MoboReader > Literature > The Zincali: An Account of the Gypsies of Spain

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The Zincali: An Account of the Gypsies of Spain By George Borrow Characters: 127299

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

THE Gitanos, abject and vile as they have ever been, have nevertheless found admirers in Spain, individuals who have taken pleasure in their phraseology, pronunciation, and way of life; but above all, in the songs and dances of the females. This desire for cultivating their acquaintance is chiefly prevalent in Andalusia, where, indeed, they most abound; and more especially in the town of Seville, the capital of the province, where, in the barrio or Faubourg of Triana, a large Gitano colon has long flourished, with the denizens of which it is at all times easy to have intercourse, especially to those who are free of their money, and are willing to purchase such a gratification at the expense of dollars and pesetas.

When we consider the character of the Andalusians in general, we shall find little to surprise us in this predilection for the Gitanos. They are an indolent frivolous people, fond of dancing and song, and sensual amusements. They live under the most glorious sun and benign heaven in Europe, and their country is by nature rich and fertile, yet in no province of Spain is there more beggary and misery; the greater part of the land being uncultivated, and producing nothing but thorns and brushwood, affording in itself a striking emblem of the moral state of its inhabitants.

Though not destitute of talent, the Andalusians are not much addicted to intellectual pursuits, at least in the present day. The person in most esteem among them is invariably the greatest MAJO, and to acquire that character it is necessary to appear in the dress of a Merry Andrew, to bully, swagger, and smoke continually, to dance passably, and to strum the guitar. They are fond of obscenity and what they term PICARDIAS. Amongst them learning is at a terrible discount, Greek, Latin, or any of the languages generally termed learned, being considered in any light but accomplishments, but not so the possession of thieves' slang or the dialect of the Gitanos, the knowledge of a few words of which invariably creates a certain degree of respect, as indicating that the individual is somewhat versed in that kind of life or TRATO for which alone the Andalusians have any kind of regard.

In Andalusia the Gitano has been studied by those who, for various reasons, have mingled with the Gitanos. It is tolerably well understood by the chalans, or jockeys, who have picked up many words in the fairs and market-places which the former frequent. It has, however, been cultivated to a greater degree by other individuals, who have sought the society of the Gitanos from a zest for their habits, their dances, and their songs; and such individuals have belonged to all classes, amongst them have been noblemen and members of the priestly order.

Perhaps no people in Andalusia have been more addicted in general to the acquaintance of the Gitanos than the friars, and pre- eminently amongst these the half-jockey half-religious personages of the Cartujan convent at Xeres. This community, now suppressed, was, as is well known, in possession of a celebrated breed of horses, which fed in the pastures of the convent, and from which they derived no inconsiderable part of their revenue. These reverend gentlemen seem to have been much better versed in the points of a horse than in points of theology, and to have understood thieves' slang and Gitano far better than the language of the Vulgate. A chalan, who had some knowledge of the Gitano, related to me the following singular anecdote in connection with this subject.

He had occasion to go to the convent, having been long in treaty with the friars for a steed which he had been commissioned by a nobleman to buy at any reasonable price. The friars, however, were exorbitant in their demands. On arriving at the gate, he sang to the friar who opened it a couplet which he had composed in the Gypsy tongue, in which he stated the highest price which he was authorised to give for the animal in question; whereupon the friar instantly answered in the same tongue in an extemporary couplet full of abuse of him and his employer, and forthwith slammed the door in the face of the disconcerted jockey.

An Augustine friar of Seville, called, we believe, Father Manso, who lived some twenty years ago, is still remembered for his passion for the Gitanos; he seemed to be under the influence of fascination, and passed every moment that he could steal from his clerical occupations in their company. His conduct at last became so notorious that he fell under the censure of the Inquisition, before which he was summoned; whereupon he alleged, in his defence, that his sole motive for following the Gitanos was zeal for their spiritual conversion. Whether this plea availed him we know not; but it is probable that the Holy Office dealt mildly with him; such offenders, indeed, have never had much to fear from it. Had he been accused of liberalism, or searching into the Scriptures, instead of connection with the Gitanos, we should, doubtless, have heard either of his execution or imprisonment for life in the cells of the cathedral of Seville.

Such as are thus addicted to the Gitanos and their language, are called, in Andalusia, Los del' Aficion, or those of the predilection. These people have, during the last fifty years, composed a spurious kind of Gypsy literature: we call it spurious because it did not originate with the Gitanos, who are, moreover, utterly unacquainted with it, and to whom it would be for the most part unintelligible. It is somewhat difficult to conceive the reason which induced these individuals to attempt such compositions; the only probable one seems to have been a desire to display to each other their skill in the language of their predilection. It is right, however, to observe, that most of these compositions, with respect to language, are highly absurd, the greatest liberties being taken with the words picked up amongst the Gitanos, of the true meaning of which the writers, in many instances, seem to have been entirely ignorant. From what we can learn, the composers of this literature flourished chiefly at the commencement of the present century: Father Manso is said to have been one of the last. Many of their compositions, which are both in poetry and prose, exist in manuscript in a compilation made by one Luis Lobo. It has never been our fortune to see this compilation, which, indeed, we scarcely regret, as a rather curious circumstance has afforded us a perfect knowledge of its contents.

Whilst at Seville, chance made us acquainted with a highly extraordinary individual, a tall, bony, meagre figure, in a tattered Andalusian hat, ragged capote, and still more ragged pantaloons, and seemingly between forty and fifty years of age. The only appellation to which he answered was Manuel. His occupation, at the time we knew him, was selling tickets for the lottery, by which he obtained a miserable livelihood in Seville and the neighbouring villages. His appearance was altogether wild and uncouth, and there was an insane expression in his eye. Observing us one day in conversation with a Gitana, he addressed us, and we soon found that the sound of the Gitano language had struck a chord which vibrated through the depths of his soul. His history was remarkable; in his early youth a manuscript copy of the compilation of Luis Lobo had fallen into his hands. This book had so taken hold of his imagination, that he studied it night and day until he had planted it in his memory from beginning to end; but in so doing, his brain, like that of the hero of Cervantes, had become dry and heated, so that he was unfitted for any serious or useful occupation. After the death of his parents he wandered about the streets in great distress, until at last he fell into the hands of certain toreros, or bull-fighters, who kept him about them, in order that he might repeat to them the songs of the AFICION. They subsequently carried him to Madrid, where, however, they soon deserted him after he had experienced much brutality from their hands. He returned to Seville, and soon became the inmate of a madhouse, where he continued several years. Having partially recovered from his malady, he was liberated, and wandered about as before. During the cholera at Seville, when nearly twenty thousand human beings perished, he was appointed conductor of one of the death-carts, which went through the streets for the purpose of picking up the dead bodies. His perfect inoffensiveness eventually procured him friends, and he obtained the situation of vendor of lottery tickets. He frequently visited us, and would then recite long passages from the work of Lobo. He was wont to say that he was the only one in Seville, at the present day, acquainted with the language of the Aficion; for though there were many pretenders, their knowledge was confined to a few words.

From the recitation of this individual, we wrote down the Brijindope, or Deluge, and the poem on the plague which broke out in Seville in the year 1800. These and some songs of less consequence, constitute the poetical part of the compilation in question; the rest, which is in prose, consisting chiefly of translations from the Spanish, of proverbs and religious pieces.


I with fear and terror quake,

Whilst the pen to write I take;

I will utter many a pray'r

To the heaven's Regent fair,

That she deign to succour me,

And I'll humbly bend my knee;

For but poorly do I know

With my subject on to go;

Therefore is my wisest plan

Not to trust in strength of man.

I my heavy sins bewail,

Whilst I view the wo and wail

Handed down so solemnly

In the book of times gone by.

Onward, onward, now I'll move

In the name of Christ above,

And his Mother true and dear,

She who loves the wretch to cheer.

All I know, and all I've heard

I will state - how God appear'd

And to Noah thus did cry:

Weary with the world am I;

Let an ark by thee be built,

For the world is lost in guilt;

And when thou hast built it well,

Loud proclaim what now I tell:

Straight repent ye, for your Lord

In his hand doth hold a sword.

And good Noah thus did call:

Straight repent ye one and all,

For the world with grief I see

Lost in vileness utterly.

God's own mandate I but do,

He hath sent me unto you.

Laugh'd the world to bitter scorn,

I his cruel sufferings mourn;

Brawny youths with furious air

Drag the Patriarch by the hair;

Lewdness governs every one:

Leaves her convent now the nun,

And the monk abroad I see

Practising iniquity.

Now I'll tell how God, intent

To avenge, a vapour sent,

With full many a dreadful sign -

Mighty, mighty fear is mine:

As I hear the thunders roll,

Seems to die my very soul;

As I see the world o'erspread

All with darkness thick and dread;

I the pen can scarcely ply

For the tears which dim my eye,

And o'ercome with grievous wo,

Fear the task I must forego

I have purposed to perform. -

Hark, I hear upon the storm

Thousand, thousand devils fly,

Who with awful howlings cry:

Now's the time and now's the hour,

We have licence, we have power

To obtain a glorious prey. -

I with horror turn away;

Tumbles house and tumbles wall;

Thousands lose their lives and all,

Voiding curses, screams and groans,

For the beams, the bricks and stones

Bruise and bury all below -

Nor is that the worst, I trow,

For the clouds begin to pour

Floods of water more and more,

Down upon the world with might,

Never pausing day or night.

Now in terrible distress

All to God their cries address,

And his Mother dear adore, -

But the time of grace is o'er,

For the Almighty in the sky

Holds his hand upraised on high.

Now's the time of madden'd rout,

Hideous cry, despairing shout;

Whither, whither shall they fly?

For the danger threat'ningly

Draweth near on every side,

And the earth, that's opening wide,

Swallows thousands in its womb,

Who would 'scape the dreadful doom.

Of dear hope exists no gleam,

Still the water down doth stream;

Ne'er so little a creeping thing

But from out its hold doth spring:

See the mouse, and see its mate

Scour along, nor stop, nor wait;

See the serpent and the snake

For the nearest highlands make;

The tarantula I view,

Emmet small and cricket too,

All unknowing where to fly,

In the stifling waters die.

See the goat and bleating sheep,

See the bull with bellowings deep.

And the rat with squealings shrill,

They have mounted on the hill:

See the stag, and see the doe,

How together fond they go;

Lion, tiger-beast, and pard,

To escape are striving hard:

Followed by her little ones,

See the hare how swift she runs:

Asses, he and she, a pair.

Mute and mule with bray and blare,

And the rabbit and the fox,

Hurry over stones and rocks,

With the grunting hog and horse,

Till at last they stop their course -

On the summit of the hill

All assembled stand they still;

In the second part I'll tell

Unto them what there befell.


When I last did bid farewell,

I proposed the world to tell,

Higher as the Deluge flow'd,

How the frog and how the toad,

With the lizard and the eft,

All their holes and coverts left,

And assembled on the height;

Soon I ween appeared in sight

All that's wings beneath the sky,

Bat and swallow, wasp and fly,

Gnat and sparrow, and behind

Comes the crow of carrion kind;

Dove and pigeon are descried,

And the raven fiery-eyed,

With the beetle and the crane

Flying on the hurricane:

See they find no resting-place,

For the world's terrestrial space

Is with water cover'd o'er,

Soon they sink to rise no more:

'To our father let us flee!'

Straight the ark-ship openeth he,

And to everything that lives

Kindly he admission gives.

Of all kinds a single pair,

And the members safely there

Of his house he doth embark,

Then at once he shuts the ark;

Everything therein has pass'd,

There he keeps them safe and fast.

O'er the mountain's topmost peak

Now the raging waters break.

Till full twenty days are o'er,

'Midst the elemental roar,

Up and down the ark forlorn,

Like some evil thing is borne:

O what grief it is to see

Swimming on the enormous sea

Human corses pale and white,

More, alas! than I can write:

O what grief, what grief profound,

But to think the world is drown'd:

True a scanty few are left,

All are not of life bereft,

So that, when the Lord ordain,

They may procreate again,

In a world entirely new,

Better people and more true,

To their Maker who shall bow;

And I humbly beg you now,

Ye in modern times who wend,

That your lives ye do amend;

For no wat'ry punishment,

But a heavier shall be sent;

For the blessed saints pretend

That the latter world shall end

To tremendous fire a prey,

And to ashes sink away.

To the Ark I now go back,

Which pursues its dreary track,

Lost and 'wilder'd till the Lord

In his mercy rest accord.

Early of a morning tide

They unclosed a window wide,

Heaven's beacon to descry,

And a gentle dove let fly,

Of the world to seek some trace,

And in two short hours' space

It returns with eyes that glow,

In its beak an olive bough.

With a loud and mighty sound,

They exclaim: 'The world we've found.'

To a mountain nigh they drew,

And when there themselves they view,

Bound they swiftly on the shore,

And their fervent thanks outpour,

Lowly kneeling to their God;

Then their way a couple trod,

Man and woman, hand in hand,

Bent to populate the land,

To the Moorish region fair -

And another two repair

To the country of the Gaul;

In this manner wend they all,

And the seeds of nations lay.

I beseech ye'll credence pay,

For our father, high and sage,

Wrote the tale in sacred page,

As a record to the world,

Record sad of vengeance hurl'd.

I, a low and humble wight,

Beg permission now to write

Unto all that in our land

Tongue Egyptian understand.

May our Virgin Mother mild

Grant to me, her erring child,

Plenteous grace in every way,

And success. Amen I say.


I'm resolved now to tell

In the speech of Gypsy-land

All the horror that befell

In this city huge and grand.

In the eighteenth hundred year

In the midst of summertide,

God, with man dissatisfied,

His right hand on high did rear,

With a rigour most severe;

Whence we well might understand

He would strict account demand

Of our lives and actions here.

The dread event to render clear

Now the pen I take in hand.

At the dread event aghast,

Straight the world reform'd its course;

Yet is sin in greater force,

Now the punishment is past;

For the thought of God is cast

All and utterly aside,

As if death itself had died.

Therefore to the present race

These memorial lines I trace

In old Egypt's tongue of pride.

As the streets you wander'd through

How you quail'd with fear and dread,

Heaps of dying and of dead

At the leeches' door to view.

To the tavern O how few

To regale on wine repair;

All a sickly aspect wear.

Say what heart such sights could brook -

Wail and woe where'er you look -

Wail and woe and ghastly care.

Plying fast their rosaries,

See the people pace the street,

And for pardon God entreat

Long and loud with streaming eyes.

And the carts of various size,

Piled with corses, high in air,

To the plain their burden bear.

O what grief it is to me

Not a friar or priest to see

In this city huge and fair.


'I am not very willing that any language should be totally extinguished; the similitude and derivation of languages afford the most indubitable proof of the traduction of nations, and the genealogy of mankind; they add often physical certainty to historical evidence of ancient migrations, and of the revolutions of ages which left no written monuments behind them.' - JOHNSON.

THE Gypsy dialect of Spain is at present very much shattered and broken, being rather the fragments of the language which the Gypsies brought with them from the remote regions of the East than the language itself: it enables, however, in its actual state, the Gitanos to hold conversation amongst themselves, the import of which is quite dark and mysterious to those who are not of their race, or by some means have become acquainted with their vocabulary. The relics of this tongue, singularly curious in themselves, must be ever particularly interesting to the philological antiquarian, inasmuch as they enable him to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion respecting the origin of the Gypsy race. During the later part of the last century, the curiosity of some learned individuals, particularly Grellmann, Richardson, and Marsden, induced them to collect many words of the Romanian language, as spoken in Germany, Hungary, and England, which, upon analysing, they discovered to be in general either pure Sanscrit or Hindustani words, or modifications thereof; these investigations have been continued to the present time by men of equal curiosity and no less erudition, the result of which has been the establishment of the fact, that the Gypsies of those countries are the descendants of a tribe of Hindus who for some particular reason had abandoned their native country. In England, of late, the Gypsies have excited particular attention; but a desire far more noble and laudable than mere antiquarian curiosity has given rise to it, namely, the desire of propagating the glory of Christ amongst those who know Him not, and of saving souls from the jaws of the infernal wolf. It is, however, with the Gypsies of Spain, and not with those of England and other countries, that we are now occupied, and we shall merely mention the latter so far as they may serve to elucidate the case of the Gitanos, their brethren by blood and language. Spain for many centuries has been the country of error; she has mistaken stern and savage tyranny for rational government; base, low, and grovelling superstition for clear, bright, and soul-ennobling religion; sordid cheating she has considered as the path to riches; vexatious persecution as the path to power; and the consequence has been, that she is now poor and powerless, a pagan amongst the pagans, with a dozen kings, and with none. Can we be surprised, therefore, that, mistaken in policy, religion, and moral conduct, she should have fallen into error on points so naturally dark and mysterious as the history and origin of those remarkable people whom for the last four hundred years she has supported under the name of Gitanos? The idea entertained at the present day in Spain respecting this race is, that they are the descendants of the Moriscos who remained in Spain, wandering about amongst the mountains and wildernesses, after the expulsion of the great body of the nation from the country in the time of Philip the Third, and that they form a distinct body, entirely unconnected with the wandering tribes known in other countries by the names of Bohemians, Gypsies, etc. This, like all unfounded opinions, of course originated in ignorance, which is always ready to have recourse to conjecture and guesswork, in preference to travelling through the long, mountainous, and stony road of patient investigation; it is, however, an error far more absurd and more destitute of tenable grounds than the ancient belief that the Gitanos were Egyptians, which they themselves have always professed to be, and which the original written documents which they brought with them on their first arrival in Western Europe, and which bore the signature of the king of Bohemia, expressly stated them to be. The only clue to arrive at any certainty respecting their origin, is the language which they still speak amongst themselves; but before we can avail ourselves of the evidence of this language, it will be necessary to make a few remarks respecting the principal languages and dialects of that immense tract of country, peopled by at least eighty millions of human beings, generally known by the name of Hindustan, two Persian words tantamount to the land of Ind, or, the land watered by the river Indus.

The most celebrated of these languages is the Sanskrida, or, as it is known in Europe, the Sanscrit, which is the language of religion of all those nations amongst whom the faith of Brahma has been adopted; but though the language of religion, by which we mean the tongue in which the religious books of the Brahmanic sect were originally written and are still preserved, it has long since ceased to be a spoken language; indeed, history is silent as to any period when it was a language in common use amongst any of the various tribes of the Hindus; its knowledge, as far as reading and writing it went, having been entirely confined to the priests of Brahma, or Brahmans, until within the last half-century, when the British, having subjugated the whole of Hindustan, caused it to be openly taught in the colleges which they established for the instruction of their youth in the languages of the country. Though sufficiently difficult to acquire, principally on account of its prodigious richness in synonyms, it is no longer a sealed language, - its laws, structure, and vocabulary being sufficiently well known by means of numerous elementary works, adapted to facilitate its study. It has been considered by famous philologists as the mother not only of all the languages of Asia, but of all others in the world. So wild and preposterous an idea, however, only serves to prove that a devotion to philology, whose principal object should be the expansion of the mind by the various treasures of learning and wisdom which it can unlock, sometimes only tends to its bewilderment, by causing it to embrace shadows for reality. The most that can be allowed, in reason, to the Sanscrit is that it is the mother of a certain class or family of languages, for example, those spoken in Hindustan, with which most of the European, whether of the Sclavonian, Gothic, or Celtic stock, have some connection. True it is that in this case we know not how to dispose of the ancient Zend, the mother of the modern Persian, the language in which were written those writings generally attributed to Zerduscht, or Zoroaster, whose affinity to the said tongues is as easily established as that of the Sanscrit, and which, in respect to antiquity, may well dispute the palm with its Indian rival. Avoiding, however, the discussion of this point, we shall content ourselves with observing, that closely connected with the Sanscrit, if not derived from it, are the Bengali, the high Hindustani, or grand popular language of Hindustan, generally used by the learned in their intercourse and writings, the languages of Multan, Guzerat, and other provinces, without mentioning the mixed dialect called Mongolian Hindustani, a corrupt jargon of Persian, Turkish, Arabic, and Hindu words, first used by the Mongols, after the conquest, in their intercourse with the natives. Many of the principal languages of Asia are totally unconnected with the Sanscrit, both in words and grammatical structure; these are mostly of the great Tartar family, at the head of which there is good reason for placing the Chinese and Tibetian.

Bearing the same analogy to the Sanscrit tongue as the Indian dialects specified above, we find the Rommany, or speech of the Roma, or Zincali, as they style themselves, known in England and Spain as Gypsies and Gitanos. This speech, wherever it is spoken, is, in all principal points, one and the same, though more or less corrupted by foreign words, picked up in the various countries to which those who use it have penetrated. One remarkable feature must not be passed over without notice, namely, the very considerable number of Sclavonic words, which are to be found embedded within it, whether it be spoken in Spain or Germany, in England or Italy; from which circumstance we are led to the conclusion, that these people, in their way from the East, travelled in one large compact body, and that their route lay through some region where the Sclavonian language, or a dialect thereof, was spoken. This region I have no hesitation in asserting to have been Bulgaria, where they probably tarried for a considerable period, as nomad herdsmen, and where numbers of them are still to be found at the present day. Besides the many Sclavonian words in the Gypsy tongue, another curious feature attracts the attention of the philologist - an equal or still greater quantity of terms from the modern Greek; indeed, we have full warranty for assuming that at one period the Spanish section, if not the rest of the Gypsy nation, understood the Greek language well, and that, besides their own Indian dialect, they occasionally used it for considerably upwards of a century subsequent to their arrival, as amongst the Gitanos there were individuals to whom it was intelligible so late as the year 1540.

Where this knowledge was obtained it is difficult to say, - perhaps in Bulgaria, where two-thirds of the population profess the Greek religion, or rather in Romania, where the Romaic is generally understood; that they DID understand the Romaic in 1540, we gather from a very remarkable work, called EL ESTUDIOSO CORTESANO, written by Lorenzo Palmireno: this learned and highly extraordinary individual was by birth a Valencian, and died about 1580; he was professor at various universities - of rhetoric at Valencia, of Greek at Zaragossa, where he gave lectures, in which he explained the verses of Homer; he was a proficient in Greek, ancient and modern, and it should be observed that, in the passage which we are about to cite, he means himself by the learned individual who held conversation with the Gitanos. (66) EL ESTUDIOSO CORTESANO was reprinted at Alcala in 1587, from which edition we now copy.

'Who are the Gitanos? I answer; these vile people first began to show themselves in Germany, in the year 1417, where they call them Tartars or Gentiles; in Italy they are termed Ciani. They pretend that they come from Lower Egypt, and that they wander about as a penance, and to prove this, they show letters from the king of Poland. They lie, however, for they do not lead the life of penitents, but of dogs and thieves. A learned person, in the year 1540, prevailed with them, by dint of much persuasion, to show him the king's letter, and he gathered from it that the time of their penance was already expired; he spoke to them in the Egyptian tongue; they said, however, as it was a long time since their departure from Egypt, they did not understand it; he then spoke to them in the vulgar Greek, such as is used at present in the Morea and Archipelago; SOME UNDERSTOOD IT, others did not; so that as all did not understand it, we may conclude that the language which they use is a feigned one, (67) got up by thieves for the purpose of concealing their robberies, like the jargon of blind beggars.'

Still more abundant, however, than the mixture of Greek, still more abundant than the mixture of Sclavonian, is the alloy in the Gypsy language, wherever spoken, of modern Persian words, which circumstance will compel us to offer a few remarks on the share which the Persian has had in the formation of the dialects of India, as at present spoken.

The modern Persian, as has been already observed, is a daughter of the ancient Zend, and, as such, is entitled to claim affinity with the Sanscrit, and its dialects. With this language none in the world would be able to vie in simplicity and beauty, had not the Persians, in adopting the religion of Mahomet, unfortunately introduces into their speech an infinity of words of the rude coarse language used by the barbaric Arab tribes, the immediate followers of the warlike Prophet. With the rise of Islam the modern Persian was doomed to be carried into India. This country, from the time of Alexander, had enjoyed repose from external aggression, had been ruled by its native princes, and been permitted by Providence to exercise, without control or reproof, the degrading superstitions, and the unnatural and bloody rites of a religion at the formation of which the fiends of cruelty and lust seem to have presided; but reckoning was now about to be demanded of the accursed ministers of this system for the pain, torture, and misery which they had been instrumental in inflicting on their countrymen for the gratification of their avarice, filthy passions, and pride; the new Mahometans were at hand - Arab, Persian, and Afghan, with the glittering scimitar upraised, full of zeal for the glory and adoration of the one high God, and the relentless persecutors of the idol-worshippers. Already, in the four hundred and twenty-sixth year of the Hegeira, we read of the destruction of the great Butkhan, or image-house of Sumnaut, by the armies of the far-conquering Mahmoud, when the dissevered heads of the Brahmans rolled down the steps of the gigantic and Babel-like temple of the great image -

[Text which cannot be reproduced - Arabic?]

(This image grim, whose name was Laut,

Bold Mahmoud found when he took Sumnaut.)

It is not our intention to follow the conquests of the Mahometans from the days of Walid and Mahmoud to those of Timour and Nadir; sufficient to observe, that the greatest part of India was subdued, new monarchies established, and the old religion, though far too powerful and widely spread to be extirpated, was to a considerable extent abashed and humbled before the bright rising sun of Islam. The Persian language, which the conquerors (68) of whatever denomination introduced with them to Hindustan, and which their descendants at the present day still retain, though not lords of the ascendant, speedily became widely extended in these regions, where it had previously been unknown. As the language of the court, it was of course studied and acquired by all those natives whose wealth, rank, and influence necessarily brought them into connection with the ruling powers; and as the language of the camp, it was carried into every part of the country where the duties of the soldiery sooner or later conducted them; the result of which relations between the conquerors and conquered was the adoption into the popular dialects of India of an infinity of modern Persian words, not merely those of science, such as it exists in the East, and of luxury and refinement, but even those which serve to express many of the most common objects, necessities, and ideas, so that at the present day a knowledge of the Persian is essential for the thorough understanding of the principal dialects of Hindustan, on which account, as well as for the assistance which it affords in communication with the Mahometans, it is cultivated with peculiar care by the present possessors of the land.

No surprise, therefore, can be entertained that the speech of the Gitanos in general, who, in all probability, departed from Hindustan long subsequent to the first Mahometan invasions, abounds, like other Indian dialects, with words either purely Persian, or slightly modified to accommodate them to the genius of the language. Whether the Rommany originally constituted part of the natives of Multan or Guzerat, and abandoned their native land to escape from the torch and sword of Tamerlane and his Mongols, as Grellmann and others have supposed, or whether, as is much more probable, they were a thievish caste, like some others still to be found in Hindustan, who fled westward, either from the vengeance of justice, or in pursuit of plunder, their speaking Persian is alike satisfactorily accounted for. With the view of exhibiting how closely their language is connected with the Sanscrit and Persian, we subjoin the first ten numerals in the three tongues, those of the Gypsy according to the Hungarian dialect. (69)

Gypsy. Persian. Sanscrit. (70)

1 Jek Ek Ega 2 Dui Du Dvaya 3 Trin Se Treya 4 Schtar Chehar Tschatvar 5 Pansch Pansch Pantscha 6 Tschov Schesche Schasda 7 Efta Heft Sapta 8 Ochto Hescht Aschta 9 Enija Nu Nava 10 Dosch De Dascha

It would be easy for us to adduce a thousand instances, as striking as the above, of the affinity of the Gypsy tongue to the Persian, Sanscrit, and the Indian dialects, but we have not space for further observation on a point which long since has been sufficiently discussed by others endowed with abler pens than our own; but having made these preliminary remarks, which we deemed necessary for the elucidation of the subject, we now hasten to speak of the Gitano language as used in Spain, and to determine, by its evidence (and we again repeat, that the language is the only criterion by which the question can be determined), how far the Gitanos of Spain are entitled to claim connection with the tribes who, under the names of Zingani, etc., are to be found in various parts of Europe, following, in general, a life of wandering adventure, and practising the same kind of thievish arts which enable those in Spain to obtain a livelihood at the expense of the more honest and industrious of the community.

The Gitanos of Spain, as already stated, are generally believed to be the descendants of the Moriscos, and have been asserted to be such in printed books. (71) Now they are known to speak a language or jargon amongst themselves which the other natives of Spain do not understand; of course, then, supposing them to be of Morisco origin, the words of this tongue or jargon, which are not Spanish, are the relics of the Arabic or Moorish tongue once spoken in Spain, which they have inherited from their Moorish ancestors. Now it is well known, that the Moorish of Spain was the same tongue as that spoken at present by the Moors of Barbary, from which country Spain was invaded by the Arabs, and to which they again retired when unable to maintain their ground against the armies of the Christians. We will, therefore, collate the numerals of the Spanish Gitano with those of the Moorish tongue, preceding both with those of the Hungarian Gypsy, of which we have already made use, for the purpose of making clear the affinity of that language to the Sanscrit and Persian. By this collation we shall at once perceive whether the Gitano of Spain bears most resemblance to the Arabic, or the Rommany of other lands.

Hungarian Spanish Moorish

Gypsy. Gitano. Arabic.

1 Jek Yeque Wahud 2 Dui Dui Snain 3 Trin Trin Slatza 4 Schtar Estar Arba 5 Pansch Pansche Khamsa 6 Tschov Job. Zoi Seta 7 Efta Hefta Sebea 8 Ochto Otor Sminia 9 Enija Esnia (Nu. PERS.) Tussa 10 Dosch Deque Aschra

We believe the above specimens will go very far to change the opinion of those who have imbibed the idea that the Gitanos of Spain are the descendants of Moors, and are of an origin different from that of the wandering tribes of Rommany in other parts of the world, the specimens of the two dialects of the Gypsy, as far as they go, being so strikingly similar, as to leave no doubt of their original identity, whilst, on the contrary, with the Moorish neither the one nor the other exhibits the slightest point of similarity or connection. But with these specimens we shall not content ourselves, but proceed to give the names of the most common things and objects in the Hungarian and Spanish Gitano, collaterally, with their equivalents in the Moorish Arabic; from which it will appear that whilst the former are one and the same language, they are in every respect at variance with the latter. When we consider that the Persian has adopted so many words and phrases from the Arabic, we are at first disposed to wonder that a considerable portion of these words are not to be discovered in every dialect of the Gypsy tongue, since the Persian has lent it so much of its vocabulary. Yet such is by no means the case, as it is very uncommon, in any one of these dialects, to discover words derived from the Arabic. Perhaps, however, the following consideration will help to solve this point. The Gitanos, even before they left India, were probably much the same rude, thievish, and ignorant people as they are at the present day. Now the words adopted by the Persian from the Arabic, and which it subsequently introduced into the dialects of India, are sounds representing objects and ideas with which such a people as the Gitanos could necessarily be but scantily acquainted, a people whose circle of ideas only embraces physical objects, and who never commune with their own minds, nor exert them but in devising low and vulgar schemes of pillage and deceit. Whatever is visible and common is seldom or never represented by the Persians, even in their books, by the help of Arabic words: the sun and stars, the sea and river, the earth, its trees, its fruits, its flowers, and all that it produces and supports, are seldom named by them by other terms than those which their own language is capable of affording; but in expressing the abstract thoughts of their minds, and they are a people who think much and well, they borrow largely from the language of their religion - the Arabic. We therefore, perhaps, ought not to be surprised that in the scanty phraseology of the Gitanos, amongst so much Persian, we find so little that is Arabic; had their pursuits been less vile, their desires less animal, and their thoughts less circumscribed, it would probably have been otherwise; but from time immemorial they have shown themselves a nation of petty thieves, horse-traffickers, and the like, without a thought of the morrow, being content to provide against the evil of the passing day.

The following is a comparison of words in the three languages:-

Hungarian Spanish Moorish

Gypsy.(72) Gitano. Arabic.

Bone Cokalos Cocal Adorn

City Forjus Foros Beled

Day Dives Chibes Youm

Drink (to) Piava Piyar Yeschrab

Ear Kan Can Oothin

Eye Jakh Aquia Ein

Feather Por Porumia Risch

Fire Vag Yaque Afia

Fish Maczo Macho Hutz

Foot Pir Piro, pindro Rjil

Gold Sonkai Sonacai Dahab

Great Baro Baro Quibir

Hair Bala Bal Schar

He, pron. Wow O Hu

Head Tschero Jero Ras

House Ker Quer Dar

Husband Rom Ron Zooje

Lightning Molnija Maluno Brak

Love (to) Camaba Camelar Yehib

Man Manusch Manu Rajil

Milk Tud Chuti Helib

Mountain Bar Bur Djibil

Mouth Mui Mui Fum

Name Nao Nao Ism

Night Rat Rachi Lila

Nose Nakh Naqui Munghar

Old Puro Puro Shaive

Red Lal Lalo Hamr

Salt Lon Lon Mela

Sing Gjuwawa Gilyabar Iganni

Sun Cam Can Schems

Thief Tschor Choro Haram

Thou Tu Tucue Antsin

Tongue Tschib Chipe Lsan

Tooth Dant Dani Sinn

Tree Karscht Caste Schizara

Water Pani Pani Ma

Wind Barbar Barban Ruhk

We shall offer no further observations respecting the affinity of the Spanish Gitano to the other dialects, as we conceive we have already afforded sufficient proof of its original identity with them, and consequently shaken to the ground the absurd opinion that the Gitanos of Spain are the descendants of the Arabs and Moriscos. We shall now conclude with a few remarks on the present state of the Gitano language in Spain, where, perhaps, within the course of a few years, it will have perished, without leaving a vestige of its having once existed; and where, perhaps, the singular people who speak it are likewise doomed to disappear, becoming sooner or later engulfed and absorbed in the great body of the nation, amongst whom they have so long existed a separate and peculiar class.

Though the words or a part of the words of the original tongue still remain, preserved by memory amongst the Gitanos, its grammatical peculiarities have disappeared, the entire language having been modified and subjected to the rules of Spanish grammar, with which it now coincides in syntax, in the conjugation of verbs, and in the declension of its nouns. Were it possible or necessary to collect all the relics of this speech, they would probably amount to four or five thousand words; but to effect such an achievement, it would be necessary to hold close and long intercourse with almost every Gitano in Spain, and to extract, by various means, the peculiar information which he might be capable of affording; for it is necessary to state here, that though such an amount of words may still exist amongst the Gitanos in general, no single individual of their sect is in possession of one-third part thereof, nor indeed, we may add, those of any single city or province of Spain; nevertheless all are in possession, more or less, of the language, so that, though of different provinces, they are enabled to understand each other tolerably well, when discoursing in this their characteristic speech. Those who travel most are of course best versed in it, as, independent of the words of their own village or town, they acquire others by intermingling with their race in various places. Perhaps there is no part of Spain where it is spoken better than in Madrid, which is easily accounted for by the fact, that Madrid, as the capital, has always been the point of union of the Gitanos, from all those provinces of Spain where they are to be found. It is least of all preserved in Seville, notwithstanding that its Gitano population is very considerable, consisting, however, almost entirely of natives of the place. As may well be supposed, it is in all places best preserved amongst the old people, their children being comparatively ignorant of it, as perhaps they themselves are in comparison with their own parents. We are persuaded that the Gitano language of Spain is nearly at its last stage of existence, which persuasion has been our main instigator to the present attempt to collect its scanty remains, and by the assistance of the press, rescue it in some degree from destruction. It will not be amiss to state here, that it is only by listening attentively to the speech of the Gitanos, whilst discoursing amongst themselves, that an acquaintance with their dialect can be formed, and by seizing upon all unknown words as they fall in succession from their lips. Nothing can be more useless and hopeless than the attempt to obtain possession of their vocabulary by inquiring of them how particular objects and ideas are styled; for with the exception of the names of the most common things, they are totally incapable, as a Spanish writer has observed, of yielding the required information, owing to their great ignorance, the shortness of their memories, or rather the state of bewilderment to which their minds are brought by any question which tends to bring their reasoning faculties into action, though not unfrequently the very words which have been in vain required of them will, a minute subsequently, proceed inadvertently from their mouths.

We now take leave of their language. When wishing to praise the proficiency of any individual in their tongue, they are in the habit of saying, 'He understands the seven jargons.' In the Gospel which we have printed in this language, and in the dictionary which we have compiled, we have endeavoured, to the utmost of our ability, to deserve that compliment; and at all times it will afford us sincere and heartfelt pleasure to be informed that any Gitano, capable of appreciating the said little works, has observed, whilst reading them or hearing them read: It is clear that the writer of these books understood



'So I went with them to a music booth, where they made me almost drunk with gin, and began to talk their FLASH LANGUAGE, which I did not understand.' - Narrative of the Exploits of Henry Simms, executed at Tyburn, 1746.

'Hablaronse los dos en Germania, de lo qual resulto darme un abraco, y ofrecerseme.' - QUEVEDO. Vida dal gran Tacano.

HAVING in the preceding article endeavoured to afford all necessary information concerning the Rommany, or language used by the Gypsies amongst themselves, we now propose to turn our attention to a subject of no less interest, but which has hitherto never been treated in a manner calculated to lead to any satisfactory result or conclusion; on the contrary, though philosophic minds have been engaged in its consideration, and learned pens have not disdained to occupy themselves with its details, it still remains a singular proof of the errors into which the most acute and laborious writers are apt to fall, when they take upon themselves the task of writing on matters which cannot be studied in the closet, and on which no information can be received by mixing in the society of the wise, the lettered, and the respectable, but which must be investigated in the fields, and on the borders of the highways, in prisons, and amongst the dregs of society. Had the latter system been pursued in the matter now before us, much clearer, more rational, and more just ideas would long since have been entertained respecting the Germania, or language of thieves.

In most countries of Europe there exists, amongst those who obtain their existence by the breach of the law, and by preying upon the fruits of the labours of the quiet and orderly portion of society, a particular jargon or dialect, in which the former discuss their schemes and plans of plunder, without being in general understood by those to whom they are obnoxious. The name of this jargon varies with the country in which it is spoken. In Spain it is called 'Germania'; in France, 'Argot'; in Germany, 'Rothwelsch,' or Red Italian; in Italy, 'Gergo'; whilst in England it is known by many names; for example, 'cant, slang, thieves' Latin,' etc. The most remarkable circumstance connected with the history of this jargon is, that in all the countries in which it is spoken, it has invariably, by the authors who have treated of it, and who are numerous, been confounded with the Gypsy language, and asserted to be the speech of those wanderers who have so long infested Europe under the name of Gitanos, etc. How far this belief is founded in justice we shall now endeavour to show, with the premise that whatever we advance is derived, not from the assertions or opinions of others, but from our own observation; the point in question being one which no person is capable of solving, save him who has mixed with Gitanos and thieves, - not with the former merely or the latter, but with both.

We have already stated what is the Rommany or language of the Gypsies. We have proved that when properly spoken it is to all intents and purposes entitled to the appellation of a language, and that wherever it exists it is virtually the same; that its origin is illustrious, it being a daughter of the Sanscrit, and in consequence in close connection with some of the most celebrated languages of the East, although it at present is only used by the most unfortunate and degraded of beings, wanderers without home and almost without country, as wherever they are found they are considered in the light of foreigners and interlopers. We shall now state what the language of thieves is, as it is generally spoken in Europe; after which we shall proceed to analyse it according to the various countries in which it is used.

The dialect used for their own peculiar purposes amongst thieves is by no means entitled to the appellation of a language, but in every sense to that of a jargon or gibberish, it being for the most part composed of words of the native language of those who use it, according to the particular country, though invariably in a meaning differing more or less from the usual and received one, and for the most part in a metaphorical sense. Metaphor and allegory, indeed, seem to form the nucleus of this speech, notwithstanding that other elements are to be distinguished; for it is certain that in every country where it is spoken, it contains many words differing from the language of that country, and which may either be traced to foreign tongues, or are of an origin at which, in many instances, it is impossible to arrive. That which is most calculated to strike the philosophic mind when considering this dialect, is doubtless the fact of its being formed everywhere upon the same principle - that of metaphor, in which point all the branches agree, though in others they differ as much from each other as the languages on which they are founded; for example, as the English and German from the Spanish and Italian. This circumstance naturally leads to the conclusion that the robber language has not arisen fortuitously in the various countries where it is at present spoken, but that its origin is one and the same, it being probably invented by the outlaws of one particular country; by individuals of which it was, in course of time, carried to others, where its principles, if not its words, were adopted; for upon no other supposition can we account for its general metaphorical character in regions various and distant. It is, of course, impossible to state with certainty the country in which this jargon first arose, yet there is cogent reason for supposing that it may have been Italy. The Germans call it Rothwelsch, which signifies 'Red Italian,' a name which appears to point out Italy as its birthplace; and which, though by no means of sufficient importance to determine the question, is strongly corroborative of the supposition, when coupled with the following fact. We have already intimated, that wherever it is spoken, this speech, though composed for the most part of words of the language of the particular country, applied in a metaphorical sense, exhibits a considerable sprinkling of foreign words; now of these words no slight number are Italian or bastard Latin, whether in Germany, whether in Spain, or in other countries more or less remote from Italy. When we consider the ignorance of thieves in general, their total want of education, the slight knowledge which they possess even of their mother tongue, it is hardly reasonable to suppose that in any country they were ever capable of having recourse to foreign languages, for the purpose of enriching any peculiar vocabulary or phraseology which they might deem convenient to use among themselves; nevertheless, by associating with foreign thieves, who had either left their native country for their crimes, or from a hope of reaping a rich harvest of plunder in other lands, it would be easy for them to adopt a considerable number of words belonging to the languages of their foreign associates, from whom perhaps they derived an increase of knowledge in thievish arts of every description. At the commencement of the fifteenth century no nation in Europe was at all calculated to vie with the Italian in arts of any kind, whether those whose tendency was the benefit or improvement of society, or those the practice of which serves to injure and undermine it. The artists and artisans of Italy were to be found in all the countries of Europe, from Madrid to Moscow, and so were its charlatans, its jugglers, and multitudes of its children, who lived by fraud and cunning. Therefore, when a comprehensive view of the subject is taken, there appears to be little improbability in supposing, that not only were the Italians the originators of the metaphorical robber jargon, which has been termed 'Red Italian,' but that they were mainly instrumental in causing it to be adopted by the thievish race in various countries of Europe.

It is here, however, necessary to state, that in the robber jargon of Europe, elements of another language are to be discovered, and perhaps in greater number than the Italian words. The language which we allude to is the Rommany; this language has been, in general, confounded with the vocabulary used among thieves, which, however, is a gross error, so gross, indeed, that it is almost impossible to conceive the manner in which it originated: the speech of the Gypsies being a genuine language of Oriental origin, and the former little more than a phraseology of convenience, founded upon particular European tongues. It will be sufficient here to remark, that the Gypsies do not understand the jargon of the thieves, whilst the latter, with perhaps a few exceptions, are ignorant of the language of the former. Certain words, however, of the Rommany have found admission into the said jargon, which may be accounted for by the supposition that the Gypsies, being themselves by birth, education, and profession, thieves of the first water, have, on various occasions, formed alliances with the outlaws of the various countries in which they are at present to be found, which association may have produced the result above alluded to; but it will be as well here to state, that in no country of Europe have the Gypsies forsaken or forgotten their native tongue, and in its stead adopted the 'Germania,' 'Red Italian,' or robber jargon, although in some they preserve their native language in a state of less purity than in others. We are induced to make this statement from an assertion of the celebrated Lorenzo Hervas, who, in the third volume of his CATALOGO DE LAS LENGUAS, trat. 3, cap. vi., p. 311, expresses himself to the following effect:- 'The proper language of the Gitanos neither is nor can be found amongst those who scattered themselves through the western kingdoms of Europe, but only amongst those who remained in the eastern, where they are still to be found. The former were notably divided and disunited, receiving into their body a great number of European outlaws, on which account the language in question was easily adulterated and soon perished. In Spain, and also in Italy, the Gitanos have totally forgotten and lost their native language; yet still wishing to converse with each other in a language unknown to the Spaniards and Italians, they have invented some words, and have transformed many others by changing the signification which properly belongs to them in Spanish and Italian.' In proof of which assertion he then exhibits a small number of words of the 'Red Italian,' or allegorical tongue of the thieves of Italy.

It is much to be lamented that a man like Hervas, so learned, of such knowledge, and upon the whole well-earned celebrity, should have helped to propagate three such flagrant errors as are contained in the passages above quoted: 1st. That the Gypsy language, within a very short period after the arrival of those who spoke it in the western kingdoms of Europe, became corrupted, and perished by the admission of outlaws into the Gypsy fraternity. 2ndly. That the Gypsies, in order to supply the loss of their native tongue, invented some words, and modified others, from the Spanish and Italian. 3rdly. That the Gypsies of the present day in Spain and Italy speak the allegorical robber dialect. Concerning the first assertion, namely, that the Gypsies of the west lost their language shortly after their arrival, by mixing with the outlaws of those parts, we believe that its erroneousness will be sufficiently established by the publication of the present volume, which contains a dictionary of the Spanish Gitano, which we have proved to be the same language in most points as that spoken by the eastern tribes. There can be no doubt that the Gypsies have at various times formed alliances with the robbers of particular countries, but that they ever received them in considerable numbers into their fraternity, as Hervas has stated, so as to become confounded with them, the evidence of our eyesight precludes the possibility of believing. If such were the fact, why do the Italian and Spanish Gypsies of the present day still present themselves as a distinct race, differing from the other inhabitants of the west of Europe in feature, colour, and constitution? Why are they, in whatever situation and under whatever circumstances, to be distinguished, like Jews, from the other children of the Creator? But it is scarcely necessary to ask such a question, or indeed to state that the Gypsies of Spain and Italy have kept themselves as much apart as, or at least have as little mingled their blood with the Spaniards and Italians as their brethren in Hungaria and Transylvania with the inhabitants of those countries, on which account they still strikingly resemble them in manners, customs, and appearance. The most extraordinary assertion of Hervas is perhaps his second, namely, that the Gypsies have invented particular words to supply the place of others which they had lost. The absurdity of this supposition nearly induces us to believe that Hervas, who has written so much and so laboriously on language, was totally ignorant of the philosophy of his subject. There can be no doubt, as we have before admitted, that in the robber jargon, whether spoken in Spain, Italy, or England, there are many words at whose etymology it is very difficult to arrive; yet such a fact is no excuse for the adoption of the opinion that these words are of pure invention. A knowledge of the Rommany proves satisfactorily that many have been borrowed from that language, whilst many others may be traced to foreign tongues, especially the Latin and Italian. Perhaps one of the strongest grounds for concluding that the origin of language was divine is the fact that no instance can be adduced of the invention, we will not say of a language, but even of a single word that is in use in society of any kind. Although new dialects are continually being formed, it is only by a system of modification, by which roots almost coeval with time itself are continually being reproduced under a fresh appearance, and under new circumstances. The third assertion of Hervas, as to the Gitanos speaking the allegorical language of which he exhibits specimens, is entitled to about equal credence as the two former. The truth is, that the entire store of erudition of the learned Jesuit, and he doubtless was learned to a remarkable degree, was derived from books, either printed or manuscript. He compared the Gypsy words in the publication of Grellmann with various vocabularies, which had long been in existence, of the robber jargons of Spain and Italy, which jargons by a strange fatuity had ever been considered as belonging to the Gypsies. Finding that the Gypsy words of Grellmann did not at all correspond with the thieves' slang, he concluded that the Gypsies of Spain and Italy had forgotten their own language, and to supply its place had invented the jargons aforesaid, but he never gave himself the trouble to try whether the Gypsies really understood the contents of his slang vocabularies; had he done so, he would have found that the slang was about as unintelligible to the Gypsies as he would have found the specimens of Grellmann unintelligible to the thieves had he quoted those specimens to them. The Gypsies of Spain, it will be sufficient to observe, speak the language of which a vocabulary is given in the present work, and those of Italy who are generally to be found existing in a half-savage state in the various ruined castles, relics of the feudal times, with which Italy abounds, a dialect very similar, and about as much corrupted. There are, however, to be continually found in Italy roving bands of Rommany, not natives of the country, who make excursions from Moldavia and Hungaria to France and Italy, for the purpose of plunder; and who, if they escape the hand of justice, return at the expiration of two or three years to their native regions, with the booty they have amassed by the practice of those thievish arts, perhaps at one period peculiar to their race, but at present, for the most part, known and practised by thieves in general. These bands, however, speak the pure Gypsy language, with all its grammatical peculiarities. It is evident, however, that amongst neither of these classes had Hervas pushed his researches, which had he done, it is probable that his investigations would have resulted in a work of a far different character from the confused, unsatisfactory, and incorrect details of which is formed his essay on the language of the Gypsies.

Having said thus much concerning the robber language in general, we shall now proceed to offer some specimens of it, in order that our readers may be better able to understand its principles. We shall commence with the Italian dialect, which there is reason for supposing to be the prototype of the rest. To show what it is, we avail ourselves of some of the words adduced by Hervas, as specimens of the language of the Gitanos of Italy. 'I place them,' he observes, 'with the signification which the greater number properly have in Italian.'

Robber jargon Proper signification of

of Italy. the words.

Arm { Ale Wings

{ Barbacane Barbican

Belly Fagiana Pheasant

Devil Rabuino Perhaps RABBIN, which,

in Hebrew, is Master

Earth Calcosa Street, road

Eye Balco Balcony

Father Grimo Old, wrinkled

Fire Presto Quick

God Anticrotto Probably ANTICHRIST

Hair Prusa (73)

{ Elmo Helmet

Head { Borella (74)

{ Chiurla (75)

Heart Salsa Sauce

Man Osmo From the Italian UOMO,

which is man

Moon Mocoloso di Wick of the firmament

Sant' Alto

Night Brunamaterna Mother-brown

Nose Ga

mbaro Crab

Sun Ruffo di Sant' Red one of the firmament


Tongue { Serpentina Serpent-like

{ Danosa Hurtful

Water { Lenza Fishing-net

{ Vetta (76) Top, bud

The Germania of Spain may be said to divide itself into two dialects, the ancient and modern. Of the former there exists a vocabulary, published first by Juan Hidalgo, in the year 1609, at Barcelona, and reprinted in Madrid, 1773. Before noticing this work, it will perhaps be advisable to endeavour to ascertain the true etymology of the word Germania, which signifies the slang vocabulary, or robber language of Spain. We have no intention to embarrass our readers by offering various conjectures respecting its origin; its sound, coupled with its signification, affording sufficient evidence that it is but a corruption of Rommany, which properly denotes the speech of the Roma or Gitanos. The thieves who from time to time associated with this wandering people, and acquired more or less of their language, doubtless adopted this term amongst others, and, after modifying it, applied it to the peculiar phraseology which, in the course of time, became prevalent amongst them. The dictionary of Hidalgo is appended to six ballads, or romances, by the same author, written in the Germanian dialect, in which he describes the robber life at Seville at the period in which he lived. All of these romances possess their peculiar merit, and will doubtless always be considered valuable, and be read as faithful pictures of scenes and habits which now no longer exist. In the prologue, the author states that his principal motive for publishing a work written in so strange a language was his observing the damage which resulted from an ignorance of the Germania, especially to the judges and ministers of justice, whose charge it is to cleanse the public from the pernicious gentry who use it. By far the greatest part of the vocabulary consists of Spanish words used allegorically, which are, however, intermingled with many others, most of which may be traced to the Latin and Italian, others to the Sanscrit or Gitano, Russian, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, and German languages. (77) The circumstances of words belonging to some of the languages last enumerated being found in the Gitano, which at first may strike the reader as singular, and almost incredible, will afford but slight surprise, when he takes into consideration the peculiar circumstances of Spain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Spain was at that period the most powerful monarchy in Europe; her foot reposed upon the Low Countries, whilst her gigantic arms embraced a considerable portion of Italy. Maintaining always a standing army in Flanders and in Italy, it followed as a natural consequence, that her Miquelets and soldiers became tolerably conversant with the languages of those countries; and, in course of time, returning to their native land, not a few, especially of the former class, a brave and intrepid, but always a lawless and dissolute species of soldiery, either fell in or returned to evil society, and introduced words which they had learnt abroad into the robber phraseology; whilst returned galley- slaves from Algiers, Tunis, and Tetuan, added to its motley variety of words from the relics of the broken Arabic and Turkish, which they had acquired during their captivity. The greater part of the Germania, however, remained strictly metaphorical, and we are aware of no better means of conveying an idea of the principle on which it is formed, than by quoting from the first romance of Hidalgo, where particular mention is made of this jargon:-

'A la cama llama Blanda

Donde Sornan en poblado

A la Fresada Vellosa,

Que mucho vello ha criado.

Dice a la sabana Alba

Porque es alba en sumo grado,

A la camisa Carona,

Al jubon llama apretado:

Dice al Sayo Tapador

Porque le lleva tapado.

Llama a los zapatos Duros,

Que las piedras van pisando.

A la capa llama nuve,

Dice al Sombrero Texado.

Respeto llama a la Espada,

Que por ella es respetado,' etc. etc.

HIDALGO, p. 22-3.

After these few remarks on the ancient Germania of Spain, we now proceed to the modern, which differs considerably from the former. The principal cause of this difference is to be attributed to the adoption by the Spanish outlaws, in latter years, of a considerable number of words belonging to, or modified from, the Rommany, or language of the Gitanos. The Gitanos of Spain, during the last half-century, having, in a great degree, abandoned the wandering habit of life which once constituted one of their most remarkable peculiarities, and residing, at present, more in the cities than in the fields, have come into closer contact with the great body of the Spanish nation than was in former days their practice. From their living thus in towns, their language has not only undergone much corruption, but has become, to a slight degree, known to the dregs of society, amongst whom they reside. The thieves' dialect of the present day exhibits, therefore, less of the allegorical language preserved in the pages of Hidalgo than of the Gypsy tongue. It must be remarked, however, that it is very scanty, and that the whole robber phraseology at present used in Spain barely amounts to two hundred words, which are utterly insufficient to express the very limited ideas of the outcasts who avail themselves of it.

Concerning the Germania of France, or 'Argot,' as it is called, it is unnecessary to make many observations, as what has been said of the language of Hidalgo and the Red Italian is almost in every respect applicable to it. As early as the middle of the sixteenth century a vocabulary of this jargon was published under the title of LANGUE DES ESCROCS, at Paris. Those who wish to study it as it at present exists can do no better than consult LES MEMOIRES DE VIDOCQ, where a multitude of words in Argot are to be found, and also several songs, the subjects of which are thievish adventures.

The first vocabulary of the 'Cant Language,' or English Germania, appeared in the year 1680, appended to the life of THE ENGLISH ROGUE, a work which, in many respects, resembles the HISTORY OF GUZMAN D'ALFARACHE, though it is written with considerably more genius than the Spanish novel, every chapter abounding with remarkable adventures of the robber whose life it pretends to narrate, and which are described with a kind of ferocious energy, which, if it do not charm the attention of the reader, at least enslaves it, holding it captive with a chain of iron. Amongst his other adventures, the hero falls in with a Gypsy encampment, is enrolled amongst the fraternity, and is allotted a 'mort,' or concubine; a barbarous festival ensues, at the conclusion of which an epithalamium is sung in the Gypsy language, as it is called in the work in question. Neither the epithalamium, however, nor the vocabulary, are written in the language of the English Gypsies, but in the 'Cant,' or allegorical robber dialect, which is sufficient proof that the writer, however well acquainted with thieves in general, their customs and manners of life, was in respect to the Gypsies profoundly ignorant. His vocabulary, however, has been always accepted as the speech of the English Gypsies, whereas it is at most entitled to be considered as the peculiar speech of the thieves and vagabonds of his time. The cant of the present day, which, though it differs in some respects from the vocabulary already mentioned, is radically the same, is used not only by the thieves in town and country, but by the jockeys of the racecourse and the pugilists of the 'ring.' As a specimen of the cant of England, we shall take the liberty of quoting the epithalamium to which we have above alluded:-

'Bing out, bien morts, and tour and tour

Bing out, bien morts and tour;

For all your duds are bing'd awast,

The bien cove hath the loure. (78)

'I met a dell, I viewed her well,

She was benship to my watch:

So she and I did stall and cloy

Whatever we could catch.

'This doxy dell can cut ben whids,

And wap well for a win,

And prig and cloy so benshiply,

All daisy-ville within.

'The hoyle was up, we had good luck,

In frost for and in snow;

Men they did seek, then we did creep

And plant the roughman's low.'

It is scarcely necessary to say anything more upon the Germania in general or in particular; we believe that we have achieved the task which we marked out for ourselves, and have conveyed to our readers a clear and distinct idea of what it is. We have shown that it has been erroneously confounded with the Rommany, or Gitano language, with which it has nevertheless some points of similarity. The two languages are, at the present day, used for the same purpose, namely, to enable habitual breakers of the law to carry on their consultations with more secrecy and privacy than by the ordinary means. Yet it must not be forgotten that the thieves' jargon was invented for that purpose, whilst the Rommany, originally the proper and only speech of a particular nation, has been preserved from falling into entire disuse and oblivion, because adapted to answer the same end. It was impossible to treat of the Rommany in a manner calculated to exhaust the subject, and to leave no ground for future cavilling, without devoting a considerable space to the consideration of the robber dialect, on which account we hope we shall be excused many of the dry details which we have introduced into the present essay. There is a link of connection between the history of the Roma, or wanderers from Hindustan, who first made their appearance in Europe at the commencement of the fifteenth century, and that of modern roguery. Many of the arts which the Gypsies proudly call their own, and which were perhaps at one period peculiar to them, have become divulged, and are now practised by the thievish gentry who infest the various European states, a result which, we may assert with confidence, was brought about by the alliance of the Gypsies being eagerly sought on their first arrival by the thieves, who, at one period, were less skilful than the former in the ways of deceit and plunder; which kind of association continued and held good until the thieves had acquired all they wished to learn, when they left the Gypsies in the fields and plains, so dear to them from their vagabond and nomad habits, and returned to the towns and cities. Yet from this temporary association were produced two results; European fraud became sharpened by coming into contact with Asiatic craft, whilst European tongues, by imperceptible degrees, became recruited with various words (some of them wonderfully expressive), many of which have long been stumbling-stocks to the philologist, who, whilst stigmatising them as words of mere vulgar invention, or of unknown origin, has been far from dreaming that by a little more research he might have traced them to the Sclavonic, Persian, or Romaic, or perhaps to the mysterious object of his veneration, the Sanscrit, the sacred tongue of the palm-covered regions of Ind; words originally introduced into Europe by objects too miserable to occupy for a moment his lettered attention - the despised denizens of the tents of Roma.


Those who have done me the honour to peruse this strange wandering book of mine, must frequently have noticed the word 'Busno,' a term bestowed by the Spanish Gypsy on his good friend the Spaniard. As the present will probably be the last occasion which I shall have to speak of the Gitanos or anything relating to them, it will perhaps be advisable to explain the meaning of this word. In the vocabulary appended to former editions I have translated Busno by such words as Gentile, savage, person who is not a Gypsy, and have stated that it is probably connected with a certain Sanscrit noun signifying an impure person. It is, however, derived immediately from a Hungarian term, exceedingly common amongst the lower orders of the Magyars, to their disgrace be it spoken. The Hungarian Gypsies themselves not unfrequently style the Hungarians Busnoes, in ridicule of their unceasing use of the word in question. The first Gypsies who entered Spain doubtless brought with them the term from Hungary, the language of which country they probably understood to a certain extent. That it was not ill applied by them in Spain no one will be disposed to deny when told that it exactly corresponds with the Shibboleth of the Spaniards, 'Carajo,' an oath equally common in Spain as its equivalent in Hungary. Busno, therefore, in Spanish means EL DEL CARAJO, or he who has that term continually in his mouth. The Hungarian words in Spanish Gypsy may amount to ten or twelve, a very inconsiderable number; but the Hungarian Gypsy tongue itself, as spoken at the present day, exhibits only a slight sprinkling of Hungarian words, whilst it contains many words borrowed from the Wallachian, some of which have found their way into Spain, and are in common use amongst the Gitanos.



'TACHIPEN if I jaw 'doi, I can lel a bit of tan to hatch: N'etist

I shan't puch kekomi wafu gorgies.'

The above sentence, dear reader, I heard from the mouth of Mr. Petulengro, the last time that he did me the honour to visit me at my poor house, which was the day after Mol-divvus (79), 1842: he stayed with me during the greater part of the morning, discoursing on the affairs of Egypt, the aspect of which, he assured me, was becoming daily worse and worse. 'There is no living for the poor people, brother,' said he, 'the chokengres (police) pursue us from place to place, and the gorgios are become either so poor or miserly, that they grudge our cattle a bite of grass by the wayside, and ourselves a yard of ground to light a fire upon. Unless times alter, brother, and of that I see no probability, unless you are made either poknees or mecralliskoe geiro (justice of the peace or prime minister), I am afraid the poor persons will have to give up wandering altogether, and then what will become of them?'

'However, brother,' he continued, in a more cheerful tone, 'I am no hindity mush, (80) as you well know. I suppose you have not forgot how, fifteen years ago, when you made horseshoes in the little dingle by the side of the great north road, I lent you fifty cottors (81) to purchase the wonderful trotting cob of the innkeeper with the green Newmarket coat, which three days after you sold for two hundred.

'Well, brother, if you had wanted the two hundred instead of the fifty, I could have lent them to you, and would have done so, for I knew you would not be long pazorrhus to me. I am no hindity mush, brother, no Irishman; I laid out the other day twenty pounds in buying ruponoe peamengries; (82) and in the Chonggav, (83) have a house of my own with a yard behind it.


Well, dear reader, this last is the translation of the Gypsy sentence which heads the chapter, and which is a very characteristic specimen of the general way of speaking of the English Gypsies.

The language, as they generally speak it, is a broken jargon, in which few of the grammatical peculiarities of the Rommany are to be distinguished. In fact, what has been said of the Spanish Gypsy dialect holds good with respect to the English as commonly spoken: yet the English dialect has in reality suffered much less than the Spanish, and still retains its original syntax to a certain extent, its peculiar manner of conjugating verbs, and declining nouns and pronouns.


Moro Dad, savo djives oteh drey o charos, te caumen Gorgio ta Romany Chal tiro nav, te awel tiro tem, te kairen tiro lav aukko prey puv, sar kairdios oteh drey o charos. Dey men to-divvus moro divvuskoe moro, ta for-dey men pazorrhus tukey sar men for-denna len pazorrhus amande; ma muk te petrenna drey caik temptacionos; ley men abri sor doschder. Tiro se o tem, Mi-duvel, tiro o zoozlu vast, tiro sor koskopen drey sor cheros. Avali. Ta-chipen.


Batu monro sos socabas ote enre ye char, que camele Gacho ta Romani Cha tiro nao, qu'abillele tiro chim, querese tiro lao acoi opre ye puve sarta se querela ote enre ye char. Dinanos sejonia monro manro de cata chibes, ta estormenanos monrias bisauras sasta mu estormenamos a monrias bisabadores; na nos meques petrar enre cayque pajandia, lillanos abri de saro chungalipen. Persos tiro sinela o chim, Undevel, tiro ye silna bast, tiro saro lachipen enre saro chiros. Unga. Chachipe.


OUR Father who dwellest there in heaven, may Gentile and Gypsy love thy name, thy kingdom come, may they do thy word here on earth as it is done there in heaven. Give us to-day our daily bread, (84) and forgive us indebted to thee as we forgive them indebted to us, (85) suffer not that we fall into NO temptation, take us out from all evil. (86) Thine (87) is the kingdom my God, thine the strong hand, thine all goodness in all time. Aye. Truth.


The following short sentences in Hungarian Gypsy, in addition to the prayer to the Virgin given in the Introduction, will perhaps not prove unacceptable to the reader. In no part of the world is the Gypsy tongue at the present day spoken with more purity than in Hungary, (88) where it is used by the Gypsies not only when they wish to be unintelligible to the Hungarians, but in their common conversation amongst themselves.

From these sentences the reader, by the help of the translations which accompany them, may form a tolerable idea not only of what the Gypsy tongue is, but of the manner in which the Hungarian Gypsies think and express themselves. They are specimens of genuine Gypsy talk - sentences which I have myself heard proceed from the mouths of the Czigany; they are not Busno thoughts done into gentle Rommany. Some of them are given here as they were written down by me at the time, others as I have preserved them in my memory up to the present moment. It is not improbable that at some future time I may return to the subject of the Hungarian Gypsies.

Vare tava soskei me puchelas cai soskei avillara catari.

Mango le gulo Devlas vas o erai, hodj o erai te pirel misto, te

n'avel pascotia l'eras, ta na avel o erai nasvalo.

Cana cames aves pale.

Ki'som dhes keral avel o rai catari? (89)

Kit somu berschengro hal tu? (90)

Cade abri mai lachi e mol sar ando foro.

Sin o mas balichano, ta i gorkhe garasheskri; (91) sin o manro

parno, cai te felo do garashangro.

Yeck quartalli mol ando lende.

Ande mol ote mestchibo.

Khava piava - dui shel, tri shel predinava.

Damen Devla saschipo ando mure cocala.

Te rosarow labio tarraco le Mujeskey miro pralesco, ta vela mi anao

tukey le Mujeskey miro pralesky.

Llundun baro foro, bishwar mai baro sar Cosvaro.

Nani yag, mullas.

Nasiliom cai purdiom but; besh te pansch bersch mi homas slugadhis

pa Baron Splini regimentos.

Saro chiro cado Del; cavo o puro dinas o Del.

Me camov te jav ando Buka-resti - cado Bukaresti lachico tem dur

drom jin keri.

Mi hom nasvallo.

Soskei nai jas ke baro ful-cheri?

Wei mangue ke nani man love nastis jav.

Belgra sho mille pu cado Cosvarri; hin oter miro chabo.

Te vas Del l'erangue ke meclan man abri ando a pan-dibo.

Opre rukh sarkhi ye chiriclo, ca kerel anre e chiricli.

Ca hin tiro ker?

Ando calo berkho, oter bin miro ker, av prala mensar; jas mengue


Ando bersch dui chiro, ye ven, ta nilei.

O felhegos del o breschino, te purdel o barbal.

Hir mi Devlis camo but cavo erai - lacho manus o, Anglus, tama

rakarel Ungarica; avel catari ando urdon le trin gras-tensas -

beshel cate abri po buklo tan; le poivasis ando bas irinel ando

lel. Bo zedun stadji ta bari barba.

Much I ponder why you ask me (questions), and why you should come


I pray the sweet Goddess for the gentleman, that the gentleman may

journey well, that misfortune come not to the gentleman, and that

the gentleman fall not sick.

When you please come back.

How many days did the gentleman take to come hither?

How many years old are you?

Here out better (is) the wine than in the city.

The meat is of pig, and the gherkins cost a grosh - the bread is

white, and the lard costs two groshen.

One quart of wine amongst us.

In wine there (is) happiness.

I will eat, I will drink - two hundred, three hundred I will place


Give us Goddess health in our bones.

I will seek a waistcoat, which I have, for Moses my brother, and I

will change names with Moses my brother. (92)

London (is) a big city, twenty times more big than Colosvar.

There is no fire, it is dead.

I have suffered and toiled much: twenty and five years I was

serving in Baron Splini's regiment.

Every time (cometh) from God; that old (age) God gave.

I wish to go unto Bukarest - from Bukarest, the good country, (it

is) a far way unto (my) house.

I am sick.

Why do you not go to the great physician

Because I have no money I can't go

Belgrade (is) six miles of land from Colosvar; there is my son.

May God help the gentlemen that they let me out (from) in the


On the tree (is) the nest of the bird, where makes eggs the female


Where is your house?

In the black mountain, there is my house; come brother with me; let

us go to my house.

In the year (are) two seasons, the winter and summer.

The cloud gives the rain, and puffs (forth) the wind.

By my God I love much that gentleman - a good man he, an

Englishman, but he speaks Hungarian; he came (93) hither in a

waggon with three horses, he sits here out in the wilderness; (94)

with a pencil in his hand he writes in a book. He has a green hat

and a big beard.


[This section of the book could not be transcribed as it contained many non-european languages]



IT is with the view of preserving as many as possible of the monuments of the Spanish Gypsy tongue that the author inserts the following pieces; they are for the most part, whether original or translated, the productions of the 'Aficion' of Seville, of whom something has been said in the Preface to the Spurious Gypsy Poetry of Andalusia; not the least remarkable, however, of these pieces is a genuine Gypsy composition, the translation of the Apostles' Creed by the Gypsies of Cordova, made under the circumstances detailed in the second part of the first volume. To all have been affixed translations, more or less literal, to assist those who may wish to form some acquaintance with the Gitano language.


BATO Nonrro sos socabas on o tarpe, manjirificado quejesa tute acnao; abillanos or tute sichen, y querese tute orependola andial on la chen sata on o tarpe; or manrro nonrro de cata chibel dinanoslo sejonia, y estormenanos nonrrias bisauras andial sata gaberes estormenamos a nonrros bisaraores; y nasti nes muques petrar on la bajanbo, bus listrabanos de chorre. - Anarania.

FATHER Our, who dwellest in the heaven, sanctified become thy name; come-to-us the thy kingdom, and be-done thy will so in the earth as in the heaven; the bread our of every day give-us-it to-day, and pardon-us our debts so as we-others pardon (to) our debtors; and not let us fall in the temptation, but deliver-us from wickedness. - Amen.

Panchabo on Ostebe Bato saro-asisilable, Perbaraor de o tarpe y la chen, y on Gresone desquero Beyio Chabal nonrrio Erano, sos guillo sar-trujatapucherido per troecane y sardana de or Chanispero Manjaro, y purelo de Manjari ostelinda debla; Bricholo ostele de or asislar de Brono Alienicato; guillo trejuficao, mule y cabanao; y sundilo a los casinobes, (95) y a or brodelo chibel repurelo de enrre los mules, y encalomo a los otarpes, y soscabela bestique a la tabastorre de Ostebe Bato saro-asisilable, ende aoter a de abillar a sarplar a los Apucheris y mules. Panchabo on or Chanispero Manjaro, la Manjari Cangari Pebuldorica y Rebuldorica, la Erunon de los Manjaros, or Estormen de los crejetes, la repurelo de la mansenquere y la chibiben verable. - Anarania, Tebleque.

I believe in God, Father all-powerful, creator of the heaven and the earth, and in Christ his only Son our Lord, who went conceived by deed and favour of the Spirit Holy, and born of blessed goddess divine; suffered under (of) the might of Bronos Alienicatos; (96) went crucified, dead and buried; and descended to the conflagrations, and on the third day revived (97) from among the dead, and ascended to the heavens, and dwells seated at the right- hand of God, Father all-powerful, from there he-has to come to impeach (to) the living and dead. I believe in the Spirit Holy, the Holy Church Catholic and Apostolic, the communion of the saints, the remission of the sins, the re-birth of the flesh, and the life everlasting. - Amen, Jesus.


O Debla quirindia, Day de saros los Bordeles on coin panchabo: per los duquipenes sos naquelastes a or pindre de la trejul de tute Chaborro majarolisimo te manguelo, Debla, me alcorabises de tute chaborro or estormen de sares las dojis y crejetes sos menda udicare aquerao on andoba surdete. - Anarania, Tebleque.

Ostebe te berarbe Ostelinda! perdoripe sirles de sardana; or Erano sin sartute; bresban tute sirles enrre sares las rumiles, y bresban sin or frujero de tute po. - Tebleque.

Manjari Ostelinda, day de Ostebe, brichardila per gaberes crejetaores aocana y on la ocana de nonrra beriben! - Anarania, Tebleque.

Chimuclani or Bato, or Chabal, or Chanispero manjaro; sata sia on or presimelo, aocana, y gajeres: on los sicles de los sicles. - Anarania.

O most holy Virgin, Mother of all the Christians in whom I believe; for the agony which thou didst endure at the foot of the cross of thy most blessed Son, I entreat thee, Virgin, that thou wilt obtain for me, from thy Son, the remission of all the crimes and sins which I may have committed in this world. - Amen, Jesus.

God save thee, Maria! full art thou of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst all women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. - Jesus.

Holy Maria, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death! - Amen, Jesus.

Glory (to) the Father, the Son, (and) the Holy Ghost; as was in the beginning, now, and for ever: in the ages of the ages. - Amen.


Pachabelo en Un-debel batu tosaro-baro, que ha querdi el char y la chique; y en Un-debel chinoro su unico chaboro erano de amangue, que chalo en el trupo de la Majari por el Duquende Majoro, y abio del veo de la Majari; guillo curado debajo de la sila de Pontio Pilato el chinobaro; guillo mulo y garabado; se chale a las jacharis; al trin chibe se ha sicobado de los mules al char; sinela bejado a las baste de Un-debel barrea; y de ote abiara a juzgar a los mules y a los que no lo sinelan; pachabelo en el Majaro; la Cangri Majari barea; el jalar de los Majaries; lo meco de los grecos; la resureccion de la maas, y la ochi que no marela.

I believe in God the Father all-great, who has made the heaven and the earth; and in God the young, his only Son, the Lord of us, who went into the body of the blessed (maid) by (means of) the Holy Ghost, and came out of the womb of the blessed; he was tormented beneath the power of Pontius Pilate, the great Alguazil; was dead and buried; he went (down) to the fires; on the third day he raised himself from the dead unto the heaven; he is seated at the major hand of God; and from thence he shall come to judge the dead and those who are not (dead). I believe in the blessed one; in the church holy and great; the banquet of the saints; the remission of sins; the resurrection of the flesh, and the life which does not die.


Or soscabela juco y terable garipe no le sin perfine anelar


Bus yes manupe cha machagarno le pendan chuchipon los brochabos.

Sacais sos ne dicobelan calochin ne bridaquelan.

Coin terelare trasardos e dinastes nasti le buchare berrandanas a

desquero contique.

On sares las cachimanes de Sersen abillen reches.

Bus mola yes chirriclo on la ba sos gres balogando.

A Ostebe brichardilando y sar or mochique dinelando.

Bus mola quesar jero de gabuno sos manpori de bombardo.

Dicar y panchabar, sata penda Manjaro Lillar.

Or esorjie de or narsichisle sin chismar lachinguel.

Las queles mistos grobelas: per macara chibel la piri y de rachi

la operisa.

Aunsos me dicas vriardao de jorpoy ne sirlo braco.

Chachipe con jujana - Calzones de buchi y medias de lana.

Chuquel sos pirela cocal terela.

Len sos sonsi bela pani o reblandani terela.

He who is lean and has scabs needs not carry a net. (98)

When a man goes drunk the boys say to him 'suet.' (99)

Eyes which see not break no heart.

He who has a roof of glass let him not fling stones at his


Into all the taverns of Spain may reeds come.

A bird in the hand is worth more than a hundred flying.

To God (be) praying and with the flail plying.

It is worth more to be the head of a mouse than the tail of a lion.

To see and to believe, as Saint Thomas says.

The extreme (100) of a dwarf is to spit largely.

Houses well managed:- at mid-day the stew-pan, (101) and at night


Although thou seest me dressed in wool I am no sheep.

Truth with falsehood-Breeches of silk and stockings of Wool. (102)

The dog who walks finds a bone.

The river which makes a noise (103) has either water or stones.


Dica Calli sos linastes terelas, plasarandote misto men calochin desquinao de trinchas punis y canrrias, sata anjella terelaba dicando on los chorres naquelos sos me tesumiaste, y andial reutila a men Jeli, dinela gao a sos menda orobibele; men puni sin trincha per la quimbila nevel de yes manu barbalo; sos saro se muca per or jandorro. Lo sos bus prejeno Calli de los Bengorros sin sos nu muqueis per yes manu barbalo. . . . On tute orchiri nu chismo, tramisto on coin te araquera, sos menda terela men nostus pa avel sos me camela bus sos tute.

Reflect, O Callee! (104) what motives hast thou (now that my heart is doting on thee, having rested awhile from so many cares and griefs which formerly it endured, beholding the evil passages which thou preparedst for me;) to recede thus from my love, giving occasion to me to weep. My agony is great on account of thy recent acquaintance with a rich man; for every thing is abandoned for money's sake. What I most feel, O Callee, of the devils is, that thou abandonest me for a rich man . . . I spit upon thy beauty, and also upon him who converses with thee, for I keep my money for another who loves me more than thou.


Gajeres sin corbo rifian soscabar yes manu persibarao, per sos saro se linbidian odoros y beslli, y per esegriton apuchelan on sardana de saros los Benjes, techescando grejos y olajais - de sustiri sos lo resaronomo niquilla murmo; y andial lo fendi sos terelamos de querar sin techescarle yes sulibari a or Jeli, y ne panchabar on caute manusardi, persos trutan a yesque lili.

It is always a strange danger for a man to live in concubinage, because all turns to jealousy and quarrelling, and at last they live in the favour of all the devils, voiding oaths and curses: so that what is cheap turns out dear. So the best we can do, is to cast a bridle on love, and trust to no woman, for they (105) make a man mad.


On grejelo chiro begoreo yesque berbanilla de chores a la burda de yes mostipelo a oleba rachi - Andial sos la prejenaron los cambrais presimelaron a cobadrar; sar andoba linaste changano or lanbro, se sustino de la charipe de lapa, utilo la pusca, y niquillo platanando per or platesquero de or mostipelo a la burda sos socabelaba pandi, y per or jobi de la clichi chibelo or jundro de la pusca, le dino pesquibo a or langute, y le sumuquelo yes bruchasno on la tesquera a or Jojerian de los ostilaores y lo techesco de or grate a ostele. Andial sos los debus quimbilos dicobelaron a desquero Jojerian on chen sar las canrriales de la Beriben, lo chibelaron espusifias a los grastes, y niquillaron chapescando, trutando la romuy apala, per bausale de las machas o almedalles de liripio.

On a certain time arrived a band of thieves at the gate of a farm- house at midnight. So soon as the dogs heard them they began to bark, which causing (106) the labourer to awake, he raised himself from his bed with a start, took his musket, and went running to the court-yard of the farm-house to the gate, which was shut, placed the barrel of his musket to the keyhole, gave his finger its desire, (107) and sent a bullet into the forehead of the captain of the robbers, casting him down from his horse. Soon as the other fellows saw their captain on the ground in the agonies of death, they clapped spurs to their horses, and galloped off fleeing, turning their faces back on account of the flies (108) or almonds of lead.


Y soscabando dicando dico los Barbalos sos techescaban desqueros mansis on or Gazofilacio; y dico tramisto yesque pispiricha chorrorita, sos techescaba duis chinorris saraballis, y penelo: en chachipe os penelo, sos caba chorrorri pispiricha a techescao bus sos sares los aveles: persos saros ondobas han techescao per los mansis de Ostebe, de lo sos les costuna; bus caba e desquero chorrorri a techescao saro or susalo sos terelaba. Y pendo a cormunis, sos pendaban del cangaripe, soscabelaba uriardao de orchiris berrandanas, y de denes: Cabas buchis sos dicais, abillaran chibeles, bus ne muquelara berrandana costune berrandana, sos ne quesesa demarabea. Y le prucharon y pendaron: Docurdo, bus quesa ondoba? Y sos simachi abicara bus ondoba presimare? Ondole penclo: Dicad, sos nasti queseis jonjabaos; persos butes abillaran on men acnao, pendando: man sirlo, y or chiro soscabela pajes: Garabaos de guillelar apala, de ondolayos: y bus junureis barganas y sustines, ne os espajueis; persos sin perfine sos ondoba chundee brotobo, bus nasti quesa escotria or egresiton. Oclinde les pendaba: se sustinara sueste sartra sueste, y sichen sartra sichen, y abicara bareles dajiros de chenes per los gaos, y retreques y bocatas, y abicara buchengeres espajuis, y bareles simachis de otarpe: bus anjella de saro ondoba os sinastraran y preguillaran, enregandoos a la Socreteria, y los ostardos, y os legeraran a los Oclayes, y a los Baquedunis, per men acnao: y ondoba os chundeara on chachipe. Terelad pus seraji on bros garlochines de ne orobrar anjella sata abicais de brudilar, persos man os dinare rotuni y chanar, la sos ne asislaran resistir ne sartra pendar satos bros enormes. Y quesareis enregaos de bros batos, y opranos, y sastris, y monrrores, y queraran merar a cormuni de averes; y os cangelaran saros per men acnao; bus ne carjibara ies bal de bros jeros. Sar bras opachirima avelareis bras orchis: pus bus dicareis a Jerusalen relli, oclinde chanad sos, desquero petra soscabela pajes; oclinde los soscabelan on la Chutea, chapesguen a los tober-jelis; y los que on macara de ondolaya, niquillense; y lo sos on los oltariques, nasti enrren on ondolaya; persos ondoba sen chibeles de Abillaza, pa sos chundeen sares las buchis soscabelan libanas; bus isna de las araris, y de las sos dinan de oropielar on asirios chibeles; persos abicara bare quichartura costune la chen, e guillara pa andoba Gao; y petraran a surabi de janrro; y quesan legeraos sinastros a sares las chenes, y Jerusalen quesa omana de los suestiles, sasta sos quejesen los chiros de las sichenes; y abicara simaches on or orcan, y on la chimutia, y on las uchurganis; y on la chen chalabeo on la suete per or dan sos bausalara la loria y des-queros gulas; muquelando los romares bifaos per dajiralo de las buchis sos costune abillaran a saro or surdete; persos los solares de los otarpes quesan sar- chalabeaos; y oclinde dicaran a or Chaboro e Manu abillar costune yesque minrricla sar baro asislar y Chimusolano: bus presimelaren a chundear caba buchis, dicad, y sustinad bros jeros, persos pajes soscabela bras redencion.

And whilst looking he saw the rich who cast their treasures into the treasury; and he saw also a poor widow, who cast two small coins, and he said: In truth I tell you, that this poor widow has cast more than all the others; because all those have cast, as offerings to God, from that which to them abounded; but she from her poverty has cast all the substance which she had. And he said to some, who said of the temple, that it was adorned with fair stones, and with gifts: These things which ye see, days shall come, when stone shall not remain upon stone, which shall not be demolished. And they asked him and said: Master, when shall this be? and what sign shall there be when this begins? He said: See, that ye be not deceived, because many shall come in my name, saying: I am (he), and the time is near: beware ye of going after them: and when ye shall hear (of) wars and revolts do not fear, because it is needful that this happen first, for the end shall not be immediately. Then he said to them: Nation shall rise against nation, and country against country, and there shall be great tremblings of earth among the towns, and pestilences and famines; and there shall be frightful things, and great signs in the heaven: but before all this they shall make ye captive, and shall persecute, delivering ye over to the synagogue, and prisons; and they shall carry ye to the kings, and the governors, on account of my name: and this shall happen to you for truth. Keep then firm in your hearts, not to think before how ye have to answer, for I will give you mouth and wisdom, which all your enemies shall not be able to resist, or contradict. And ye shall be delivered over by your fathers, and brothers, and relations, and friends, and they shall put to death some of you; and all shall hate you for my name; but not one hair of your heads shall perish. With your patience ye shall possess your souls: but when ye shall see Jerusalem surrounded, then know that its fall is near; then those who are in Judea, let them escape to the mountains; and those who are in the midst of her, let them go out; and those who are in the fields, let them not enter into her; because those are days of vengeance, that all the things which are written may happen; but alas to the pregnant and those who give suck in those days, for there shall be great distress upon the earth, and it shall move onward against this people; and they shall fall by the edge of the sword; and they shall be carried captive to all the countries, and Jerusalem shall be trodden by the nations, until are accomplished the times of the nations; and there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and in the earth trouble of nations from the fear which the sea and its billows shall cause; leaving men frozen with terror of the things which shall come upon all the world; because the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; and then they shall see the Son of Man coming upon a cloud with great power and glory: when these things begin to happen, look ye, and raise your heads, for your redemption is near.


'TACHIPEN if I jaw 'doi, I can lel a bit of tan to hatch: N'etist

I shan't puch kekomi wafu gorgies.'

The above sentence, dear reader, I heard from the mouth of Mr. Petulengro, the last time that he did me the honour to visit me at my poor house, which was the day after Mol-divvus, (109) 1842: he stayed with me during the greatest part of the morning, discoursing on the affairs of Egypt, the aspect of which, he assured me, was becoming daily worse and worse. 'There is no living for the poor people, brother,' said he, 'the chok-engres (police) pursue us from place to place, and the gorgios are become either so poor or miserly, that they grudge our cattle a bite of grass by the way side, and ourselves a yard of ground to light a fire upon. Unless times alter, brother, and of that I see no probability, unless you are made either poknees or mecralliskoe geiro (justice of the peace or prime minister), I am afraid the poor persons will have to give up wandering altogether, and then what will become of them?

'However, brother,' he continued, in a more cheerful tone, 'I am no hindity mush, (110) as you well know. I suppose you have not forgot how, fifteen years ago, when you made horse-shoes in the little dingle by the side of the great north road, I lent you fifty cottors (111) to purchase the wonderful trotting cob of the innkeeper with the green Newmarket coat, which three days after you sold for two hundred.

'Well, brother, if you had wanted the two hundred, instead of the fifty, I could have lent them to you, and would have done so, for I knew you would not be long pazorrhus to me. I am no hindity mush, brother, no Irishman; I laid out the other day twenty pounds in buying rupenoe peam-engries; (112) and in the Chong-gav, (113) have a house of my own with a yard behind it.


Well, dear reader, this last is the translation of the Gypsy sentence which heads the chapter, and which is a very characteristic specimen of the general way of speaking of the English Gypsies.

The language, as they generally speak it, is a broken jargon, in which few of the grammatical peculiarities of the Rommany are to be distinguished. In fact, what has been said of the Spanish Gypsy dialect holds good with respect to the English as commonly spoken: yet the English dialect has in reality suffered much less than the Spanish, and still retains its original syntax to a certain extent, its peculiar manner of conjugating verbs, and declining nouns and pronouns. I must, however, qualify this last assertion, by observing that in the genuine Rommany there are no prepositions, but, on the contrary, post-positions; now, in the case of the English dialect, these post-positions have been lost, and their want, with the exception of the genitive, has been supplied with English prepositions, as may be seen by a short example:-

Hungarian Gypsy.(114) English Gypsy. English.

Job Yow He

Leste Leste Of him

Las Las To him

Les Los Him

Lester From leste From him

Leha With leste With him


Hungarian Gypsy English Gypsy. English

Jole Yaun They

Lente Lente Of them

Len Len To them

Len Len Them

Lender From Lende From them

The following comparison of words selected at random from the English and Spanish dialects of the Rommany will, perhaps, not be uninteresting to the philologist or even to the general reader. Could a doubt be at present entertained that the Gypsy language is virtually the same in all parts of the world where it is spoken, I conceive that such a vocabulary would at once remove it.

English Gypsy. Spanish Gypsy.

Ant Cria Crianse

Bread Morro Manro

City Forus Foros

Dead Mulo Mulo

Enough Dosta Dosta

Fish Matcho Macho

Great Boro Baro

House Ker Quer

Iron Saster Sas

King Krallis Cralis

Love(I) Camova Camelo

Moon Tchun Chimutra

Night Rarde Rati

Onion Purrum Porumia

Poison Drav Drao

Quick Sig Sigo

Rain Brishindo Brejindal

Sunday Koorokey Curque

Teeth Danor Dani

Village Gav Gao

White Pauno Parno

Yes Avali Ungale

As specimens of how the English dialect maybe written, the following translations of the Lord's Prayer and Belief will perhaps suffice.


Miry dad, odoi oprey adrey tiro tatcho tan; Medeveleskoe si tiro nav; awel tiro tem, be kairdo tiro lav acoi drey pov sa odoi adrey kosgo tan: dey mande ke-divvus miry diry morro, ta fordel man sor so me pazzorrus tute, sa me fordel sor so wavior mushor pazzorrus amande; ma riggur man adrey kek dosch, ley man abri sor wafodu; tiro se o tem, tiro or zoozli-wast, tiro or corauni, kanaw ta ever- komi. Avali. Tatchipen.


My Father, yonder up within thy good place; god-like be thy name; come thy kingdom, be done thy word here in earth as yonder in good place. Give to me to-day my dear bread, and forgive me all that I am indebted to thee, as I forgive all that other men are indebted to me; not lead me into any ill; take me out (of) all evil; thine is the kingdom, thine the strong hand, thine the crown, now and evermore. Yea. Truth.


Me apasavenna drey mi-dovvel, Dad soro-ruslo, savo kedas charvus ta pov: apasavenna drey olescro yeck chavo moro arauno Christos, lias medeveleskoe Baval-engro, beano of wendror of medeveleskoe gairy Mary: kurredo tuley me-cralliskoe geiro Pontius Pilaten wast; nasko pre rukh, moreno, chivios adrey o hev; jas yov tuley o kalo dron ke wafudo tan, bengeskoe stariben; jongorasa o trito divvus, atchasa opre to tatcho tan, Mi-dovvels kair; bestela kanaw odoi pre Mi-dovvels tacho wast Dad soro-boro; ava sig to lel shoonaben opre mestepen and merripen. Apasa-venna en develeskoe Baval-engro; Boro develeskoe congri, develeskoe pios of sore tacho foky ketteney, soror wafudu-penes fordias, soror mulor jongorella, kek merella apopli. Avali, palor.


I believe in my God, Father all powerful, who made heaven and earth; I believe in his one Son our Lord Christ, conceived by Holy Ghost, (117) born of bowels of Holy Virgin Mary, beaten under the royal governor Pontius Pilate's hand; hung on a tree, slain, put into the grave; went he down the black road to bad place, the devil's prison; he awaked the third day, ascended up to good place, my God's house; sits now there on my God's right hand Father-all- powerful; shall come soon to hold judgment over life and death. I believe in Holy Ghost; Great Holy Church, Holy festival of all good people together, all sins forgiveness, that all dead arise, no more die again. Yea, brothers.


As I was a jawing to the gav yeck divvus,

I met on the dron miro Rommany chi:

I puch'd yoi whether she com sar mande;

And she penn'd: tu si wafo Rommany,

And I penn'd, I shall ker tu miro tacho Rommany,

Fornigh tute but dui chave:

Methinks I'll cam tute for miro merripen,

If tu but pen, thou wilt commo sar mande.


One day as I was going to the village,

I met on the road my Rommany lass:

I ask'd her whether she would come with me,

And she said thou hast another wife.

I said, I will make thee my lawful wife,

Because thou hast but two children;

Methinks I will love thee until my death,

If thou but say thou wilt come with me.

Many other specimens of the English Gypsy muse might be here adduced; it is probable, however, that the above will have fully satisfied the curiosity of the reader. It has been inserted here for the purpose of showing that the Gypsies have songs in their own language, a fact which has been denied. In its metre it resembles the ancient Sclavonian ballads, with which it has another feature in common - the absence of rhyme.



(2) EDINBURGH REVIEW, Feb. 1843.

(3) EXAMINER, Dec. 17, 1842.

(4) SPECTATOR, Dec. 7, 1842.

(5) Thou speakest well, brother!

(6) This is quite a mistake: I know very little of what has been written concerning these people: even the work of Grellmann had not come beneath my perusal at the time of the publication of the first edition OF THE ZINCALI, which I certainly do not regret: for though I believe the learned German to be quite right in his theory with respect to the origin of the Gypsies, his acquaintance with their character, habits, and peculiarities, seems to have been extremely limited.

(7) Good day.

(8) Glandered horse.

(9) Two brothers.

(10) The edition here referred to has long since been out of print.

(11) It may not be amiss to give the etymology of the word engro, which so frequently occurs in compound words in the English Gypsy tongue:- the EN properly belongs to the preceding noun, being one of the forms of the genitive case; for example, Elik-EN boro congry, the great Church or Cathedral of Ely; the GRO or GEIRO (Spanish GUERO), is the Sanscrit KAR, a particle much used in that language in the formation of compounds; I need scarcely add that MONGER in the English words Costermonger, Ironmonger, etc., is derived from the same root.

(12) For the knowledge of this fact I am indebted to the well-known and enterprising traveller, Mr. Vigne, whose highly interesting work on Cashmire and the Panjab requires no recommendation from me.

(13) Gorgio (Spanish GACHO), a man who is not a Gypsy: the Spanish Gypsies term the Gentiles Busne, the meaning of which word will be explained farther on.

(14) An Eastern image tantamount to the taking away of life.

(15) Gentes non multum morigeratae, sed quasi bruta animalia et furentes. See vol. xxii. of the Supplement to the works of Muratori, p. 890.

(16) As quoted by Hervas: CATALOGO DE LAS LENGUAS, vol. iii. p. 306.

(17) We have found this beautiful metaphor both in Gypsy and Spanish; it runs thus in the former language:-

'LAS MUCHIS. (The Sparks.)

'Bus de gres chabalas orchiris man dique a yes chiro purelar sistilias sata rujias, y or sisli carjibal dinando trutas discandas.

(18) In the above little tale the writer confesses that there are many things purely imaginary; the most material point, however, the attempt to sack the town during the pestilence, which was defeated by the courage and activity of an individual, rests on historical evidence the most satisfactory. It is thus mentioned in the work of Francisco de Cordova (he was surnamed Cordova from having been for many years canon in that city):-

'Annis praeteritis Iuliobrigam urbem, vulgo Logrono, pestilenti laborantem morbo, et hominibus vacuam invadere hi ac diripere tentarunt, perfecissentque ni Dens O. M. cuiusdam BIBLIOPOLAE opera, in corum, capita, quam urbi moliebantur perniciem avertisset.' DIDASCALIA, Lugduni, 1615, I vol. 8VO. p. 405, cap. 50.

(19) Yet notwithstanding that we refuse credit to these particular narrations of Quinones and Fajardo, acts of cannibalism may certainly have been perpetrated by the Gitanos of Spain in ancient times, when they were for the most part semi-savages living amongst mountains and deserts, where food was hard to be procured: famine may have occasionally compelled them to prey on human flesh, as it has in modern times compelled people far more civilised than wandering Gypsies.

(20) England.

(21) Spain.

(22) MITHRIDATES: erster Theil, s. 241.

(23) Torreblanca: DE MAGIA, 1678.

(24) Exodus, chap. xiii. v. 9. 'And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thy hand.' Eng. Trans.

(25) No chapter in the book of Job contains any such verse.

(26) 'And the children of Israel went out with an high hand.' Exodus, chap. xiv. v. 8. Eng. Trans.

(27) No such verse is to be found in the book mentioned.

(28) Prov., chap. vii. vers. 11, 12. 'She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house. Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.' Eng. Trans.

(29) HISTORIA DE ALONSO, MOZO DE MUCHOS AMOS: or, the story of Alonso, servant of many masters; an entertaining novel, written in the seventeenth century, by Geronimo of Alcala, from which some extracts were given in the first edition of the present work.

(30) O Ali! O Mahomet! - God is God! - A Turkish war-cry.

(31) Gen. xlix. 22.

(32) In the original there is a play on words. - It is not necessary to enter into particulars farther than to observe that in the Hebrew language 'ain' means a well, and likewise an eye.

(33) Gen. xlviii. 16. In the English version the exact sense of the inspired original is not conveyed. The descendants of Joseph are to increase like fish.

(34) Exodus, chap. xii. v. 37, 38.

(35) Quinones, p. 11.

(36) The writer will by no means answer for the truth of these statements respecting Gypsy marriages.

(37) This statement is incorrect.

(38) The Torlaquis (idle vagabonds), Hadgies (saints), and Dervishes (mendicant friars) of the East, are Gypsies neither by origin nor habits, but are in general people who support themselves in idleness by practising upon the credulity and superstition of the Moslems.

(39) In the Moorish Arabic, [Arabic text which cannot be reproduced] - or reus al haramin, the literal meaning being, 'heads or captains of thieves.'

(40) A favourite saying amongst this class of people is the following: 'Es preciso que cada uno coma de su oficio'; I.E. every one must live by his trade.

(41) For the above well-drawn character of Charles the Third I am indebted to the pen of Louis de Usoz y Rio, my coadjutor in the editing of the New Testament in Spanish (Madrid, 1837). For a further account of this gentleman, the reader is referred to THE BIBLE IN SPAIN, preface, p. xxii.

(42) Steal a horse.

(43) The lame devil: Asmodeus.

(44) Rinconete and Cortadillo.

(45) The great river, or Guadalquiver.

(46) A fountain in Paradise.

(47) A Gypsy word signifying 'exceeding much.'

(48) 'Lengua muy cerrada.'

(49) 'No camelo ser eray, es Calo mi nacimiento; No camelo ser eray, eon ser Cale me contento.'

(50) Armed partisans, or guerillas on horseback: they waged a war of extermination against the French, but at the same time plundered their countrymen without scruple.

(51) The Basques speak a Tartar dialect which strikingly resembles the Mongolian and the Mandchou.

(52) A small nation or rather sect of contrabandistas, who inhabit the valley of Pas amidst the mountains of Santander; they carry long sticks, in the handling of which they are unequalled. Armed with one of these sticks, a smuggler of Pas has been known to beat off two mounted dragoons.

(53) The hostess, Maria Diaz, and her son Joan Jose Lopez, were present when the outcast uttered these prophetic words.

(54) Eodem anno precipue fuit pestis seu mortalitas Forlivio.

(55) This work is styled HISTORIA DE LOS GITANOS, by J. M-, published at Barcelona in the year 1832; it consists of ninety- three very small and scantily furnished pages. Its chief, we might say its only merit, is the style, which is fluent and easy. The writer is a theorist, and sacrifices truth and probability to the shrine of one idea, and that one of the most absurd that ever entered the head of an individual. He endeavours to persuade his readers that the Gitanos are the descendants of the Moors, and the greatest part of his work is a history of those Africans, from the time of their arrival in the Peninsula till their expatriation by Philip the Third. The Gitanos he supposes to be various tribes of wandering Moors, who baffled pursuit amidst the fastnesses of the hills; he denies that they are of the same origin as the Gypsies, Bohemians, etc., of other lands, though he does not back his denial by any proofs, and is confessedly ignorant of the Gitano language, the grand criterion.

(56) A Russian word signifying beans.

(57) The term for poisoning swine in English Gypsy is DRABBING BAWLOR.

(58) Por medio de chalanerias.

(59) The English.

(60) These words are very ancient, and were, perhaps, used by the earliest Spanish Gypsies; they differ much from the language of the present day, and are quite unintelligible to the modern Gitanos.

(61) It was speedily prohibited, together with the Basque gospel; by a royal ordonnance, however, which appeared in the Gazette of Madrid, in August 1838, every public library in the kingdom was empowered to purchase two copies in both languages, as the works in question were allowed to possess some merit IN A LITERARY POINT OF VIEW. For a particular account of the Basque translation, and also some remarks on the Euscarra language, the reader is referred to THE BIBLE IN SPAIN, vol. ii. p. 385-398.

(62) Steal me, Gypsy.

(63) A species of gendarme or armed policeman. The Miquelets have existed in Spain for upwards of two hundred years. They are called Miquelets, from the name of their original leader. They are generally Aragonese by nation, and reclaimed robbers.

(64) Those who may be desirous of perusing the originals of the following rhymes should consult former editions of this work.

(65) For the original, see other editions.

(66) For this information concerning Palmireno, and also for a sight of the somewhat rare volume written by him, the author was indebted to a kind friend, a native of Spain.

(67) A very unfair inference; that some of the Gypsies did not understand the author when he spoke Romaic, was no proof that their own private language was a feigned one, invented for thievish purposes.

(68) Of all these, the most terrible, and whose sway endured for the longest period, were the Mongols, as they were called: few, however, of his original Mongolian warriors followed Timour in the invasion of India. His armies latterly appear to have consisted chiefly of Turcomans and Persians. It was to obtain popularity amongst these soldiery that he abandoned his old religion, a kind of fetish, or sorcery, and became a Mahometan.

(69) As quoted by Adelung, MITHRIDATES, vol. i.

(70) Mithridates.

(70) For example, in the HISTORIA DE LOS GITANOS, of which we have had occasion to speak in the first part of the present work: amongst other things the author says, p. 95, 'If there exist any similitude of customs between the Gitanos and the Gypsies, the Zigeuners, the Zingari, and the Bohemians, they (the Gitanos) cannot, however, be confounded with these nomad castes, nor the same origin be attributed to them; . . . all that we shall find in common between these people will be, that the one (the Gypsies, etc.) arrived fugitives from the heart of Asia by the steppes of Tartary, at the beginning of the fifteenth century, while the Gitanos, descended from the Arab or Morisco tribes, came from the coast of Africa as conquerors at the beginning of the eighth.'

He gets rid of any evidence with respect to the origin of the Gitanos which their language might be capable of affording in the following summary manner: 'As to the particular jargon which they use, any investigation which people might pretend to make would be quite useless; in the first place, on account of the reserve which they exhibit on this point; and secondly, because, in the event of some being found sufficiently communicative, the information which they could impart would lead to no advantageous result, owing to their extreme ignorance.'

It is scarcely worth while to offer a remark on reasoning which could only emanate from an understanding of the very lowest order, - so the Gitanos are so extremely ignorant, that however frank they might wish to be, they would be unable to tell the curious inquirer the names for bread and water, meat and salt, in their own peculiar tongue - for, assuredly, had they sense enough to afford that slight quantum of information, it would lead to two very advantageous results, by proving, first, that they spoke the same language as the Gypsies, etc., and were consequently the same people - and secondly, that they came not from the coast of Northern Africa, where only Arabic and Shillah are spoken, but from the heart of Asia, three words of the four being pure Sanscrit.

(72) As given in the MITHRIDATES of Adelung.

(73) Possibly from the Russian BOLOSS, which has the same signification.

(74) Basque, BURUA.

(75) Sanscrit, SCHIRRA.

(76) These two words, which Hervas supposes to be Italian used in an improper sense, are probably of quite another origin. LEN, in Gitano, signifies 'river,' whilst VADI in Russian is equivalent to water.

(77) It is not our intention to weary the reader with prolix specimens; nevertheless, in corroboration of what we have asserted, we shall take the liberty of offering a few. Piar, to drink, (p. 188,) is Sanscrit, PIAVA. Basilea, gallows, (p. 158,) is Russian, BECILITZ. Caramo, wine, and gurapo, galley, (pp. 162, 176,) Arabic, HARAM (which literally signifies that which is forbidden) and GRAB. Iza, (p. 179,) harlot, Turkish, KIZE. Harton, bread, (p. 177,) Greek, ARTOS. Guido, good, and hurgamandera, harlot, (pp. 177, 178,) German, GUT and HURE. Tiple, wine, (p. 197,) is the same as the English word tipple, Gypsy, TAPILLAR.

(78) This word is pure Wallachian ([Greek text which cannot be reproduced]), and was brought by the Gypsies into England; it means 'booty,' or what is called in the present cant language, 'swag.' The Gypsies call booty 'louripen.'

(79) Christmas, literally Wine-day.

(80) Irishman or beggar, literally a dirty squalid person.

(81) Guineas.

(82) Silver teapots.

(83) The Gypsy word for a certain town.

(84) In the Spanish Gypsy version, 'our bread of each day.'

(85) Span., 'forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.'

(86) Eng., 'all evil FROM'; Span., 'from all ugliness.'

(87) Span., 'for thine.'

(88) By Hungary is here meant not only Hungary proper, but Transylvania.

(89) How many days made come the gentleman hither.

(90) How many-year fellow are you.

(91) Of a grosh.

(92) My name shall be to you for Moses my brother.

(93) Comes.

(94) Empty place.

(95) V. CASINOBEN in Lexicon.

(96) By these two words, Pontius Pilate is represented, but whence they are derived I know not.

(97) Reborn.

(98) Poverty is always avoided.

(99) A drunkard reduces himself to the condition of a hog.

(100) The most he can do.

(101) The puchero, or pan of glazed earth, in which bacon, beef, and garbanzos are stewed.

(102) Truth contrasts strangely with falsehood; this is a genuine Gypsy proverb, as are the two which follow; it is repeated throughout Spain WITHOUT BEING UNDERSTOOD.

(103) In the original WEARS A MOUTH; the meaning is, ask nothing, gain nothing.

(104) Female Gypsy,

(105) Women UNDERSTOOD.

(106) With that motive awoke the labourer. ORIG.

(107) Gave its pleasure to the finger, I.E. his finger was itching to draw the trigger, and he humoured it.

(108) They feared the shot and slugs, which are compared, and not badly, to flies and almonds.

(109) Christmas, literally Wine-day.

(110) Irishman or beggar, literally a dirty squalid person.

(111) Guineas.

(114) Silver tea-pots.

(115) The Gypsy word for a certain town.

(116) As given by Grellmann.

(117) The English Gypsies having, in their dialect, no other term for ghost than mulo, which simply means a dead person, I have been obliged to substitute a compound word. Bavalengro signifies literally a wind thing, or FORM OF AIR.

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