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lation, which no longer allows the stately dwellings of past generations to remain untenanted, these tales of tradition founded on the evil lives or violent deaths of former possessors are rapidly fading away. We conclude this chapter with the following singular legend, widely differing from the generality of the stories usually handed down :
“ The Home of the Spell-bound Giants.---There is an apartment, says Waldron, in the Castle of Rushen, that has never been opened in the memory of man. The persons belonging to the castle are very cautious in giving any reason for it; but the natives unconnected with the castle, assign this, that there is something of enchantment in it. They tell you that the castle was at first inhabited with fairies, and afterwards by giants, who continued in the possession of it till the days of Merlin, who, by the force of magic, dislodged the greatest part of them, and bound the rest of them in spells, indissoIuble, to the end of the world. In proof of this they tell you a very odd story: They say there are a great many fine apartments under ground, exceeding in magnificence any of the upper rooms.
Several men of more than ordinary courage have, in former times, ventured down to explore the secrets of this subterranean dwelling-place, but none of them ever returned to give an account of what they saw. It was therefore judged expedient that all the passages to it should be continually shut, that no more might suffer by their temerity. About some fifty or fifty-five years since, a person possessed of uncommon boldness and resolution begged permission to visit these dark abodes. He at length obtained his request, went down, and returned by the help of a clue of packthread which he took with him, which no man before himself had ever done, and brought this amazing discovery :—' That after having passed through a great number of vaults, he came into a long narrow place, which the farther he penetrated, he perceived that he went more and more on a descent; till having travelled, as near as he could guess, for the space of a mile, he began to see a gleam of light, which, though it seemed to come from a vast distance, was the most delightful object he ever beheld. Having at length arri
Having at length arrived at the end of that lane of darkness, he perceived a large and magnificent house, illuminated with many candles, whence proceeded the light he had seen. Having, before he began the expedition, well fortified
himself with brandy, he had courage enough to knock at the door, which, on the third knock, was opened by a servant who asked him what he wanted ? I would go as far as I can, replied our adventurer ; be so kind therefore as to direct me how to accomplish my design, for I see no passage but that dark cavern through which I came. The servant told him he must go through that house; and accordingly led him through a long entry, and out at a back door. He then walked a considerable way, till be beheld another house more magnificent than the first ; and, all the windows being open, he discovered innumerable lamps burning in every room.
“Here also he designed to knock, but had the curiosity to step on a little bank which commanded a view of a low parlour, and, looking in, he beheld a vast table in the middle of the room, and on it extended at full length a man, or rather monster, at least fourteen feet long, and ten or twelve round the body. This prodigious fabric lay as if sleeping with his head upon a bool, with a sword by him, answerable to the hand which he supposed made use of it. The sight was more terrifying to our traveller than all the dark and dreary mansions through which he had passed. He resolved, therefore, not to attempt an entrance into a place inhabited by persons of such monstrous stature, and made the best of his way back to the other house, where the same servant who reconducted him informed him that if he had knocked at the second door he would have seen company enough, but could never have returned. On which he desired to know what place it was, and by whom possessed ; the other replied that these things were not to be revealed. He then took his leave, and by the same dark passage got into the vaults, and soon afterwards once more ascended to the light of the sun.' Ridiculous as the narrative appears, whoever seems to disbelieve it, is looked on as a person of weak faith.”—Description of the Isle of Man, London edit., folio, 1731, pp. 98, 100.
The gipsies, as it should seem by some striking proofs derived from their language, came originally from Hindostan, where they are supposed to have been of the lowest class of Indians, namely Parias, or, as they are called in Hindostan, Suders. They are thought to have migrated about A.D. 1408 or 1409, when Timur Beg ravaged India for the purpose of spreading the Mahometan religion. On this occasion so many thousands were made slaves and put to death, that an universal panic took place, and a very great number of terrified inhabitants endeavoured to save themselves by flight. As every part towards the north and east was beset by the enemy, it is most probable that the country below Multan, to the mouth of the Indus, was the first asylum and rendezvous of the fugitive Suders. This is called the country of Zinganen. Here they were safe, and remained so till Timur returned from his victories on the Ganges. Then it was that they first entirely quitted the country, and probably with them a considerable number of the natives, which will explain the meaning of their original name. By what track they came to us cannot be ascertained. If they went straight through the southern Persian deserts of Sigistan, Makran, and Kirman, along the Persian Gulf to the mouth of the Euphrates, from thence they might get, by Bassora, into the great deserts of Arabia, afterwards into Arabia Petræa, and so arrive in Egypt by the Isthmus of Suez. They must certainly have been in Egypt before they reached us, otherwise it is incomprehensible how the report arose that they were Egyptians.2
See a Dissertation on the Gipsies, being an Historical Inquiry concerning the manner of Life, Economy, Customs, and Conditions of these People in Europe, and their Origin, written in German by Heinrich Moritz Gottlieb Grellman, translated into English by Matthew Raper, Esq., F.R.S. and A.S., 4to. Lond. 1787, dedicated to Sir Joseph Banks, Bart., P.R.S.
? Yet Bellonius, who met great droves of gipsies in Egypt in villages on the banks of the Nile, where they were accounted strangers and wanderers from foreign parts, as with us, affirms that they are no Egyptians. Observat. lib. ii. It seems pretty clear that the first of the gipsies were Asiatic, brought hither by the Crusaders, on their return from the holy wars, but to these it is objected that there is no trace of them to be found in history at that time. Ralph Volaterranus affirms that they first pro
It seems to be well proved in this learned work that these gipsies came originally from Hindostan. A very copious catalogue is given of gipsy and Hindostan words collated, by which it appears that every third gipsy word is likewise an Hindostan one, or still more, that out of every thirty gipsy words eleven or twelve are constantly of Hindostan. This agreement will appear remarkably great, if we recollect that the above words have only been learned from the gipsies within these very
few years, consequently after a separation of near four complete centuries from Hindostan, their supposed native country, among people who talked languages totally different, and in which the gipsies themselves conversed; for under the constant and so long continued influx of these languages, their own must necessarily have suffered great alteration.
In this learned work there is a comparison of the gipsies with the above caste of Suders : but I lay the greatest stress upon those proofs which are deduced from the similarity of the languages. In the supplement it is added that Mr. Marsden, whose judgment and knowledge in such matters are much to be relied upon, has collected, from the gipsies here, as many words as he could get, and that by correspondence from Constantinople he has procured a collection of words used by the Cingaris thereabouts; and these, together with the words given by Ludolph in his Historia Æthiopica, compared with the Hindostan vulgar language, show it to be the same that is spoken by the gipsies and in Hindostan. See in the seventh volume of the Archæologia, p. 388, Observations on the Language of the gipsies by Mr. Marsden; and ibid. p. 387, Collections on the Gipsy Language, by Jacob Bryant, Esq.
In the above work we read that, in 1418, the gipsies first arrived in Switzerland near Zurich and other places, to the number, men, women, and children, of fourteen thousand. The subsequent passage exhibits a proof of a different ten
ceeded, or strolled, from among the Uxi, a people of Persia. Sir Thomas Browne cites Polydore Vergil as accounting them originally Syrians: Philip Bergoinas as deriving them from Chaldea: Æneas Sylvius, as from some part of Tartary: Bellonius, as from Wallachia and Bulgaria : and Aventinus as fetching them from the confines of Hungary. He adds that “they have been banished by most Christian princes. The great Turk at least tolerates them near the imperial city: he is said to employ them as spies : they were banished as such by the Emperor Charles the Fifth.
dency. “In a late meeting of the Royal Society of Gottingen, Professor Blumenbach laid before the members a second decad of the crania of persons of different nations contrasted with each other, in the same manner as in the first, and ranged according to the order observed by him in his other works. In the first variety was the cranium of a real gipsy, who died in prison at Clausenburg, communicated by Dr. Patacki of that place. The resemblance between this and that of the Egyptian mummy in the first decad was very striking. Both differed essentially from the sixty-four crania of other persons belonging to foreign nations, in the possession of the author : a circumstance which, among others, tends to confirm the opinion of Professor Meiners, that the Hindoos, from whom Grellman derives the gipsies, came themselves originally from Egypt."-British Critic. Foreign Catalogue, ii. 226.
Harrison, in his Description of England prefixed to Holinshed's Chronicle, 1587, p. 183, describing the various sorts of cheats practised by the voluntary poor, after enumerating those who maim or disfigure their bodies by sores, or counterfeit the guise of labourers or serving men, or mariners seeking for ships which they have not lost, to extort charity, adds: “It is not yet full three score years since this trade began ; but how it hath prospered since that time it is easie to judge, for they are now supposed of one sex and another to amount unto above ten thousand persons, as I have heard reported. Moreover, in counterfeiting the Egyptian roges, they have devised a language among themselves which they name canting, but others pedlers French, a speach compact thirty years since of English and a great number of odd words of their own devising, without all order or reason: and yet such is it as none but themselves are able to understand. The first deviser thereof was hanged by the neck, a just reward no doubt for his deceits, and a common end to all of that profession.”
See upon the subject of gipsies the following books : Pasquier, Recherches de la France, p. 392: Dictionnaire des Origines, v. Bohemiens ; De Pauw, Recherches sur les Egyptiens, i. 169; Camerarii Horæ Subsecivæ; Gent. Mag. 1783, liii. 1009; ibid. 1787, lvii. 897. Anecdotes of the Fife gipsies will be found in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, ii. pp. 282, 523. On the gipsies of Hesse Darmstadt, ibid. ii. 409. Other notices concerns ing the Scottish gipsies in the same work, i. 43, 65, 66, 154, 167.