and the progression of the age, have cast a complexion over the outward aspect of the bulk of the Scottish Gipsy race, entirely different from what it was before they came into existence.

Many of the Gipsies now keep shops of earthen-ware, china, and crystal. Some of them, I am informed on the best authority, have from one to eight thousand pounds invested in this line of business. [Mr. Borrow mentions having observed, at a fair in Spain, a family of Gipsies, richly dressed, after the fashion of their nation. They had oome a distance of upwards of a hundred leagues. Some merchants, to whom he was recommended, informed him, that they had a credit on their house, to the amount of twenty thousand dollars.—Ed] I am disposed to think that few of these shops were established prior to the commencement of the French war; as I find that several of their owners travelled the country in their early years. Perhaps the fear of being apprehended as vagrants, and compelled to enter the army or navy, forced some of the better sort to settle in towns. [In his enquiry into the present condition of the Gipsies, our author has apparently confined his remarks exclusively to the body in its present wandering state, and such part of it as left the tent subsequently tp the commencement of the French war. In the Disquisition on the Gipsies, the subject will be fully reviewed, from the date of arrival of the race in the country.—Ed.] Like their tribe in other countries, numbers of our Scottish Gipsies deal in horses ; others keep public-houses; and some of them, as innkeepers, will, in heritable and moveable property, possess, perhaps, two or three thousand pounds. These innkeepers and stone-ware merchants are scarcely to be distinguished as Gipsies ; yet they all retain the language, and converse in it, among themselves. The females, as is their custom, are particularly active in managing the affairs of their respective concerns.

Many of them have betaken themselves to some of the regular occupations of the country, such as coopers, shoemakers, and plumbers ; some are masons—an occupation to which they seem to have a partiality. Some of them are members of Masons' Lodges. There are many of them itinerant bell-hangers, and umbrella-menders. Among them there are tin-smiths, braziers, and cutlers, in great numbers; and the tribe also furnish a proportion of chimney-sweeps. I recollect of a Gipsy, who travelled the country, selling earthen-ware, becoming, in the end, a master-sweep. Several were, and I believe are, constables; and I am inclined to think that the police establishments, in large as well as small towns, contain some of the fraternity. [This is quite common. An Engliah mixed Gipsy spontaneously informed me that he had been a constable in L------, and that he had a cousin who was lately a runner in the police establishment of M------. Among other motives for the Gipsies joining the police is the following: that such is their dislike for the people among whom they live, owing to the prejudice which is entertained against them, that nothing gives them greater satisfaction than being the instruments of affronting and punishing their hereditary enemies. Besides this, the lounging and idle kind of life, coupled with the activity, of a constable, is pretty much to their natural disposition. An intelligent mixed Gipsy ia calculated to make a first-rate constable and thief-catcher. Of course, he will not be very hard on those of his own race who come in his way.—En.] Individuals of the female Gipsies are employed as servants, in the families of respectable persons, in town and country. Some of them have been ladies' maids, and even house-keepers to clergymen and farmers. [Our author frequently spoke of a dissenting Scottish clergyman having been married to a Gipsy, but-was not aware, as far as I know, of the circumstances under which the marriage took place. The clergyman was not, in all probability, aware that he was taking a Gipsy to his bosom; and as little did the public generally; but it was well known to the initiated that both her father and mother had cut and divided many a purse. The unquestionable character and standing of the father, and the prudent conduct of the mother, protected the children. One of the daughters married another dissenting clergyman, which fairly disarmed those not of the Gipsy race of any prejudice towards the grand-children. The issue of these marriages would pass into Gipsydom, as explained in the Disquisition on the Gipsies.—Ed.] I heard of one, in a very respectable family, who was constantly boasting of her ancient and high descent; her father being a Baillie, and her mother a Paa—the two principal families in Scotland. Some of those persons who sell gingerbread at fairs, or what the country-people call rowly-powly-men, are also of the Gipsy race. Almost all these individuals hawking earthen-ware through the country, with carts, and a large proportion of those hawking japan and white-iron goods, are Gipsies.

Some of the itinerant venders of inferior sorts of jewelry, part of which they also manufacture, and carry about in boxes on their shoulders, are of the tribe; and some of them even carry these articles in small, handsome, light-made carts. I had frequently observed, in my neighbourhood, a very smart-looking and well-dressed man, who, with his wife and family, and a servant to take care of his children, travelled the country, in a neat, light cart, selling jewelry. All the family were well dressed. I was curious to know the origin of this man, and, upon enquiring of one of the tribe, but of a different clan, I found that he was a Gipsy, of the name of Robertson, descended from the old liorners who traversed the kingdom, about half a century ago. He still retained the speech, peculiar dance, and manner of handling the cudgel, the practices and roguish tricks of his ancestors. I believe he also practised chain-dropping. To show the line of life which some of the descendants of the old style of Gipsies are now pursuing, in Scotland, I will give the following anecdote, which I witnessed, relative to this Gipsy jeweller.

I happened to be conversing, about twenty years ago, with four or five individuals, on a public quay in Fifeshire, when a smart, well-dressed sailor, apparently of the rank of a mate, obtruded himself on our company. He said he was "a sailor, and had spent all his money in a frolic, as many thoughtless sailors had done;" and, pulling out a watch, he continued, "he would give his gold watch for a mere trifle, to supply his immediate wants." One of the company at once thought he was an impostor, and told him his watch was not gold at all, and worth very little money. "Not worth much money!" he exclaimed; "why, I paid not less than ten francs for it, in France, the other day!" At this assertion, all present burst out a-laughing at the impostor's ignorance in exposing his own trick. " Why, friend," said a ship-master, who was one of the company, "a franc is only worth tenpence; so you have paid just eight and four-pence for this valuable watch of yours. Do not attempt to cheat us in this manner." At finding himself so completely exposed, the villain became furious, and stepping close up to the ship-master, with abusive language, chucked him under the chin, to provoke him to fight. I at once perceived that the feigned sailor was a professional boxer and cudgelist, and entreated the ship-master not to touch him, notwithstanding his insolence. The "sailor," now disappointed on all hands, brandished his bludgeon, and retreated backwards, dancing in the Gipsy manner, and twirling his weapon before him, till he got his back to a wall. Here he set all at defiance, with a design that some one should strike at him, that he might avenge the affront he had received. But he was allowed to go away without interruption. This man was, in short, Robertson, the Gipsy travelling jeweller, disguised as a sailor, and a well-known prizefighter.

Almost all those cheats called thimble-riggers, who infest thoroughfares, highways and byways, are also Gipsies, of a superior class. I have tried them by the language, and found they understood it, as has been seen in my account of the Gipsy language.

I need scarcely say, that all those females who travel the country in families, selling articles made from horn, while the males practise the mysteries of the tinker, are that portion of the Gipsies who adhere more strictly to their ancient customs and manner of life. Some of the principal families of these nomadic homer bands have yet districts on which none others of the tribe dare encroach. This division of the Gipsies are, by superficial observers, considered the only Gipsies in existence in Scotland; which is a great mistake. The author of Guy Mannering, himself, seems to have had this class of Gipsies, only, in view, when he says, "There are not now above five hundred of the tribe in Scotland." Those who deal in earthen-ware, and work at the tinsmith business, call these homers Gipsies ; and nothing can give greater offence to these Gipsy potters and smiths than to ask them if they ever made horn spoons; for, by asking them this question, you indirectly call them Gipsies, an appellation that alarms them exceedingly. [It is only within these forty years that spoon-making from horn became a regular trade. It would seem the Gipsies had a monopoly of the business; for I am informed that the first man in Scotland who served a regular apprenticeship to it was alive, in Glasgow, in 1836. [There is nothing in this remark to imply that the manufacturing of spoons, and other articles, from horn, may not be monopolized by the Gipsies yet, whatever the way io which it may be carried on.—Ed.]]

Since the termination of the long-protracted French war, the Gipsies have, to some extent, resumed their ancient manners ; and many of them are to be seen encamped in the open fields. There are six tents to be observed at present, for one during the war. To substantiate what I have said of the numbers and manners of the nomadic Gipsies since the peace, I will give the two following paragraphs, taken from the Caledonian Mercury newspaper:

"Tinklers and vagabonds: The country has been much infested, of late years, by wandering hordes of vagabonds, who, under pretence of following the serviceable calling of tinkers, assume the name and appearance of such, merely to extort contributions of victuals, and other articles of value, from the country-people, particularly in lonely districts. The evil has increased rapidly of late, and calls loudly for redress upon those in whose charge the police of the country districts is placed. They generally travel in bands, varying in number from ten to thirty ; and wherever they pitch their camp, the neighbours are certain of suffering loss of cattle or poultry, unless they submit to pay a species of black-mail, to save themselves from heavier and more irregular contributions. These bands possess all the vices peculiar to the regular Gipsies, without any of the extenuating qualities which distinguish these foreign tribes. Unlike the latter, they do not settle in one place sufficiently long to attach themselves to the soil, or to particular families ; and seem possessed of no industrious habits, but those of plunder, knavery, and riot. The chief headquarters of the hordes are at the caves of Auchmithie, on the east coast of Forfarshire ; from which, to the wilds of Argyleshire, seems to be the usual route of their bands ; small detachments being sent off, at intermediate places, to extend the scene of their plunder. Their numbers have been calculated by one who lives on the direct line of their passage, through the braes of Perthshire, and who has had frequent opportunities for observation ; and he estimates them at several hundred."— 22d August, 1829.

"A horde of Gipsies and vagabonds encamped, last week, in a quarry, on the back of the hill opposite Cherry-bank. Their number amounted to about thirty. The inhabitants in that quarter became alarmed; and Provost Ross, whose mansion is in the vicinity of the new settlers, ordered out a strong posse of officers from Perth, to dislodge them ; which they effected. The country is nc w kept in continual terror by these vagabonds, and it will really be imperative on the landed proprietors to adopt some decided measure for the suppression of this growing evil."—2d October, 1829.

[From the numerous enquiries I have made, I am fully satisfied that the greater part of the vagrants mentioned in these notices are Gipsies; at least most of them speak the Gipsy language. [It matters not whether the people mentioned are wholly or only partly of Gipsy blood; it is sufficient if they have been reared as Gipsies. There are enough of the tribe in the country to follow the kind of life mentioned, to the extent the people can afford to submit to, without having their prerogatives infringed upon hy ordinary natives. Where will we find any of the latter who would betake themselves to the tent, and follow such a mode of life? Besides, the Gipsies, with their organization, would not tolerate it; and far less would they allow any common natives, of the lowest class, to travel in their company.—Ed.]

A gentleman informed me that, in the same year, he counted, in Aberdeenshire, thirty-five men, women, and children, in one band, with six asses and two carts, for carrying their luggage and articles of merchandise. Another individual stated to me, that upwards of three hundred of the Gipsies attended the funeral of one of their old females, who died near the Bridge of Earn. So late as 1841, the sheriff of East Lothian addressed a representation to the justices of the peace of Mid-Lothian, recommending a new law for the suppression of the numerous Gipsy tents in the Lothians. I have, myself, during a walk of two hours, counted, in Edinburgh and its suburbs, upwards of fifty of these vagrants, strolling about. [Owing to such causes as these, many of the Gipsies have been again driven into their holes. It is amusing to notice the tricks which some of them resort to, in evading the letter of the Vagrant Act. They generally encamp on the borders of two counties, which they will cross—passing over into the other—to avoid being taken up: for county officers have no jurisdiction over them, beyond the boundaries of their respective shires.—Ed.]

When I visited St. Boswell's, I felt convinced, as mentioned in the last chapter, that there were upwards of three hundred Gipsies in the fair held at that place. Part of them formed their carts, laden with earthen-ware, into two lines, leaving a space between them, like a street. In the rear of the carts were a few small tents, in which were Gipsies, sleeping in the midst of the noise and bustle of the market; and numbers of children, horses, asses, and dogs, hanging around them. There were also kettles, suspended from triangles, in which victuals were cooking; and many of the Gipsies enjoyed a warm meal, while others at the market had to content themselves with a cold repast. In the midst of the throng of this large and crowded fair, I noticed, without the least discomposure on their part, some of the male Gipsies changing their dirty, greasy-looking shirts for clean ones, leaving no covering on their tawny persons, but their breeches; and some of the old females, with bare shoulders and breasts, combing their dark locks, like black horses' tails, mixed with grey. "Ae whow! look at that," exclaimed a countryman, to his companion; and, without waiting for his friend's reply, he gravely added: "Everything after its kind." The Gipsies were, in short, dressing themselves for the fair, in the midst of the crowd, regardless of everything passing around them.

On my return from the English Border, I passed over the field where the fair had been held, two days before, and found, to my surprise, the Gipsies occupying their original encampment. They, alone, were in possession of St. Boswell's Green. I counted twenty-four carts, thirty horses, twenty asses, and about thirty dogs; and I thought there were upwards of a hundred men, women, and children, on the spot. The horses were, in general, complete rosmantes—as lean, worn-out, wretched-looking animals, as possibly could be imagined. The field trampled almost to mortar, by the multitude of horses, cattle, and sheep, and human beings, at the fair; the lean, jaded and lame horses, braying asses, and surly-looking dogs; the groups of miserable furniture, ragged children, and gloomy-looking parents; a fire, here and there, smoking before as many miserable tents—when contrasted with the gaily-dressed multitude, of both sexes, on the spot, two days before—presented a scene unequalled for its wretched, squalid and desolate appearance. Any one desirous of viewing an Asiatic encampment, in Scotland, should visit St. Boswell's Green, a day or two after the fair. [St. Boswell's fair "is the resort of many salesmen of goods, and, in particular, of tinkers. Bands of these very peculiar people, the direct descendants of the original Gipsies, who so much annoyed the country in the fifteenth century, haunt the fair, for the disposal of earthen-ware, horn spoons, and tin culinary utensils. They possess, in general, horses and carts, and they form their temporary camp by each whomling his cart upside down, and forming a lodgement with straw and bedding beneath. Cooking is performed outside the craal, in Gip3y fashion. There could not, perhaps, be witnessed, at the present day, in Britain, a more amusing and interesting scene, illustrative of a rude period, than is here annually exhibited."—Chambers' Gazetteer of Scotland. [This writer is in error as to the Gipsies annoying the country in the fifteenth century: that occurred during the three following centuries.—Ed.]]

The following may be said to be about the condition in which the present race of Scottish tinkering Gipsies are to be found: I visited, at one time, a horde of Gipsy tinsmiths, bivouacked by the side of a small streamlet, about half a mile from the town of Inverkeithing. It consisted of three married couples, the heads of as many families, one grownup, unmarried female, and six half-clad children below six years of age. Including the more grown-up members, scattered about in the neighbourhood, begging victuals, there must have been above twenty souls belonging to this band. The tinsmiths had two horses and one ass, for carrying their luggage, and several dogs. They remained, during three cold and frosty nights, encamped in the open fields, with no tents or covering, for twenty individuals, but two pairs of old blankets.

[The Gipsies' supreme luxury is to lie, day and night, so near the fire as to be in danger of burning. At the same time, they can bear to travel in the severest cold, bare-headed, with no other covering than a torn shirt, or some old rags carelessly thrown over them, without fear of catching cold, cough, or any other disorder. They are a people blessed with an iron constitution. Neither wet nor dry weather, heat nor cold, let the extremes follow each other ever so close, seems to have any effect upon them. —Grellmann on the Hungarian Gipsies.

Their power of resisting cold is truly wonderful, as it is not uncommon to find them encamped, in the midst of the snow, in light canvas tents, when the temperature is 25 or 30 degrees below freezing point, according to Raumer.—Borrow on the liussian Gipsies.

It is no uncommon thing to see a poor Scottish Gipsy wrap himself and wife in a thin, torn blanket, and pass the night, in the cold of December, in the open air, by the wayside. On rising up in the morning, they will shake themselves in their rags, as birds of prey, in coming off their perch, do their feathers; make for the nearest public-house, with, perhaps, their last copper, for a gill; and, like the ravens, go in search of a breakfast, wherever and whenever Providence may send it to them.—Ed.]

Some of the youngest children, however, were pretty comfortably lodged at night. The band had several boxes, or rather old chests, each about four feet long, two broad, and two deep, in which they carried their white-iron plates, working tools, and some of their infants, on the backs of their horses. In these chests the children passed the night, the lids being raised a little, to prevent suffocation. The stock of working tools, for each family, consisted of two or three files, as many small hammers, a pair of bellows, a wooden mallet, a pair of pincers, a pair of large shears, a crucible, a soldering-iron or two, and a small anvil, of a long shape, which was stuck into the ground.

The females as well as the males of this horde of Gipsies were busily employed in manufacturing white-iron into household utensils, and the clink of their hammers was heard from daybreak till dark. [Some of the itinerant Gipsies, doubtless, use their trades, in a great measure, as a cover for living by means such as society deems very objectionable. Many of them work hard while they are at it, as in the above instance, when "the clink of their hammers was heard from daybreak till dark;" and as has been said of those in Tweed-dale—"however early the farm servants rose to their ordinary employments, they always found the Tinklers at work."—Ed.] The males formed the plates into the shapes of the different utensils required, and the females soldered and otherwise completed them, while the younger branches of the families presented them for sale in the neighbourhood. The breakfast of the band consisted of potatoes and herrings, which the females and children had collected in the immediate neighbourhood by begging. I noticed that each family ate their meals by themselves, wrought at their calling by themselves, and sold their goods for themselves. The name of the chief of the gang was Williamson, who said he travelled in the counties of Fife and Perth. When I turned to leave them, they heaped upon me the most fulsome praises, and so loud, that I might distinctly hear them, exactly in the manner as those in Spain, mentioned by Dr. Bright.

I have, for many months running, counted above twenty Gipsies depart out of the town of Inverkeithing, about ten o'clock in the forenoon, every day, on their way to various parts of the country; and I have been informed that from twenty to thirty vagrants lodged in this small burgh nightly. Some of the bakers declared that the persons who were the worst to please with hot rolls for breakfast, were the beggars, or rather Gipsies, who frequented the place. On one occasion, I observed twelve females, without a single male among them, decamp out of the town, all travelling in and around a cart, drawn by a shagged pony. The whole party were neatly attired, some of the young girls having trowers, with frills about their ankles; and very few would have taken them for Gipsies. A large proportion of those miserable-looking females, who are accompanied by a number of ragged children, and scatter themselves through the streets, and beg from door to door, are Gipsies. I do not recollect, distressing as the times ever have been, of having seen reduced Scotch tradesmen begging in families. I remember once seeing a man with a white apron wrapped around his waist, his coat off, an infant in his arms, and two others at his feet, accompanied by a dark-looking fellow of about twenty, singing through the town mentioned. They represented themselves as broken-down tradesmen, and had the appearance of having just left their looms, to sing for bread; and many half-pence they received. Suspecting them to be impostors, I observed their motions, and soon saw them join other vagrants, outside of the town, among whom were females. The poor tradesmen were now dressed in very substantial drab surtouts. They were nothing but a family of Tinklers. They were proceeding, with great speed, to the next town, to practise their impositions on the inhabitants; and I learned that they had, in this manner, traversed several counties in Scotland. At a subsequent period, I fell in with another family, consisting of five children and their parents, driving an ass and its colt, near the South Queensferry. Upon the back of the ass were two stone-hammers, and two reaping-hooks, placed in such a manner as any one, in passing, might observe them. I enquired where they had been. " We have been in England, sir, seeking work, but could find none." Pew would have taken them for anything but country labourers; but the truth was, they were a family of Gipsies, of the well-known name of Marshall, from about Stranraer. Their implements of industry, so conspicuously exhibited on the back of their ass, was all deception.

It is only about twenty-five years since the Irish Gipsies, in bands, made their appearance, in Scotland. Many severe conflicts they had with our Scottish tribes, before they obtained a footing in the country. But there is a new swarm of Irish Gipsies at present scattered, in bands, over Scotland, all acquainted with the Gipsy language. They are a set of the most wretched creatures on the face of the earth. A horde of them, consisting of several families, encamped, at one time, at Port Edgar, on the banks of the Forth, near South Queensferry. They had three small tents, two horses, and four asses, and trafficked in an inferior sort of earthenware. On the outside of one of the tents, in the open air, with nothing but the canopy of heaven above her, and the greensward beneath her, one of the females, like the deer in the forest, brought forth a child, without either the infant or mother receiving the slightest injury. [I know another instance of a Gipsy having a child in the open fields It took place among the rushes on Stanhope-haugh, on the banks of the Tweed. In the forenoon, she was delivered of her child, without the assistance of a midwife, and in the afternoon the hardy Gipsy resumed her journey. The infant was a daughter, named Mary Baillie.]

[When a Gipsy woman is confined, it is either in a miserable hnt or in the open air, but always easily and fortunately. True Gipsy-like, for want of some vessel, a hole is dug in the ground, which is filled with cold water, and the new-born child is washed in it.— Grellmaun, on the Hungarian Gipsies. We may readily believe that a child coming into the world under the circumstances mentioned, would have some of the peculiarities of a wild duck. Mr. Hoyland says that " on the first introduction of a Gipsy child to school, he flew like a bird against the sides of its cage; but by a steady care, and the influence of the example of the other children, he soon he-came settled, and fell into the ranks." It pleases the Gipsies to know that their ancestors came into the world "like the deer in the forest," and, when put to school, "flew like a bird against the sides of its cage."—Ed.]

The woman, however, was attended by a midwife from Queensferry, who said that these Irish Gipsies were so completely covered with filth and vermin, that she durst not enter one of their tents, to assist the female in labour. Several individuals were attracted to the spot, by the novelty of such an occurrence, iu so unusual a place as the open fields. Immediately after the child was born, it was handed about to every one of the band, that they might look at the "young donkey," as they called it. In about two days after the accouchement, the horde proceeded on their journey, as if nothing had happened.

[This invasion of Scotland by Irish Gipsies has, of late years, greatly altered the condition of the nomadic Scottish tribes; for this reason, that as Scotland, no less than any other country, can support only a certain number of such people who "live on the road," so many of the Scottish Gipsies have been forced to betake themselves to other modes of making a living. To such an extent has this been the case, that Gipsies, speaking the Scottish dialect, are in some districts comparatively rarely to be met with, where they were formerly numerous. The same cause may even lead to the extinction of the Scottish Gipsies as wanderers; but as the descendants of the Irish Gipsies will acquire the Scottish vernacular in the second generation, (a remarkably short period among the Gipsies,) what will then pass for Scottish Gipsies will be Irish by descent. The Irish Gipsies are allowed, by their English brethren, to speak good Gipsy, but with a broad and vulgar accent; so that the language in Scotland will have a still better chance of being preserved.

England has likewise been invaded by these Irish swarms. The English Gipsies complain bitterly of them. "They have no law among them," they say; "they have fairly destroyed Scotland as a country to travel in; if they get a loan of anything from the country-people, to wrap themselves in, in the barn, at night, they will decamp with it in the morning. They have brought a disgrace upon the very name of Gipsy, in Scotland, and are heartily disliked by both English and Scotch." "There is a family of Irish Gipsies living across the road there, whom I would not be seen speaking to," said a superior English Gipsy; "I hate a Jew, and I dislike an Irish Gipsy." But English and Scottish Gipsies pull well together; and are on very friendly terms in America, and frequently visit each other. The English sympathize with the Scottish, under the wrongs they have experienced at the hands of the Irish, as well as on account of the persecutions they experienced in Scotland, so long after such hafl ceased in England.

Twenty-five years ago, there were many Gipsies to be found between Londonderry and Belfast, following the style of life described nnder the chapter of Tweed-dale and Clydesdale Gipsies. Their names were Docherty, McCurdy, McCloskey, McGuire, McKay, Holmes, Dinsmore, Morrow, Allan, Stewart, Lindsay, Cochrane, and Williamson. Some of these seem to have migrated from Scotland and the North of England.—En.]

But there are Irish Gipsies of a class much superior to the above, in Scotland. In 1836, a very respectable and wealthy master-tradesman informed me that the whole of the individuals employed in his manufactory, in Edinburgh, were Irish Gipsies. [In England, some of the Irish Gipsies send their children to learn trades. There are many of such Irish mechanic Gipsies in America. A short time ago, a company of them landed in New York, and proceeded on to Chicago. Their occupations, among others, were those of hatters and tailors.—Ed.]

The Gipsies do not appear to have been altogether free from the crime of destroying their offspring, when, by infirmities, they could not be carried along with them in their wanderings, and thereby became an encumbrance to them. It has, indeed, been often noticed that few, or no, deformed or sickly individuals are to be found among them. The following appears to be an instance of something like the practice in question. A family of Gipsies were in the habit of calling periodically, in their peregrinations over the country, at the house of a lady in Argyleshire. They frequently brought with them a daughter, who was ailing of some lingering disorder. The lady noticed the sickly child, and often spoke kindly to her parents about her condition. On one occasion, when the family arrived on her premises, she missed the child, and enquired what had become of her, and whether she had recovered. The father said his daughter was "a poor sickly thing, not worth carrying about with them," and that he had "made away with her." Whether any notice was taken of this murder, by the authorities, is not mentioned. The Gipsies, however, are generally noted for a remarkable attachment to their children.

[The Ross-shire Advertiser, for April, 1842, says: " Gipsy Heedlessness.— Last week, two Gipsy women, who were begging through the country, each with a child on her back, having got intoxicated, took up their lodgings, for the night, in an old sawpit, in the parish of Logie-Easter. It is supposed that they forgot to take the children off their backs, when going to rest; for, in the morning, they were found to he both dead, having been smothered hy their miserable mothers lying upon them through the night One of the women, upon awakening in the morning, called to the other, ' that her baby was dead,' to which the reply was, ' that it could not be helped.' Having dug a hole, they procured some straw, rolled up the children in it, put them in the hole, and then filled it up with the earth."]

Several authors have brought a general charge of cowardice against the Gipsies, in some of the countries of Europe; but I never saw or heard of any grounds for bringing such a charge against the Scottish Gipsies. On the contrary, I always considered our Tinklers the very reverse of cowards. Heron, in his journey through part of Scotland, before the year 1793, when speaking of the Gipsies in general, says: "They make excellent soldiers, whenever the habit of military discipline can be sufficiently impressed upon them." Several of our Scottish Gipsies have even enjoyed commissions, as has already been noticed

[Though Gipsies everywhere, they differ, in some respects, in the various countries which they inhabit. For example, an English Gipsy, of pugilistic tendencies, will, in a vapouring way, engage to thrash a dozen of his Hungarian brethren. The following is the substance of what Grellmann says on this feature of their character:

Subser says a Gipsy requires to have been a long time in the army before he can meet an enemy's balls with decent soldiers' resolution. They have often been employed in military expeditions, but never as regular soldiers. In the thirty years' war, the Swedes had a body of them in the army; and the Danes had three companies of them at the siege of Hamburg, in 1686. They were chiefly employed in flying parties, to burn, plunder, or lay waste the enemy's country.

In two Hungarian regiments, nearly every eighth man is a Gipsy. In order to prevent either them (I) or any others from remembering their descent, it is ordered, by the Government, that as soon as a Gipsy joins the regiment, he is no longer to be called by that appellation. Here he is placed promiscuously with other men. But whether he would be adequate to a soldier's station—unmixed with strangers, in the company of his equals only—is very doubtful He has every outward essential for a soldier, yet his innate properties, his levity, and want of foresight, render him incompatible for the services of one, as an instance may illustrate. Francis von Perenyi, who commanded at ths siege of Nagy Ida, being short of men, was obliged to have recourse to the Gipsies, of whom he collected a thousand. These he stationed behind the entrenchments, while he reserved his own men to garrison the citadel. The Gipsies supported the attack with so much resolution, and returned the fire of the enemy with such alacrity, that the assailants—little suspecting who were the defendants—were compelled to retreat. But the Gipsies, elated with victory, immediately crept out of their holes, and cried after them, " Go, and he hanged, you rascals! and thank God that we bad no more powder and shot, or we would have played the devil with you!" " What!" they exclaimed, bearing in mind the proverb, " You can drive fifty Gipsies before yon with a wet rag," "What! are you the heroes?" and, so saying, the besiegers immediately wheeled about, and, sword in hand, drove the black crew back to their works, entered them along with them, and in a few minutes totally routed them.—Ed.]

But the military is not a life to their taste, as we have already seen; for, rather than enter it, they will submit to even personal mutilation. There is even danger in employing them in our regiments at the seat of war; as I am convinced that, if there are any Gipsies in the ranks of the enemy, an improper intercourse will exist between them in both armies. During the last rebellion in Ireland, the Gipsy soldiers in our regiments kept up an intimate and friendly correspondence with their brethren among the Irish rebels.

[A Gipsy possesses all the properties requisite to render him a fit agent to be employed in traitorous undertakings. Being necessitous, he is easily corrupted; and his misconceived ambition and pride persuade him that he thus becomes a person of consequence. He is, at the same time, too inconsiderate to reflect on danger; and, artful to the greatest degree, he works his way under the most difficult circumstances. Gipsies have not only served much in the capacity of spies, but their garb and manner of life have been assumed by military and other men for the same purpose.— Quellmann on the Hungarian Gipsies.

Mr. Borrow gives a very interesting description of a meeting of two Gipsies, in a battle between the French and Spaniards, in the Peninsula, in Bonaparte's time. In the midst of a desperate battle—when everything was in confusion—sword to sword and bayonet to bayonet—a French soldier singled out one of the enemy, and, after a severe personal contest, got his knee on his breast, and was about to run his bayonet through him. Hie cap at this moment fell off, when his intended victim, catching his eye, cried, "Zincali, ZincaliI" at which the other shuddered,, relaxed his grasp, smote his forehead, and wept. He produced his flask, and poured wine into his brother Gipsy's mouth; and they both sat down on a knoll, while all were fighting around. "Let the dogs fight, and tear each other's throats, till they are all destroyed: what matters it to us? They are not of our blood, and shall that be shed for them?"

What our author aays of there being danger in employing Gipsies in time of war has little or no foundation ; for the associations between those in the opposite ranks would be merely those of interest, friendship, assistance, and scenes like the one depicted by Mr. Borrow. The objection to Gipsies, on such occasions, is as applicable to Jews and Freemasons.—Ed.]

The Scottish Gipsies have ever been distinguished for their gratitude to those who treated them with civility and kindness, during their progress through the country. The particulars of the following instance of a Gipsy's gratitude are derived from a respectable farmer, to whom one of the tribe offered assistance in his pecuniary distress. I was well acquainted with both of them. The occurrence, which took place only about ten years ago, will show that gratitude is still a prominent feature in the character of the Scottish Gipsy.

The fanner became embarrassed in his circumstances, in the spring of the year, when an ill-natured creditor, for a small sum, put him in jail, with a design to extort payment of the debt from his relatives. The farmer had always allowed a Gipsy chief, of the name of---------, with his family,

to take up his quarters on his premises, whenever the horde came to the neighbourhood. The Gipsy's horse received the same provender as the farmer's horses, and himself and family the same victuals as the farmer's servants. So sure was the Gipsy of his lodgings, that he seldom needed to ask permission to stay all night on the farm, when he arrived. On learning that the farmer was in jail, he immediately went to see him. When he called, the jailer laughed at him, and, for long, would not intimate to the farmer that he wished to see him. With tears in his eyes, the Gipsy then told him he "would be into the jail, and see the honest man, whether he would or not." At last, an hour was fixed when he would be allowed to enter the prison. When the time arrived, the Gipsy made his appearance, with a quantity of liquor in his hand, for his friend the farmer. "Weel, man," said he to the turnkey,."is this your hour, now?" being displeased at the delay which had taken place. The jailer again said to him that he was surely joking, and still refused him admittance. "Joking, man?" exclaimed the Gipsy, with the tears again glistening in his dark eyes, "I am not joking, for into this prison I shall be; and if it is not by the door, it shall be by another way." Observing the determined Gipsy quite serious, the jailer at last allowed him to see the object of his search. The moment he saw the farmer, he took hold of both his hands, and, immediately throwing his arms around him, burst into tears, and was for some time so overcome by grief, that he could not give utterance to his feelings. Recovering himself, he enquired if it was the laird that had put him in prison; but on being told it was a writer, one of his creditors, the Gipsy exclaimed, "They are a d------d crew, thae writers, [A writer in Scotland corresponds with an attorney in England. It is interesting to notice the opinion which the Gipsy entertained of the writers. Possibly he had been a good deal worried by them, in connection with the conduct of some of his folk.—Ed.] and the lairds are little better." With much feeling, he now said to his friend, " Your father, honest man, was aye good to my horse, and your mother, poor body, was aye kind to me, when I came to the farm. I was aye treated like one of their own household, and I can never forget their kindness. Many a night's quarters I received from them, when others would not suffer me to approach their doors." The grateful Gipsy now offered the farmer fifty pounds, to relieve him from prison. "We are," said he, "not so poor as folk think we are;" and, putting his hand into his pocket, he added, "Here is part of the money, which you will accept; and if fifty pounds will not do, I will sell all that I have in the world, horses and all, to get you out of this place." "Oh, my bonnie man," continued the Gipsy, "had I you in my camp, at the back of the dyke, I would be a happy man. You would be far better there than in this hole. The farmer thanked him for his kind offer, but declined to accept it. "We are," resumed the Gipsy, "looked upon as savages, but we have our feelings, like other people, and never forget our friends and benefactors. Kind, indeed, have your relatives been to me, and all I have in this world is at your service." When the Gipsy found that his offer was not accepted, he insisted that the farmer would allow him to supply him, from time to time, with pocket money, in case he should, during his confinement, be in want of the necessaries of life. Before leaving the prison, the farmer asked the Gipsy to take a cup of tea with him ; but long the Gipsy modestly refused to eat with him, saying, "lama black thief-looking deevil, to sit down and eat in your company; but I will do it, this day, for your sake, since you ask it of me." The Gipsy's wife, with all her family, also insisted upon being allowed to see the farmer in prison. [There is something singularly inconsistent in the mind of the Gipsies. They pride themselves, to an extraordinary degree, in their race and language; at the same time, they are extremely sensitive to the prejudice that exists against them. "We feel," say they, "that every other creature despises us, and would crush us out of existence, if it could be done. No doubt, there are things which many of the Gipsies do not hold to be a shame, that others do; but, on the other band, they hold some things to be a shame which others do not. They have many good points. They are kind to their own people, and will feed and clothe them, if it is in their power; and they will not moleat others who treat them civilly. They are somewhat like the wild American Indians: they even go so far as to despise their own people who will willingly conform to the ways of the people among whom they live, even to putting their heads under a roof. But, alas! a hard necessity renders it unavoidable; a necessity of two kinds— that of making a living under the circumstances in which they find themselves placed, and the impossibility of enforcing their laws among themselves. Let them do what they may, live as they may, believe what they may, they are looked upon as everything that ia bad. Yet they are a people, an ancient and mysterious people, that have been scattered by the will of Providence over the whole earth."

It is to escape this dreadful prejudice that all Gipsies, excepting those who avowedly live and profess themselves Gipsies, will hide their race, if they can, and particularly so, in the case of those who fairly leave the tent, conform to the ordinary ways of society, and engage in any of its various callings. While being convoyed by the son of an English Gipsy, whose family I had been visiting, at their house, where I had heard them freely speak of themselves as Gipsies, and converse in Gipsy, I said, in quite a pleasant tone, "Ah, my little man, and you are a young Gipsy!—Eh, what's the matter?" "I don't wish to be known to the people as a Gipsy." His father, on another occasion, said, "We are not ashamed to say to a friend that we are Gipsies; but my children don't like people to he crying after them, ' Look at the Gipsies!'" And yet this family, like all Gipsies, were strongly attached to their race and language. It was pitiful to think that there was so much reason for them to make such a complaint. On one occasion, I was asked, "If you would not deem it presumptuous, might we ask you to take a bite with us?" "Eat with you? Why not? I replied. "What will your people think, if they knew that you had been eating with us? You will lose caste." This was said io a serious manner, but slightly tinged with irony. Bless me, I thought, are all our Scottish Gipsies, of high and low degree, afraid that the ordinary natives would not even cat with them, if they knew them to be Gipsies?—En.]

This interview took place in presence of several persons, who were surprised at the gratitude and manner of the determined Gipsy. It is proper to mention that he is considered a very honest man, and is a protection to the property of the country-people, wherever he is quartered. He sells earthen-ware, through the country, and has, sometimes, several horses in his possession, more for pleasure than profit, some of which the farmers graze for nothing, as he is a great favourite with those who are intimately acquainted with him. He is about fifty years of age, about six feet in height, is spare made, has small black eyes, and a swarthy complexion. He is styled King of the Gipsies, but the country-people call him "Terrible," for a by-name. It was said his mother was a witch, and many of the simple, ignorant people, in the country, actually believed she was one. That her son believed she possessed supernatural power, will appear from the following fact: As some one was lamenting the hard case of the farmer remaining in prison, the Gipsy gravely said, "Had my mother been able to go to the jail, to see the honest man, she possessed the power to set him free."

That numbers of our Gipsies attend the church, and publicly profess Christianity, and get their children baptized, is certain; and that many of the male heads of principal families have the appearance and reputation of great honesty of character, is also certain. Yet their wives and other members of their families are, in general, little better than professed thieves; and are secretly countenanced and encouraged in their practices by many of those very chief males, who designedly keep up an outward show of integrity, for the purpose of deception, and of affording their plundering friends protection. When the head of the family is believed to be an honest man, it excites a feeling of sympathy for his tribe on his account, and it enables him to step forward, with more freedom, to protect his kindred, when they happen to get into scrapes. I am convinced, could the fact be ascertained, that many of the offenders who are daily brought before our courts of justice are Gipsies, though their external appearance does not indicate them to be of that race.

With regard to the education of our Scottish Gipsies, I am convinced that very few of them receive any education at all; except some of those among the superior classes, who have property in houses, and permanent residences. A Gipsy, of some property, who gave one of her sons a good education, declared that the young man was entirely spoiled. [It is well to notice the fact, that by giving a Gipsy child a good education, it became "entirely spoiled." It would be well if we could " spoil" all the Gipsies. A thoroughly-spoiled Gipsy makes a very good man, but leaves him a Gipsy notwithstanding. A "thorough Gipsy" has two meanings; one strongly attached to the tribe, and its original habits, or one without these original habits. There are a good many "spoiled" Gipsies, male and female, in Scotland.—Ed.] It appears, however, that the males of the Yetholm colony received such an education as is commonly given to the working classes ; but it is supposed there is scarcely such a thing as a female Gipsy who has been educated. There are, however, instances to the contrary; and I know one female at least, who can handle her pen with some dexterity. [The education and acquirements of the Spanish Gipsies, according to Mr. Borrow, are, on the whole, not inferior to those of the lower classes of the Spaniards; some of the young men being ahle to read and write in a manner by no means contemptible; but such never occurs among the females. Neglecting females, in the matter of education, is quite in keeping with the Oriental origin of the Gipsies. The same feature is observable among the Jews; and the Talmud bears heavily upon Jewish women. Every Jew says, in his morning prayer, "Blessed art thou, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who hast not made me a woman !" And the woman returns thanks for having heen " created according to God's will." —En.]

As to their religious sentiments, I am inclined to think that the greater part of the Scottish Gipsies are quite indifferent on the subject. Numbers of them certainly attend church, occasionally, when at home, in their winter quarters ; but not one of them will enter its door when travelling through the country.

[The ostensible reason which the Gipsy gives for not attending church, when travelling, is to prevent himself being ridiculed hy the people. If he enters a place of worship, he makes the old people stare, and frightens the children. On returning from church, a child will exclaim, " Mother, mother, there was a Tinkler at the kirk, to-day."—"A what? a Tinkler at the kirk? What could have possessed him to go there?"

Gipsies are extremely sensitive to the feeling in question. A short time ago, one of them entered------, in the State of ------, with a "sheare to grind," having a small bell attached. Some bar room gentry assembled around him, and saluted him with, "Oh, oh, a Gipsy in a new rig?" So keenly did he feel the insult, that he at once left the village.—En.]

On Sundays, while resting themselves by the side of the public roads, the females employ themselves in washing and sewing their apparel, without any regard for that sacred day. It appears to me that a large proportion of them comply with our customs and forms of worship, more for the purpose of concealing their tribe and practices, than from any serious belief in the doctrines of Christianity. I recollect, however, of once conversing with an aged man who professed much apparent zeal in religious matters ; and I mind well that he stoutly maintained, in opposition to Calvin's ideas on the subject of free grace, that everything depended upon our own works. "By my works in this life," said he, "I must stand, or fall, in the world to come." This very man acknowledged to me that the Gipsies were a tribe of thieves. But almost all the Gipsies, when the subject of religion is mentioned to them, affect to be very pious; speak of the goodness of God to them, with much apparent sincerity ; lament the want of education ; and reprobate, in strong terms, every act of immorality. This, I am sorry to say, is, in general, all hypocrisy and deception. There is not a better test, in a general way, for discovering who are Gipsies, than the expression of "God bless you," which is constantly in the mouth of every female.

[According to Grellmann, the Gipsies did not bring any particular religion with them from their own country, but have regulated it according to those of the countries in which they have lived. They suffer themselves to be baptized among Christians, and circumcised among Mahammedans. They are Greeks with Greeks, Catholics with Catholics, Protestants with Protestants, and as inconstant in their creed as their place of residence. They suffer their children to be several times baptized. To-day, they receive the sacrament as a Lutheran; next Sunday, as a Catholic; and, perhaps before the end of the week, in the Reformed Church. The greater part of them do not go so far as this, but live without any religion at all, and worse than heathens. So thoroughly indifferent are they in this respect, as to have given rise to the adage, "The Gipsy's church was built of bacon, and the dogs ate it." So perfectly convinced are the Turks of the insincerity of the Gipsy in matters of religion, that, although a Jew, by becoming a Mahommedan, is freed from the payment of the poll-tax, a Gipsy—at least in [he-neighbourhood of Constantinople—is not, even although his ancestors, for centuries, had been Mahommedans, or he himself should actually have made a pilgrimage to Mecca. His only privilege is to wear a white turban, which is denied to unbelieving Jews and Gipsies.

Mr. Borrow says, that when the female Gipsies, who sing in the choirs of Moscow, were questioned, in their own language, about their externally professing the Greek religion, they laughed, and said it was only to please the Rossians.

The same author mentions an instance in which he preached to them; taking, for his text, the situation of the Hebrews in Egypt, and drawing a comparison between it and theirs in Spain. Warming with his subject, he spoke of the power of God in preserving both, as a distinct people, in the world, to this day. On concluding, he looked around to see what impression he had made upon them, but the only response he got from them all was—a squint of the eye!—Ed.]

With regard to the general politics of the Scottish Gipsies, if they entertain any political sentiments at all, I am convinced they are monarchical; and that, were any revolutionary convulsion to loosen the bonds of society, and separate the lower from the higher classes, they would take to the side of the superior portion of the community. They have, at all times, heartily despised the peasantry, and been disposed to treat menials with great contempt, though, at the very moment, they were begging at the doors of their masters. In the few instances which have come to my knowledge, of Scottish Gipsies forming matrimonial connexions with individuals of the community, those individuals were not of the working or lower classes of society. [What our author says of the politics of the Gipsies is rather more applicable to their ideas of their social position. Being a small body in comparison with the general population of the country, they entertain a very exclusive and, consequently, a very aristocratic idea of themselves, whatever others may think of them; and therefore scorn the prejudice of the very lowest order of the common natives.—Ed.]

I believe there are Gipsies, in more or less numbers, in almost every town in Scotland, permanent as well as periodical residenters. In many of the villages there are also Gipsy inhabitants. In Mid-Lothian there are great numbers of them, who have houses, in which they reside permanently, but a portion of them travel in other districts, during the summer season. I have been at no ordinary pains and trouble in making enquiries regarding the number of the Gipsies, and the result of my numerous investigations induces me to believe that there are about five thousand of them in Scotland, at the present day. Indeed, some of the Gipsies themselves entertain the same opinion, and they must certainly be allowed to have some idea of the number of their own fraternity. [Before the reformation of our criminal law, many of the male Gipsies perished on the gallows, but now, the greatest punishment they meet with is banishment, or a short imprisonment, for "sorning, pickery, and little thieving." Few of them are now "married to the gallows tree," in the manner of Graham, as described under the head of Fifeshire Gipsies. Owing to their, (the more original kind especially,) all marrying very young, and having very large families, their number cannot fail to increase, under the present laws, in a ratio far beyond that of our own population. Instead of there being only 5,000 Gipsies in Scotland, there are, as I have already said, nearer 100,000, for reasons to be given in the Disquisition on the Gipsies. —En.]

It appears to me that the civilization and improvement of the body, generally, would be a work of great difficulty. I would be apt to give nearly the same answer which a Hungarian nobleman gave to Dr. Bright, when that traveller asked him if he could not devise a plan for bettering the condition of the race in Hungary. The nobleman said he knew of no manner of improving the Gipsies.

[Speaking of the attempted civilization of the Gipsies, by the Empress Maria Theresa, Grellmann says, "A boy, (for you must leave the old stock alone,) would frequently seem in the most promising train to civilization; on a sudden, his wild nature would appear, a relapse follow, and he become a perfect Gipsy again."

"Curate—Could you not, by degrees, bring yourself to a more settled mods of life 1

"Gipsy.—I would not tell you a lie, sir; I really think I could not, having been brought up to it from a child."—Hoyland on the English Gipsies.

The restless desire which the more original kind of Gipsies, and those more recently from the tent, have for moving about, is generally gratified in some way or other. The poorer class will send their wives and young ones to the " grass," in company with the nomadic portion, or to the streets in towns. In either case, they have no great occasion to feel uneasy about their support; for she would be a poor wife indeed, if she could not forage for herself and "weary bairns." Among other things, shs can hire herself to assist in disposing of the wares made by another Gipsy. Her husband will then work at his calling, or go on the tramp, like some of our ordinary mechanics.

The feeling which mankind in general have for the sweets of the country, and the longing which so many of us have to end our days in the midst of them, amount almost to a mania with these Gipsies. Frequently will Gipsies, in England, after spending the best part of their lives in a settled occupation, again take to the tent; while others of them, on arrival in America, will bny themselves places, and live on them till seized with the travelling epidemic, communicated by a roving company of their tribe accidentally arriving in their neighbourhood. Some of the mors recently settled class of Gipsies, whose occupations do not easily admit of their enjoying the pleasure of a country or travelling life, show a great partiality to their wandering brethren, however poor, with whom they are on terms of intimacy, nnd especially if they happen to be related. Their children, from hearing their parents speak of the " good old times"—the " golden age" of the Gipsies—when they could wander hither and thither, with little molestation, and live, in a measure, at free-quarters, wherever they went, grow impatient under the restraint which society has thrown around them ; and vent their feelings in abusing that same society, and all the members thereof. They envy the lot of these "country cousins." Meetings of that kind render these Gipsies, (old as well as young,) irritable, discontented, and gloomy: they feel like " birds in a cage," as a Gipsy expressed it. Not unfrequently will a young town Gipsy travel in the company of these country relatives, dressed a la Tinklaire. as a relief to the discontentment which a restrained aod pent-up life creates within him. At other times, his parents will know nothing of his movements, beyond his coming home to " roost" nt night.

The nomadic class take to winter-quarters in some village, towards the close of the year, and fret themselves all day long, till, on the return of spring, they can say, "To your tents, O Gipsies!" There is as little direct relation existing between the tent and the long-settled Gipsies, as there is between it and ordinary Scotch people. But there is that tribal or national association connected with it, that is inseparable from the feelings of a Gipsy, however high may be the position in life to which he may have risen.—Ed.]

The best plan yet proposed for improving the race appears to be the one suggested by the Rev. James Crabb, of Southampton, and the Rev. John Baird, of Yetholm. [The Fourteenth Annual Festival of the Rev. James Crabb's Association, for civilizing and teaching the principles of Christianity to the Gipsies in England, was held on the 25th December, 1841. At that time, twenty Gipsy youths were attending his school. He was very sanguine of ultimately ameliorating the condition of the British Gipsies.

At Yetholm, in the aama year, after the Eev. John Baird's school had been in existence about two years, there were about forty Gipsy children receiving instruction. When they were educated, they were hired as servants to families, or bound apprentices to different trades.

[I will offer some remarks on the improvement of the Gipsies, in the Disquisition on the Gipsies.—Ed.]

One of the first steps, however, should be a complete publicity to their language, if that was possible; and encouragement held out to them to speak it openly, without fear or reproach. Their secret speech is a strong bond of union among them, and forms, as it were, a wall of separation between them and the other inhabitants of the country.

Many of the Gipsies, following the various occupations enumerated, are not now to be distinguished from others of the community, except by the most minute observation: yet they appear a distinct and separate people ; seldom contracting marriage out of their own tribe. [It is a difficult matter to tell soma of the settled Scottish Gipsies. In searching for them, Borne regard must be had to the employment of the individual, his associations, and his isolation from the community generally, beyond what is necessary in following his calling and out-door relations, as contrasted with his hospitality to strangers from a distance ; a close scrutiny of the habits of himself and his numerous motley visitors ; the rough-and-tumble way in which he sometimes lives; his attachment to animals, such as horses, asses, dogs, cats, birds, or pets of any kind. these, and other relative circumstances, go a great way to enable one to pounce upon some of them. But the use of their language, and the effect it has upon them, (barring their responding to it,) is, at the present stage of their history, the only satisfactory test. Scottish Gipsy families will generally be found to be all dark in their appearance, or all very fair or reddish, or partly very fair, and partly very dark, and sometimes dark or fair nondescript. Many of the residentiary class of mechanic Gipsies are difficult of detection; so are the better classes, generally, if it is long since their ancestors left the tent.—Ed.] A tradesman of Gipsy blood will sooner give his hand to a lady's maid of his own race, than marry the highest female in the land ; while the Gipsy lady's maid will take a Gipsy shoemaker, in preference to any one out of her tribe. A Gipsy woman will far rather prefer, in marriage, a man of her own blood who has escaped the gallows, to the most industrious and best-behaved tradesman in the kingdom. Like the Jews, almost all those in good circumstances marry among themselves, and, I believe, employ their poorer brethren as servants. I have known Gipsies most solemnly declare, that no consideration would induce them to marry out of their own tribe ; and I am informed, and convinced, that almost every one of them marries in that way. One of them stated to me that, let them be in whatever situation of life they may, they all "stick to each other."

Note.—The reader will observe the tenacity of the Gipsy nationality, in a mixed, settled, and civilized state, as described by the author. By some it may be called remarkable, even wonderful, perhaps by others miraculous; and yet, how could these people be, by the ordinary laws of nature, other than Gipsies?

Here we have ethnology on its legs—a wild Oriental race, dropt into the midst of all the nations of Europe, and legally and socially proscribed by them, yet drawing into their body much of the blood of other people and incorporating it with their own, and assimilating to the manners of the countries in which they live; sometimes threading their way by marriage through native families, and maintaining their identity, in a more or less mixed state, in the world, notwithstanding their having no religion peculiar to themselves, like the Jews, as illustrated in the following Disquisition.

In this long treatise, what constitutes a Gipsy is more than once stated, on purpose, to keep the cardinal idea before the mind of the reader; while some of the other subjects discussed are taken up, then dropped, and again considered, in other of their aspects, on more appropriate occasions.—Ed.


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