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Spanish subjects. Since these humane enactments, the spirit of Gitánismo has been on the decline. « Since the law no longer compels them to stand back to back for mutual defence, they are no longer the people that they were ;” and the fierce spirits who regret the turbulence of past times, complain that «el krallis ha nicobado la liri, the king has destroyed the ancient law, which was a bond of union among their people. The more wealthy among them now affect the manners and society of the Spaniards, neglecting to aid those of their brethren who are in poverty or in prison, and striving to obliterate the remembrance of their own gipsy descent. There are still a few barbales, or rich men who are not ashamed of the errate, or blood, and these exercise over the others almost as great influence as the rabbins do over the Jews— « their bidding is considered law; and the other gipsies are at their devotion;" while the renegades from Gitánismo are viewed with equal abhorrence, and held up to general execration. There was a time » (said a gipsy at Badajoz to the author, whom he took for a brother Gitáno) when the house of every Zincalo, however rich, was open to his brother, though he came to him naked, and it was then the custom to boast of his errate. It is no longer so. Those who are rich keep aloof from the rest, will not speak in Calo, and will have no dwellings but with the Busné. Is there not a false brother in this foros, (town); the only rich man among us, the swine, the balichow (hog)?--he is married to a Busnee, and would fain appear as a Busno! Tell me one thing brother ; has he been to see you ? The white blood, I know he has not! Who have come to see you, brother ? Have they not been such as Paco and his wifewretches without a house ? » A similar feeling pervades their rhymes and ballads
« The gipsy fiend of Manga mead,
Who never gave a straw,
The old Egyptian law.
Within his dwelling sits at ease
Each wealthy gipsy churl;
And into prison hurl. -
This Paco (diminutive for Francisco,) and his father-in-law Antonio, the speaker quoted above, cut rather a conspicuous figure in the author's adventures at Badajoz ; and the portrait of the former, at his introduction, is too bizarre and characteristic a sketch to be omitted. He could be scarcely thirty; and his figure, which was about the middle height, was of Herculean proportions ; shaggy black hair, like that of a wild beast, covered the greatest part of his immense head ; his face was frightfully seamed with the small-pox, and his eyes, which glared like those of ferrets, peered from beneath bushy eyebrows; he wore immense mustaches, and his wide mouth was garnished with teeth exceedingly large and white. There was one peculiarity about him which must not be forgotten – his right arm was withered, and hung down from his shoulder a dry and sapless stick, which contrasted strangely with the huge brawn of the left. A figure so perfectly wild and uncouth, I have scarcely ever before seen. The other, Antonio, exbibited in his appearance a goodly compound of gipsy and bandit ; his complexion was dark as pepper, and his eyes full of sullen fire.... » «I am,» (said he,) « Zincalo, by the four sides. I love our blood, and I hate that of the Busné. Had I my will, I would wash my face every day in the blood of the Busné; for they are made only to be robbed and slaughtered ! This amiable personage had joined the armies of the Londoné, or English, in the Peninsular war, against the Gabiné (French) invaders; and one of the passages of his military career, as related by himself, is a remarkable instance of the freemasonry still existing between the Romany of remote lands. Many Hungarian gipsies (TM) had entered Spain
( We have known instances of even the English gipsies entering the army and serving as soldiers, but it appears more common in Hungary than elsewhere, and Mr. Pagei, who notices this, says that they are reported to make pretty good soldiers.
with the legions of Napoleon, and greatly astonished their Peninsular brethren, whom they sought out whenever opportu-. nity offered, by their superior attainments in all sorts of Romany lore. In a battle near the frontier of France, Antonio was on the point of falling before the bayonet of a Majoro (Magyar or Hungarian) in the French ranks; when, as the knee of his foeman was on his breast, «I lifted up my eyes wildly to his face, and our eyes met ; and I gave a loud shriek, and cried Zincalo! Zincalo! and I felt him shudder; and he relaxed his grasp and started up, and he smote his forehead and wept, and then he came and knelt down by my side, for I was almost dead ; and he took my hand and called me brother and Zincalo; and he produced his flask, and poured wine into my mouth, and I revived ; and he raised me up, and led me from the concourse, and we sat down on a knoll, and he said, “Let the dogs fight and tear each other's throats till they are all destroyed-what matters it to the Zincalo? they are not of our blood, and shall that be shed for them?' The recognition in this case was apparently effected by the « gipsy glance,” which is elsewhere said to differ in its peculiar and indescribable expression from that of any other human being: but the profound erudition displayed by his new friend, in their subsequent conversation, seems to have made even a deeper impression on Antonio than the boon of his life. He told me secrets which made my ears tingle, and I soon found that I knew nothing, though I had before considered myself quite Zincalo, but as for him, he knew the whole cuenta (reckoning or craft ;) the Bengui Lango (lame devil Asmodeus,) himself could have told him nothing but what he knew! »
But it was not always in this humble capacity that the Gitános took part in the struggle for Spanish independence. Chaléco of Valdepenas, a gipsy of the half blood, who introduced himself on Mr. Borrow's acquaintance at Madrid, had been a distinguished leader of bragantes, or guerilla horse, at that stirring period; and subsequently received the rank of captain of infantry in the regular army, with an unproductive claim for half-pay. Though the pretext on which he introduced himself was an enquiry relative to a Gabicole or gospel in the Romany tongue,
his conversation with his unwilling host was a mingled tissue of blasphemies, and narratives of the atrocities which he had committed when a bragante in La Mancha ; where he and his comrades used to tie their prisoners to the olive-trees, and putting their horses to the full speed, tilt at them with their spears! Mr. Borrow seems to have considered this mode of punishment as owing its origin to the inventive ingenuity of his friend : but it was in fact nothing more than a revival of an ancient national pastime, much in vogue in the good old times of Ferdinand and Isabella ; the persons then usually destined to be acanavar eados (the term applied to this sort of tournament by Abacca and other early writers) being the renegade Christians found in the Moorish towns when taken. We should be glad to ascertain whether this worthy was the same guerilla, Chaléco, whom we have elsewhere heard or read of, and who in a memorial of his services, which he presented to the government, boasted of having waylaid singlehanded in a ravine a patrol of French cavalry, nine of whom he killed or wounded by the discharge of his trabuco, or blunderbuss, loaded nearly to the muzzle, his own collarbone being at the same time broken by the recoil! and who another time sent as a present to Villafranca a quantity of ears, cut from prisoners whom he had slaughtered for the occasion! The intercourse between this estimable character and our author determined at length not very amicably; and the speedy fulfilment of the ill-boding prediction launched by Chaléco, on his departure, against Mr. Borrow's Basque servant, Francisco, is one of the most curious instances on record of the accomplishment of gipsy baji or fortune-telling.
At the present day, the modification of the gipsy character, introduced by the wise law of Charles III, has led to the relinquishment, by the great majority, of that wandering mode of life which the former penal laws ineffectually strove to suppress. Few, and those of the lowest of the race, are now destitute of fixed habitations; and though in their way to fairs and other public gatherings, of which they are as assiduous attendants as their brethren among the English,) they are frequently found bivouacking in large numbers among the heaths and wood-lands, these accidental encampments must not be confounded with the systematic vagabondage of former days. Their head-quarters are usually in the cities and large towns of the southern provinces, where their habitations are distinguished by filth and uncleanliness of all sorts, from those of the poorer Spaniards. Here they ply the various arts by which their subsistence is earned. The men are frequently chalandes, or jockeys, selling and exchanging horses and mules, often stolen, or altered in colour and appearance to prevent recognition ; and they engross throughout Spain the trade of the esquilador, whose province is to trim the tails, fetlocks &c. of these animals an operation to the due performance of which great importance is attached by the Spanish grooms, and for which are required various descriptions and sizes of cachas, or shears). Another of their favourite, occupations is the working in iron-a trade which for some reason, was strictly forbidden them by the ancient laws--but which is now again extensively practised, by those of Granada, where the Gitános are very numerous, and like the Spanish inhabitants of that once proud and glorious city, mostly sunk in abject poverty and misery. The rocky sides of the Alpuxarras are perforated in every direction by deep and winding caverns, in the most inmost recesses of which, according to popular belief, Boabdil and his Moorish Chivalry lie bound in magic slumbers till the day predestined for the recovery of Spain by the true believers : while the entrances re-echo from the frequent strokes of the hammers of the Zincali, '
many of whom bave taken up their abode in these excavations. « Gathered round the forge (8)
(") Mr. Paget gives a similar account of the Csigany város, or gipsy towns in Hungary : it seems indeed, to be a gipsy characteristic all over the world.
(*) The larger cachas are frequently used also as weapons, «I once snipped off with them the nose of a Busnd, and opened a greater part of bis cheek, in an affray rear Trajillo,» said Paco of Badajoz.
(") The following Gitano metaphor, descriptive of the sparks spreading from the anvil, bears great resemblance to the mystic concetti which fill the works of Jelal-eddeen Roomi, and other Sufi poets of the cast : « More than a hundred lovely daughters I see produced at one time, fiery as roses; in one moment they expire, gracefully circumvolving !»