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blessing of the Redeemer, the confidence of the Gipsies will be gained, and, that they will be led to that Saviour, who has said, Whosoever cometh unto me, I will in nowise cast him out.
On the Origin of the Gipsies.
Of the Origin of these wanderers of the human race, the learned are not agreed; for we have no authentic records of their first einigrations. Some suppose them to be the descendants of Israel, and many others that they are of Egyptian origin. But the evidence adduced in confirmation of these opinions appears very inconclusive. We cannot discover more than fifty Hebrew words in the language they speak, and they have not a ceremony peculiar to the Hebrew nation. They have not a word of Coptic, and but few of Persian derivation; and they are deemed as strangers in Egypt to the present time. They are now found in many countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa, in all of which they speak a language peculiar to themselves. On the continent of America alone are there none of them found. Grellman informs us that there were great numbers in Lorrainę, and, that they dwelt in its forests, before the French Revolution of 1790. He supposes that there are no less than 700,000 in the world, and, that the greatest numbers are found in Europe. Throughout the countries they inhabit, they have kept themselves a distinct race of people in every possible way.
They never visit the Norman Isles ; and it is said by the natives of Ireland, that their numbers are small in that country. Hoyland informs us, that many counties in Scotland are free of them, while they wander about in other districts of that country, as in England. He has also informed us, in the sixth Section of his dissertation, of a colony which resides, during the winter months, at Kirk Yetholm, in the county of Roxburgh.*
Sir Thomas Brown, in his work entitled “VULGAR ERRORS,” says, that they were first seen in Germany, in the year 1409. In 1418, they were found in Switzerland ; and, in 1422, in Italy. They appeared in France, on the 17th of August, 1427. It is remarkable that, when they first came into Europe, they were black, and that the women were still blacker than the men. From Grellman we learn, that, “in Hungary, there are 50,000; in Spain, 60,000; and, that they are innumerable in Constantinople."
It appears from the Statute of the 22nd of Henry VIII, made against this people, that they must, at that time, have been in England some years, and must have increased much in number, and in crime. In
See a late account of this colony in a subsequent page.