Obrazy na stronie

formalities; but in 'some hordes a through the moat. The girl was sort of barbaric ceremony is still naked, not having the smallest rag kept up. The man, or rather boy, to cover her brown and shining (for he is often not more than four- skin, and the moat was full of teen or fifteen years of age), selects prickly thistles and tall stinging the girl who happens to please him nettles. She hesitated for a mobest, without any particular regard ment, but only for one, then plungfor relationship, and leads her be- ing bravely into the sea of fire, fore the judge, where she breaks she handed up the precious apple an earthen jar or dish at the feet through the closed grating. When of the man to whom she gives her- she regained the other bank her self. Each party collects a portion skin was all blistered, and bleedof the broken pieces and keeps ing at places, but she did not seem them carefully. If these pieces to feel any pain in the joy with are lost, either by accident or vol- which she watched her lover deuntarily, then the marriage is dis- vour the apple. solved, both parties free, and the Some twelve or fifteen years union can only be renewed by the ago, an officer garrisoned in a breaking of another vessel in the small Transylvanian town, fell visame manner.

olently in love with a beautiful The number of pieces into which gipsy girl belonging to a wanderthe earthenware has been shat- ing tribe. He carried his infatuatered is supposed to denote the ' tion so far as to offer to marry her, number of years the couple will if she would only consent to abanlive together; and when the girl is don her roving comrades; but anxious to pay a compliment to this the beautiful Bohemian stead. her bridegroom, she stamps upon ily refused to do; so that at last the fragments to increase their the lover, seeing that he could not number.

win her in any other way, and Sometimes, but rarely, the Tzi- being convinced that he could not gane is capable of violent and en- possibly exist without her, gave during love; and cases where lovers up his military rank, and for her have killed their sweethearts out sake became a gipsy himself, wanof jealousy are sometimes heard of. dering about with the roving band,

A touching instance of a young and sharing all their hardships girl's devotion was related to me and privations. How this peculiar on good authority. Her lover had union turned out in the erd, and been confined in the village lock- whether à la longue the gentleman up-house, presumably for some fla- remained of opinion that the world grant misdemeanour, and on look- was well lost for love, is unknown; ing out of the small grated window but several years afterwards the on a burning summer's day, he was ci-devant officer was recognised as bewailing his unhappy fate and member of a wandering band of the parching thirst which devoured gipsies in northern Greece. him. Presently his dark slender The Tziganes are attached to sweetheart, attracted by the sound their children, but treat them in of his wailings, drew near, and, a senseless animal fashion—alterstanding at the other side of a nately devouring them with cardried-up moat, she could see her esses and violently ill-using them. lover at the grated window. She I

have seen a father throwing held in her hand a ripe juicy apple, large heavy stones at his ten-yearbut the only way to reach him lay old daughter, for some trifling

misdemeanour-stones as large as believe this ?” he asked, with ungood-sized turnips, anyone of conscious philosophy. “We have

“ which would have been sufficient been quite wretched enough, and to kill her, if it had happened to wicked enough, in this world al- ' hit; and only her alacrity in dodg- ready. Why should we begin ing the missiles—which she did again in another?” chuckling and grinning, as though Sometimes their confused noit were the best joke in the world tions of Christianity take the -saved her from serious injury. shape of believing in a God, and

When in a passion, all weapons in His Son, the young God; but are good that come to the gipsy's while many are of opinion that hand, and, faute de mieux, unfortu- the old God is dead, and that His nate infants are sometimes bandied Son now reigns in his place, others backwards and forwards as im- declare that the old God is not provised cannon-balls. A German really dead, but has merely abdiwriter mentions having been eye-cated in favour of the young God. witness of a quarrel between a Others, again, fancy this latter to gipsy man and woman, the latter be not really the Son of the old having a baby on her breast. God, but only that of a poor carPassing from words to blows, the renter; and they often say conman, Seeing neither stick

nor temptuously that the carpenter's stone within handy reach, seized son has usurped the throne. the baby by the feet, and with Though rarely believing in the it belaboured her so violently, immortality of the soul, the Tzithat when the bystanders at last gane usually holds with the docwere able to interpose, the wretch- trine of transmigration, and often ed infant had already given up the supposes the spirit of some partighost.

cular gipsy to have passed into a Babies are at once accustomed bat or a bird; further believing to endure the utmost extremes of that when that animal is killed, heat and cold ; if they are born the spirit passes back to another in winter, they are rubbed with new-born gipsy. snow; if in summer, anointed with The gipsies resident in villages grease, and laid in the burning sun. or hamlets often nominally adopt Their education is nil, beyond the religion of the proprietor of being taught to beg and steal. the soil, principally, it seems, in

The gipsies' religion is of the order to secure the privilege of vaguest description. They gener- being buried at his expense. Whenally agree as to the existence of a

ever they happen to have a quarrel God, but it is a God whom they with their landlord, they are fond fear without loving. “God can- of abruptly changing their religion, not be good,” they argue, “ or else ostentatiously going to some other He would not make us die.” place of worship, in order to mark The devil they also believe in, to their displeasure. a certain extent-but only as Two clergymen, the one Catholic, weak, silly fellow, incapable of the other Protestant, visiting a doing much harm.

gipsy confined in prison, were both A gipsy, questioned as to whether endeavoring with much eloquence he believed in the immortality of to convert him to their respective the soul, and in the resurrection Churches. The gipsy appeared to of the body, scoffed at the idea. be listening to their arguments with “ How could I be so foolish as to much attention, and when both


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to Greta's petition, “If I can get vaguely. And then she asked, away—if I can be spared from " Will the old Colonel—the old home.”

gentleman-will he be there?” “Spared from home! oh ay, she “Oh, did you take a fancy to can be spared, Miss Greta, weel him, Joyce ? So have I. Yes, he spared. She is aye so busy and will be there—they will all be taken up with thae bairns that there. We are to have it in the a little pleasure will just do her a great drawing-room—and leave to great deal of good.”

rummage in all the presses in the “ Pleasure !” said Joyce, echoing red room, you know, where the the word. “I will come if the old Lady's dresses are kept, and lady wants me; but there is a to take what we like." good deal to do—things to prepare.

“That would be fine,” said Joyce, And then-and then

She “if it was for last century; but if paused with a conscious effort, Queen Margaret is what you are making the most of her hindrances, wanting, that's far, far back, and “I am expecting a friend to-night.” the old Lady's dresses will do little

"A friend—that will be Andrew good. There will be nothing half Halliday," said the old woman, so old as Queen Margaretagain interposing anxiously; “ you "Oh,” cried Greta, her councan see him ony day of the week; tenance falling, “I never thought he's no that far away nor sweared of that.” to come. Where are your man- Joyce hesitated a moment, and ners, Joyce? to keep Miss Greta the light returned to her eyes. "I standing, and hum and ha, as if ye will go up with you to the house werena aye ready to do what will now, if granny can spare me, and pleasure the lady—aye ready, night I will speak to Merritt, and we or day."

will think, she and I; and when “ If Joyce is tired, Mrs Mathe- you come out from your dinner we son,” said Greta, “ I will not have will have settled something. Oh, her troubled. But are you really never fear but we will find someso tired, Joyce? We cannot do thing. It is just what I like,” anything without you. And it was said Joyce, restored to full energy all my idea, for there is no party “to make out what's impossible. or anything: but I thought it That's real pleasure!" she cried with would please—all of them. Only sparkling eyes. I could do nothing without you." “Did ever ony mortal see the

Yes, yes, I am coming,” cried like,” said Janet to herself as she Joyce, suddenly; “ I was only what stood at the door watching the two granny calls cankered and out of girls go down the village street. heart."

“ What's impossible ! that's just Why should you be out of what she likes, that wonderful heart," said the other girl, “ when bairn. And if onybody was to everything went so well and every- ask which was the leddy, it's our body was so pleased ? It is perhaps Joyce and not Miss Greta that because

you will miss Mr Halliday? ilka ane would say. But, eh me! But then he can come up for you, though I am so fain to get her a and it's moonlight, and that will bit pleasure, what's to come o' a' be better than sitting in the house. that, if she is just to settle doon Don't you think so, Joyce?” and marry Andrew Halliday?

“ The moonlight is fine coming That's what is impossible, and nae down the avenue," Joyce said pleasure in it so far as I can see !"


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Walking across the country one haviour; and approaching nearer, I breezy November day, I was at- saw the figures of three Hungarian tracted by the sight of a gipsy gendarmes dodging about between tent, pitched on a piece of waste the ragged tent and the skeleton common, some hundred yards off donkey. my path. This was motive enough They were searching the camp, for me to change my direction, and as they presently informed me, for approach the little settlement; for a stolen purse; this was marketthese wandering caravans have day, and a Saxon peasant had had always had a peculiar fascination his pocket picked. Some of the for me, and I rarely pass them by gipsies had been seen in town that without closer investigation. morning, so of course they must

This particular establishment be guilty—and the speaker, with was of the very poorest and most an oath, stuck his bayonet into abject description. One miserable the depths of the little tent, bringtent, riddled with holes, and patched ing out a motley assortment of with many - coloured rags, was dirty rags to light, which he propropped up against a neighbouring ceeded to turn over with scrutinisbank. A A half-starved donkey, ing investigation. laden with some ragged blankets, Any person with a well-balanced was standing immovable alongside, mind would, I suppose, have reand in the foreground a smoking joiced at the improving spectacle camp-fire, over which was slung a of stern justice punishing degraded battered kettle. There was very vice. I must, however, confess my little fire, and a great deal of smoke, sympathies on this occasion to which at first obscured the view, have been all the wrong way, and and prevented me from understand- I could not refrain from wishing ing why it was that the gipsies, that these poor hunted mortals usually so quick to mark a stranger, might elude their punishment, gazed at me with indifference—not whether deserved or not. a hand was stretched forth to beg, Justice, as represented by these nor a voice raised in supplication. well-fed stolid gendarmes, who were The men were standing about in turning over the contents of the listless attitudes, and the women little camp so ruthlessly, holding crouched round the fire were sway- up each sorry rag to light with ing their bodies to and fro, as such pitiless scorn, stripping the though in pain. On other occasions, clothes from the half-naked backs whenever I had attempted to ap- of the gipsies, with such needless proach a gipsy settlement, I had brutality, appeared in the light of been wellnigh besieged by the churlish and unnecessary persecunoisy importunities of the people, tion; while vice so wretched and and had found considerable diffi- piteous-looking could surely inspire culty in extricating myself from no harsher feeling than compas

sion ? Soon, however, the shining point Of the females, the most noticeof a bayonet, which I descried able was a young woman of about through the curling smoke, gave twenty-five, with splendid eyes, me the clue to this abnormal be- skin of a mahogany brown, and

their grasp.

straight-cut regular features, like the camp. She was expected back those of an Indian chieftainess. presently, they said. She wore a tattered scarlet cloak, Hearing this, the gendarmes and had on her breast a small proceeded to light their pipes at brown baby, naked in spite of the the lingering fire, playfully upsharpness of the November air. setting the caldron which conOne of the gendarmes approaching tained the Bohemians' supper on her, with a coarse gesture would to the ground, and prepared to have removed the cloak (apparently await the return of Madame or her sole upper garment) to search Mademoiselle Flinka, one of them beneath for the missing purse; but walking up and down as sentry, to with the air of an outraged empress see that no one attempted to leave she waved him off, and raising her the camp. large black eyes full upon him, she There being nothing more to broke into a torrent of speech. The see, I took my leave, for it was language in which she spoke was growing late, and I had still a long unknown to me; but the tenor of walk before me. I had almost her words was easy to guess at, forgotten the little episode with from her expressive gestures, and the gipsies, when near the town the wonderful play of feature. I was met by a small cart with Her voice was of a rich contralto, dirty linen awning, and drawn by as she poured forth what seemed a meagre white horse, worthy to be the malediction of an oppres- companion to the skeleton ass. sed queen cursing a tyrant. Her Probably I should not have given gesture had an inbred majesty, and this cart a second thought or her pose was that of an inspired glance, for it was nearly dusk by sibyl. I thought what a glorious this time; but as it passed me, tragic actress she would make, a two or three curly black heads perfect Lady Macbeth, or a divine peeped out from under the linen Azucena: the brutal gen- covering, and with incredible alacdarme felt her influence, for he did rity as many semi-naked children not attempt to molest her further, bounded out, indiarubber-like, and but withdrew half shamefacedly, as surrounded with clamorous though conscious of defeat, trans- begging. While I was giving ferring his attentions to one of the them a few coppers, I saw that in men, whom he roughly poked with the cart was sitting a pale, hagthe butt-end of his gun, to force gard young woman, probably their him to rise from his recumbent mother, holding the reins, and position.

waiting for the children to get in. The fruitless investigation had There was no one else inside. now come to an end ; every nook

your name Flinka?" I and corner had been examined, asked, as a thought struck me. the ragged tent demolished, and She gazed at me in a bewildered the skeleton donkey unladen, with- manner, and did not speak; but out so much as a single florin being her panic-struck face was answer found about the party. In a long enough. parley between gendarmes and • Do not go back to the camp gipsies, the words “ Flinka, Flin-to-night,” I said, speaking on the ka!" were often repeated; and impulse of the moment; "the Flinka, it appeared, was the name gendarmes are there, and they are of the only one of the gipsies who waiting for you." was at that moment missing from She gazed at me with positive



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