Obrázky na stránke

seems to have been attracted towards the would tend to bring them by degrees within strange people of whom he writes, and to the pale of industry and improvement. have studied their history and habits with * Religion,” says Mr. Borrow, “they attentive interest. Having naturally great have done: they never attend mass, nor facility in the acquisition of language, he did I ever hear them employ the names of has not allowed the talent to suffer from God, Christ, and the Virgin, but in execraneglect. He has made himself so familiar tion and blasphemy."-Vol. i, p. 206. with the Gipsy tongue, as to be mistaken Their whole moral law is embraced within by the wandering tribes with which he has a very small compass, as will be seen by mingled, for one of their own blood. From an extract from a pithy dialogue between their own lips, therefore, he has learned Mr. Borrow, and a singular Gitáno, whom their laws and their observances. He has he met at Badajos. been a dweller in their camps, and a par Myself.—What do you mean by the taker in their adventures,—corroborating or Gipsy law? correcting, by his own observation, the First Gipsy.—Wherefore do you ask, knowledge which he had obtained from brother? You know what is meant by the other sources. In Russia, Hungary, Tur law of the Calés better even than ourselves. key, and England, he appears to have Myself.—I know what it is in England known them familiarly. Of their peculiari and in Hungary, but I can only give a guess ties in Spain, the pages before us are ample as to what it is in Spain. in detail-perhaps more pruriently so, in Both Gipsies.—What do you consider some particulars, than should have been it to be in Spain ? expected from the knowledge or the taste Myself.Cheating and choring the Busof a semi-clerical historian.

né on all occasions, and being true to the The origin of the Gipsies must still re erráte in life and death. main a matter of doubt, notwithstanding “At these words both the Gitános sprang that Mr. Borrow, with considerable array simultaneously from their seats, and exof reason, attributes it to India. Early in claimed with a boisterous shout—“Chathe fifteenth century they made their ap chipé."-Vol. I, p. 204. pearance in Europe, and their tents were Our readers will observe from this last found pitched, soon after, in the principal extract that Mr. Borrow is as prodigal with kingdoms. From that time to the present, the Gipsy language, as Sir Walter Scott it would appear that they have changed but with the Scottish. Those who are curious little. The utmost effect of the laws regard must have frequent recourse to the glosing them, has been to modify the exercise sary. of their peculiar characteristics, but in no In a passage of the same dialogue, we wise essentially to change those character find an instance eloquently described, of the istics themselves. Mr. Borrow informs us free-masonry existing between the different in his opening chapter, that they are, at this tribes of these wild people. It is a fair day, not more readily to be distinguished, specimen of Mr. Borrow's narrative ability. by their unvarying complexion and fea We hope, however, that it is not obligatory tures, than by their adherence, in spirit, to on us to make it a matter of faith. We their common and time-honored professions, have never been in a battle ourselves, but of thieving, tinkering, jockeying, and for war is not so bad as we imagined, if two tune-telling, all the world over. The tide soldiers can retire to a knoll and hold a tėte of civilization which has swept over the à tête, “ for hours," while their respective countries where they have dwelt, has left parties are “fighting all around.” Such their feet unwet. Like the outcasts of Is opportunities would, we think, be embraced rael, they seem to live in the expiation of a rather too often for discipline. Perhaps, melancholy doom, and still worse, so far as however, the Gipsies have the knack of society is concerned, they appear to rebel doing this, as well as other strange things, against the acquisition of every art which with impunity.

"Myself.Have you ever met before with Caloré who were not Spaniards ?

Antonio.—I will tell you, brother. I served as a soldier in the war of the independence against the French. War, it is true, is not the proper occupation of a Gitáno, but those were strange times, and all those who could bear arms were compelled to go forth to fight: so I went with the English armies, and we chased the Gabiné unto the frontier of France; and it happened once that we joined in desperate battle, and there was a confusion, and the two parties became intermingled and fought sword to sword and bayonet to bayonet, and a French soldier singled me out, and we fought for a long time, cutting, goring, and cursing each other, till at last we flung down our arms and grappled ; long we wrestled, body to body, but I found that I was the weaker, and I fell. The French soldier's knee was on my breast, and his grasp was on my throat, and he seized his bayonet, and he raised it to thrust me through the jaws; and his cap had fallen off, and I lifted my eyes wildly to his face, and our eyes met, and I gave a loud shriek, and cried Zincalo, Zincalo! and I felt him shudder, and he relaxed his grasp, and started up, and he smote his forehead and wept, and then he came to me and knelt down by my side, for I was almost dead, and he took my hand and called me brother and Zincalo, and he produced his flask and poured wine into my mouth and I revived, and he raised me up, and led me from the concourse, and we sat down on a knoll, and the two parties were fighting all around, and he said, “Let the dogs fight, and tear each others' throats till they are all destroyed, what matters it to the Zincali; they are not of our blood, and shall that be shed for them?' So we sat for hours on the knoll, and discoursed on matters pertaining to our people; and I could have listened for years, for he told me secrets which made my ears tingle, and I soon found that I knew nothing, though I had before considered myself quite Zincalo; but as for him he knew the whole cuenta; the Bengui Lango himself could have told him nothing but what he knew. So we sat till the sun went down, and the battle

was over, and he proposed that we should both flee to his own country and live there with the Zincali; but my heart failed me; so we embraced, and he departed to the Gabiné, while I returned to our own battalions.Vol. i, p. 209.

Many amusing instances are given, with great vivacity, of the peculiar modes which the Zincali adopt to convert other people's money into their own. The “hokkano baro,” or great trick, is the pride of the Gipsy women, and is a deception, our author informs us, “frequently practised at the present day, and not only in Spain, but in England, enlightened England, and in France likewise.”

There are various ways of accomplishing this mode of financiering. “ The most simple, and indeed, the most generally used by the Gitánas, is to persuade some simple individual to hide a sum of money in the earth, which they afterwards carry away.”

We shall not enter more at large upon the subject, for we prefer to give our readers the account of a deception said by Mr. Borrow to have been practised on the queen regent by two of his especial friends and associates,-neither more nor less than his adjuncts in the somewhat dissimilar occupation of translating into the Rommany language the Gospel of St. Luke!

“ There were two Gitánas at Madrid, and probably they are there still. The name of one was Pepita and the other was called La Chicharona; the first was a spare, shrewd, witch-like female, about fifty, and was the mother-in-law of La Chicharona, who was remarkable for her stoutness. These women subsisted entirely by fortunetelling and swindling. It chanced that the son of Pepita, and husband of Chicharona, having spirited away a horse, was sent to the presidio of Malaga for ten years of hard labor. This misfortune caused inexpressible affliction to his wife and mother, who determined to exert every effort to procure his liberation. The readiest way which occurred to them, was to procure an interview with the queen regent, Christina, who they doubted not would forth with pardon the culprit, provided they had an opportunity of assailing her with their Gipsy dis

course ; for, to use their own words, they from the rest of the world. “Its peculiarity well knew what to say.' I at that time consists chiefly in a strange staring expreslived close by the palace, in the street of sion, which, to be understood must be seen, Santiago, and daily, for the space of a month, and in a thin glaze, which steals over it saw them bending their steps in that direc when in repose, and seems to emit phosphotion.

ric light.The handsomest of the race “One day they came to me in a great whom Mr. Borrow remembers to have hurry, with a strange expression on both seen, were, as would be imagined, English their countenances. . We have seen Chris Gipsies. The description is worthy of notina, hijo' (my son), said Pepita to me. tice. It is given as of three individuals who

“Within the palace ?' I inquired. presented themselves at a pugilistic display "6" Within the palace, O child of my gar

which Mr. Borrow witnessed in his youih, lochin,' answered the sibyl. *Christina at and considering that between twenty

and last saw and sent for us, as I knew she thirty years had elapsed, between the ocwould; I told her · Bahi,' and Chicharona currence and the story, we cannot but redanced the Romalis (Gipsy dance) before mark that our author's memory is quite as her.'

notable as his gift of tongues. “• What did you tell her ?'

“I have seen Gipsies of various lands, ««• I told her many things,' said the hag, Russian, Hungarian, and Turkish ; and I many things which I need not tell you: have also seen the legitimate children of know, however, that among other things, most countries of the world, but I never I told her that the chabori (little queen) saw, upon the whole, three more remarkawould die, and then she would be queen of ble individuals, as far as personal appearSpain. I told her, moreover, that within ance was concerned, than the three English three years she would marry the son of the Gipsies who now presented themselves to king of France, and that it was her bahi to my eyes on that spot. Two of them had die queen of France and Spain, and to be dismounted, and were holding their horses loved much and hated much.'

by the reins. The tallest, and at the first ". And did you not dread her anger when glance the most interesting of the two, was you told her these things ?'

almost a giant, for his height could not have Dread her, the Busnee ?' screamed been less than six feet three. It is impossiPepita. No, my child, she dreaded me far ble for the imagination to conceive any thing more ; I looked at her soand raised my finger more perfectly beautiful than were the features 80and Chicharona clapped her hands, and of this man, and the most skilful sculptor of the Busnee believed all I said, and was afraid Greece might have taken them as his model of me: and then I asked for the pardon of {for a hero and a god. The forehead was my son, and she pledged her word to see exceedingly lofty—a rare thing in a Gipsy; into the matter, and when we came away the nose less Roman than Grecian-fine, she gave me this baria of gold, and to Chi yet delicate; the eyes large, overhung with charona this other, so at all events we have drooping lashes, giving them almost a melhokkanoed the queen. May an evil end ancholy expression ; it was only when they overtake her body, the Busnee!'Vol. i, were highly elevated that the Gipsy glance

peered out, if that can be called a glance which We leave our readers to their own con is a strange stare, like nothing else in this clusions as to the probability of this story. world. His complexion—a beautiful olive; We rather think the Gipsies “ hokkanoed” and his teeth of a brilliancy the missionary.

among these people, who have all fine The personal appearance of the Zíncali teeth. He was dressed in a coarse wag. is described as most singular. Their eyes oner's slop, which, however, was unable are said to have a phosphorescent glare, to conceal altogether the proportions of his which, no doubt, must be a remarkable ad Herculean figure. dition to the points in which they differ twenty-eight. His companion and his cap

p. 282.

uncommon even

He might be about

tain, Gipsy Will, was, I think, fifty when Our author himself might certainly have he was hanged, ten years subsequently (for found a vast sphere of usefulness in the I never afterwards lost sight of him), in the eastern county" where this scene is laid; front of the jail of Bury, St. Edmonds. I a sphere, perhaps not so romantic as the have still present before me his bushy black wild sierras, or the sunny landscapes of hair, his black face, and his big black eyes, Spain, but one where he could have gratifull and thoughtful, but fixed and staring. fied his zeal for religion, without the risk of His dress consisted of a loose, blue jockey confounding his love of travel with his love coat, jockey boots and breeches; in his hand of souls. a huge jockey whip, and on his head (it We have said that Mr. Borrow owed his struck me at the time for its singularity) admission into the Gipsy mysteries to his a broad-brimmed, high-peaked Andalusian proficiency in the Rommany tongue. Alhat, or at least one very much resembling though the Zincali are enthusiastically atthose generally worn in that province. In tached to their language, and greet with acstature he was shorter than his more youth clamation a stranger who possesses it, we ful companion, yet he must have measured are told by our author that it is fast becomsix feet at least, and was stronger built, if ing obsolete. No individual can speak it possible. What brawn! what bone! what copiously. Mr. Borrow was himself obliged legs! what thighs! The third Gipsy, who to collect from conversation with many, the remained on horseback, looked more like a vocabulary which is subjoined to his work. phantom than any thing human. His com We are not learned enough in such matters plexion was the color of pale dust, and of to say whether Mr. B. is right in attributing that same color was all that pertained to its origin to the Sanscrit.* He demonstrates him, hat and clothes. His boots were dusty to our satisfaction that the Gitáno is not, as of course, for it was midsummer, and his by some writers supposed, a corruption of very horse was of a dusty dun. His fea the Arabic or Moorish language. We have tures were whimsically ugly, most of his seen enough, however, of the dreams of teeth were gone, and as to his age, he might philology, not to know that in the matter be thirty or sixty. He was somewhat lame of tracing languages to their roots, the imaand halt, but an unequalled rider when once gination is frequently consulting counsel, upon his steed, which he was naturally not and we must confess our inability to disvery solicitous to quit. I subsequently dis cover any striking resemblance in some of covered that he was considered the wizard the correspondences on which our author

has based his opinion. We are willing, "Gipsy Will.The best man in England nevertheless, to yield to the conclusions of for twenty pounds ?

a more competent judge than ourselves, Thurtell.-I am backer.

and to pass the Gitá no over to the SanTwenty pounds is a tempting sumand scrit—the more too, when we find that the there were men that day upon the green men

doctrine of the metempsychosis, common dovo who would have shed the blood of their

* The materials of Mr. Borrow's reflections on the oron fathers for the fifth of the price."-Vol. i,

origin and language of the Zincali, will be found

much more learnedly and logically elaborated in It would have been well for Mr. Borrow

Grellman's Dissertation on ihe Gipsies (Trans.

London, 1807), sect. ii, chap. v. Our readers will to have borne in mind the fact stated in his there learn, that upon these, as upon many other last sentence, while indulging in the many

points of his treatise, Mr. Borrow is by no means

very original, in his facts, his reasoning, or his condisparaging remarks, with which he has clusions. They will see, also, how appropriately regaled the Spanish people, most especially

and profitably, a scientific treatise may dispense

with propagandisni and the “ drum ecclesiastic.” as regards their love of gold. Surely a It is to be lamented that the learned Feyjoo has country where such a state of things could not Jeft a tract on Gipsy history. ln bis Teatro

Critico, vol. ii, Disc. iii, sec. viii, et seq., he adverts exist-where human life would be held to the subject slightly in connection with chirodear at four pounds sterling-must present

mancy. His remarks are so full of his customary

point and intelligence, as to render their brevity a an ample field for home-missionary labor. source of much regret.

of the gang.

p. 21.

to those who speak the two languages, or instance, we have this very amiable piece of use them, seems to form, between them, a generalization gravely thrown out, as the bond of unquestionable union. Mr. Borrow result of the author's experience. “The is careful to distinguish (and very satisfac Spaniard has no conception, that other torily) the Gipsy language from the Ger springs of action exist, than interest or mania or slang language in use among villainy!” In the same spirit, at the close them, generally, throughout Europe. The of Part I. chapter x. he asks the following latter he proves to be in a great degree alle question : gorical, the words being used differently “What steps did the government of from their ordinary acceptation; while the Spain, civil and ecclesiastical, which has 80 Gipsy is an organized language, complete often trumpeted its zeal in the cause of and regular in its parts, and in no wise the what it calls the Christian religion, which has creation of a late day, or of robbers' neces so often been the scourge of the Jew, of sities. There is a considerable collection of the Mahometan, and of the professors of Gipsy rhymes at the close of the book. the reformed faith; what steps did it take Unless its genuineness be a merit, we can see toward converting, punishing, and rooting no other that it possesses. The thought, out from Spain, a sect of demi-atheists, in all cases simple enough-never goes be who, besides being cheats and robbers, disyond a single strophe, and all the strophes played the most marked indifference for the or snatches are entirely unconnected. forms of the Catholic religion, and pre

At the commencement of this article, we sumed to eat flesh every day, and to interapprised our readers of the development, marry with their relations, without paying in Mr. Borrow's work, of that peculiar, the vicegerent of Christ here on earth for perEnglish trait of mind which (we think) the mission so to do?Count de Maistre calls, from its narrow By way of answer, he details the followness, “insular.” One phase of that pe ing reasons, which he says that he derived culiarity is admirably portrayed, in the from an aged ecclesiastic at Cordova, who January number of the Edinburgh Re was himself formerly an inquisitor. view, in an article on “ Dickens' American “ The Inquisition always looked upon Notes.” The writer says, ": It is the nature them with too much contempt to give itself of an Englishman, to think every thing the slightest trouble concerning them ; for

, ridiculous, which contrasts with what he as no danger either to the state, or to the has been used to; and it costs some effort Church of Rome, would proceed from the of his reflective and imaginative powers, to Gitános, it was a matter of perfecl indiffer make him feel that the absurdity is in him ence to the holy office, whether they lived withself, and not in the thing he sees." We

out religion or not. The holy office has fear that Mr. Borrow's defect goes deeper. always reserved its anger for people very It is rather an inability, growing out of an different; the Gitános having at all times indisposition to see any good, where he has been Gente barrata y despreciable.—i. e. low made up his mind, a priori, that every and despicable. thing must needs be bad. Thus, there is Those of our readers, who can believe scarce a Spanish author cited, without that a Spanish clergyman could or did some disparaging qualification. They seem make to Mr. Borrow, the statement which to be regarded, all as “mere carnal rea we have italicised, will find no difficulty in soners," incapable of throwing any light on perceiving that the additional observations the subject they treat-full of “absurdi of that gentleman which we quote, are re ties”-possessing “understandings of the dolent of toleration, humanity, and Chrisvery lowest order."* Every opportunity is tian charity. sought to throw their reflections into ridi Indeed, most of the persecutions which cule, and their religion into contempt. For have arisen in Spain against Jews, Moors,

and Protestants, sprang from motives with * Vol. ii, p. 93, note.

which fanaticism and bigotry, of which it is

« PredošláPokračovať »