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“ For well we wat it is his Ghaist
I In the “ New Catalogue of Vulgar Errors," Wow, wad some folk that can do't best 8vo. Camb. 1767, p. 71, I find the following: Speak til't, and hear what it confest : “I look upon our sailors to care as little what To send a wand'ring Saul to rest
becomes of themselves as any set of people 'Tis a good deed
under the sun, and yet no people are so much Amang the dead."
terrified at the thoughts of an Apparition. In the “Statistical Account of Scotland,"
Their sea-songs are full of them; they firmly vol. xiii. p. 557, parish of Lochcarron, county
believe their existence: and honest Jack Tar of Ross, we read: “There is one opinion
shall be more frightened at a glimmering of which many of them entertain, and which in.
the moon upon the tackling of the ship, than deed is not peculiar to this parish alone, that a
he would be if a Frenchman was to clap a popish priest can cast out devils and cure
blunderbus to his head. I was told a story madness, and that the Presbyterian clergy have
by an officer in the navy, which may not be no such power. A person might as well advise a mob to pay no attention to a merry-andrew
justice); the light was follow'd by a tall, meagre,
and stern personage, who seemed about 70, in a as to desire many ignorant people to stay from long dangling rugg gown, bound round with a broad the (popish) priest.”
leathern girdle ; his beard thick and grizly; a large Pliny tells us that houses were anciently
furr cap on his head, and a long stail in his hand;
his face wrinkled, and of a dark sable hue. I was hallowed against evil spirits with brimstone!
struck with the appearance, and felt some unusual This charm has been converted by later times shocks; for you know the old saying I made use of into what our satirist, Churchill, in his “Pro in court, when part of the lanthorn upon Westminphecy of Famine,” calls “a precious and rare
ster Hall fell down in the midst of our proceedings,
to the no small terror of one or two of my brethren: medicine, and is now used (but I suppose
Si fractus illibatur Orbis with greater success) in exorcising those of our
Im pavidum ferient Ruinæ. unfortunate fellow-creatures who feel themselves possessed with a certain teazing fiery
But, to go on : it drew near, and stared me full in foreign to the purpose. About half a dozen | move in a way so similar to that which an old of the sailors on board a man-of-war took it friend used, and withal having a cap on so into their heads that there was a Ghost in the like that which he was wont to wear, verily ship; and being asked by the captain what thought there was more in the report than he reason they had to apprehend any such thing, was at first willing to believe. A general they told him they were sure of it, for they panic diffused itself. He ordered the ship to smelt him. The captain at first laughed at be steered towards the object, but not a man them, and called them a parcel of lubbers, would move the helm. Compelled to do this and advised them not to entertain any such himself, he found, on a nearer approach, that silly notions as these, but mind their work. the ridiculous cause of all their terror was part It passed on very well for a day or two; but of a main-top, the remains of some wreck, one night, being in another ghost-smelling floating before them. Unless he had ventured humour, they all came to the captain and told to make this near approach to the supposed him that they were quite certain there was Ghost, the tale of the walking cook had long a Ghost, and he was somewhere behind the been in the mouths, and excited the fears, of small beer barrels. The captain, quite en many honest and very brave fellows in the raged at their folly, was determined they Wapping of Newcastle-upon Tyne." should have something to be frightened at in (4) Dr. Johnson, in his description of the earnest, and so ordered the boatswain's mate Buller of Buchan, in Scotland, pleasantly to give them all a dozen of lashes with a cat tells us : "If I had any malice against a walko’-nine-tails, by which means the ship was en ing spirit, instead of laying him in the Red tirely cleared of Ghosts during the remainder Sea, I would condemn him to reside in the of the voyage. However, when the barrels Buller of Buchan." were removed, some time after, they found a Spirits that give disturbance by knocking dead rat, or some such thing, which was con: - are no novelties. Thus I find the following cluded by the rest of the crew to be the Ghost passage in “Osborne's Advice to his Son," which had been smelt a little before.”
the face. And did not you speak to it?' (interspirit, said by the wits of the South to be well
rupted the bishop); ' there was money hid or murder known, seen, and felt, and very troublesome committed to be sure.' 'My Lord, I did speak to it,' in the North.(a)
- And what answer, Mr. Justice ?' My Lord, the answer was (not without a thump of the staff and a
shake of the lanthorn), that he was the watchman (*) “ Various ways,” says an essayist in the of the night, and came to give me notice that he had “ Gentleman's Magazine" for October, 1732, vol. ii. found the street door open, and that, unless I rose p. 1002,“ have been proposed by the learned for and shut it, I might chance to be robbed before break laying of Ghosts. Those of the artificial sort are easily of day. The judge had no sooner ended but the quieted. Thus when a fryer, personating an Appa bishop disappear'd.” rition, haunted the chambers of the late Emperor The same essayist (p. 1001) says: “The cheat is Josephus, the present king, Augustus, then at the begun by nurses with stories of bug-bears, &c., from Imperial Court, flung him out of the window, and whence we are gradually led to the traditionary laid him effectually. The late Dr. Fowler, Bishop accounts of local Ghosts, which, like the genii of the of Gloucester, and the late Mr. Justice Powell, had ancients, have been reported to haunt certain family frequent altercations upon this subject. The bishop seats and cities famous for their antiquities and dewas a zealous defender of Ghosts; the justice some cays. Of this sort are the Apparitions at Verulam, what sceptical, and distrustful of their being. In a Silchester, Reculver, and Rochester: the Dæmon of visit the bishop one day made his friend, the justice Tidworth, the Black Dog of Winchester, and the told him, that since their last disputation he had Bar-guest of York. Hence also suburbian Ghosts, had ocular demonstration to convince him of the rais'd by petty printers and pamphleteers. The existence of Ghosts. How,' says the bishop, story of Madam Veal has been of singular use to the .what! ocular demonstration ? I am glad, Mr. editors of Drelincourt on Death."" And afterJustice, you are become a convert; I beseech you wards ironically observes: “ When we read of the let me know the whole story at large. My Lord,' Ghost of Sir George Villiers, of the Piper of Hamanswers the justice, as I lay one night in my bed, mel, the Dæmon of Moscow, or the German Colonel about the hour of twelve, I was wak'd by an uncom mentioned by Ponti, and see the names of Clarenmon noise, and heard something coming up stairs, don, Boyle, &c., to these accounts, we find reason and stalking directly towards my room. I drew for our credulity; till, at last, we are convinc'd by the curtain, and saw a faint glimmering of light a whole conclave of Ghosts met in the works of Glanenter my chamber.'-of a blue colour, no doubt,' vil and Moreton." Mr. Locke assures us we have (says the bishop)— Of a pale blue,' (answers the as clear an idea of spirit as of body.
8vo. Oxf., 1656, p. 36. He is speaking of Our author accounts for this philosophi. unhappy marriages, which, says he, “must cally: “A great deal may be said in favour needs render their sleepe unquiet, that have of men troubled with the scurvy, the conco- one of those cads or familiars still knocking mitants of which disorder are, generally, faint over their pillow." ings and the hip, and horrors without any Could our author have known of the affair ground for them.
in Cock-lane, he might have been equally The following was communicated to me by happy in alluding to Miss Fanny's scratching. a gentleman, to whom it had been related by Allan Ramsay, in his Poems, p. 227, exa sea captain of the port of Newcastle-upon | plains Spelly Coat to be one of those frightful Tyne. “ His cook," he said, “ chanced to die spectres the ignorant people are terrified at,and on their passage homeward. This honest fel | tell us strange stories of; that they are clothed low, having had one of his legs a little shorter with a coat of shells, which make a horrid ratthan the other, used to walk in that way which tling; that they'll be sure to destroy one, if our vulgar idiom calls, with an up and down.' he gets not a running water between him and A few nights after his body had been com | it. It dares not meddle with a woman with mitted to the deep, our captain was alarmed
child." by his mate with an account that the cook was In the North of England Ghostis pronounced walking before the ship, and that all hands “Guest.” The streets of Newcastle-upon-Tyne were upon deck to see him. The captain, after were formerly, according to vulgar tradition, an oath or two for having been disturbed, or haunted by a nightly Guest, which appeared dered them to let him alone, and try which, in the shape of a mastiff dog, &c., and terrified the ship or he, should get first to Newcastle. such as were afraid of shadows. This word But, turning out, on farther importunity, he is a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon gart, honestly confessed that he had like to have | spiritus, anima. I have heard, when a boy, caught the contagion, and on seeing something many stories concerning it.
The following is in Drake's "Eboracum," , And evil spirits : of the death-bed call p. 7, Appendix. “Bar-guest of York. I have To him who robb’d the widow, and devour'd been so frightened with stories of this bar-guest, The orphan's portion: of unquiet souls when I was a child, that I cannot help throw Ris'n from the grave to ease the heavy guilt ing away an etymology upon it. I suppose it of deeds in life conceald: of shapes that comes from the A.S. buph, a town, and gast,
walk a Ghost, and so signifies a town sprite. N.B. At dead of night, and clank their chains, and that zart is in the Belgic and Teut. softened wave into gheest and geyst. Dr. Langwith." The torch of hell around the murd'rer's bed.
In Dr. Akenside's “ Pleasures of Imagina At every solemn pause the crowd recoil tion,” b. i. we read :
Gazing each other speechless, and congeald “Hence by night
With shivering sighs; till eager for th' event The village matron, round the blazing hearth, Around the beldame all erect they hang Suspends the infant audience with her tales, Each trembling heart with grateful terrors Breathing astonishment! of witching rhymes,
The Gipsies, as it should seem by some striking proofs derived from their language,() came originally from Hindostan, where they are supposed to have been of the lowest class of Indians, namely Parias, or, as they are called in Hindostan, Suders. They are thought to have migrated about A. D. 1408 or 1409, when Timur Beg ravaged India for the purpose of spreading the Mahometan religion. On this occasion so many thousands were made slaves and put to death, that an universal panic took place, and a very great number of terrified inhabitants endeavoured to save themselves by flight. As every part towards the north and east was beset by the enemy, it is most probable that the country below Multan, to the mouth of the Indus, was the first asylum and rendezvous of the fugi. tive Suders. This is called the country of Zinganen. Here they were safe, and remained 80 till Timur returned from his victories on the Ganges. Then it was that they first entirely quitted the country, and probably with them a considerable number of the natives, which will explain the meaning of their original name. By what track they came to us cannot be ascertained. If they went straight through the southern Persian deserts of Sigistan, Makran, and Kirman, along the Persian Gulf to the mouth of the Euphrates, from thence they might get, by Bassora, into the
great deserts of Arabia, afterwards into Arabia Petræa, and so arrive in Egypt by the Isthmus of Suez. They must certainly have been in Egypt (3) before they reached us,(3) otherwise it is incomprehensible how the report arose that they were Egyptians.()
Blackstone, in his “Commentaries,”(@) has the following account of them: “ They are a strange kind of commonwealth among themselves of wandering impostors and jugglers, who first made their appearance in Germany about the beginning of the sixteenth century. Munster, it is true, who is followed and relied upon by Spelman, fixes the time of their first appearance to the year 1417:(5) but as he owns that the first he ever saw were in 1529, it was probably an error of the press for 1517, especially as other historians inform us, that when Sultan Selim conquered Egypt, in 1517, several of the natives refused to submit to the Turkish yoke, and revolted under one Zinganeus, whence the Turks call them Zinganees; but being at length surrounded and banished, they agreed to disperse in small parties all over the world, where their supposed skill in the black art gave them an universal reception in that age of superstition and credulity. In the compass of a very few years they gained such a number of idle prose
lytes (6) (who imitated their language and to the honour of our national humanity, there complexion, and betook themselves to the are no instances more modern than this of carsame arts of chiromancy, begging and pilfer | rying these laws into practice.” Thus far ing) that they became troublesome and even Blackstone. formidable to most of the states of Europe. (?) In Scotland they seem to have enjoyed some Hence they were expelled from France in the share of indulgence: for a writ of privy seal, year 1560 : and from Spain 1591:(0) and dated 1594, supports John Faw, Lord and the government of England took the alarm Earl of Little Egypt, in the execution of jusmuch earlier, for in 1530 they are described, tice on his company and folk, conform to the stat. 22 Hen. VIII. c. X., as an "outlandish laws of Egypt, and in punishing certain perpeople calling themselves Egyptians, using sons there named, who rebelled against him, no craft, nor feat of merchandize, who have left him, robbed him, and refused to return come into this realm and gone from shire to home with him. James's subjects are comshire, and place to place, in great company, 1 manded to assist in apprehending them, and and used great, subtle, and crafty means in assisting Faw and his adherents to return to deceive the people, and also have com home. There is a like writ in his favour from mitted many heinous felonies and robberies.' Mary Queen of Scots, 1553; and in 1554 he Wherefore they are directed to avoid the realm, obtained a pardon for the murder of Nunan and not to return under pain of imprisonment Small.(9) So that it appears he had staid and forfeiture of their goods and chattells; long in Scotland, and perhaps some time in and upon their trials for any felony which England,(10) and from him this kind of strollthey may have committed, they shall not be ing people might receive the name of Faw intitled to a jury de medietate linguæ. And Gang, which they still retain.(11) afterwards it was enacted by statutes 1 and 2 Since the repeal of the act against this class Ph. and Mary, c. iv., and 5 Eliz. c. XX,, that of people, which, if I mistake not, took place if any such persons shall be imported into the in 1788, they are said not to be so numerous kingdom, the importers shall forfeit forty as before : they still however are to be met pounds. And if the Egyptians themselves with, and still pretend to understand palmistry remain one month in the kingdom, or if any and telling fortunes, nor do I believe that person, being fourteen years old, whether na their notions of meum and tuum are one whit tural-born subject or stranger, which hath less vague than before.(12) been seen or found in the fellowship of such Perhaps, in the course of time, they will Egyptians, or which hath disguised him or her either degenerate into common beggars, or be self like them, shall remain in the same one obliged to take to a trade or business for a month at one or several times, it is felony with livelihood. T'he great increase of knowledge out benefit of clergy. And Sir Matthew Hale in all ranks of people has rendered their preinforms us that at one Suffolk assize no less than tended arts of divination of little benefit to thirteen persons were executed upon these sta them, at least by no means to procure them tutes a few years before the Restoration. But, subsistence.
NOTES TO GIPSIES.
(1) See " A Dissertation on the Gipsies, | A. S.,” 4to. Lond. 1787, dedicated to Sir Jobeing an Historical Enquiry concerning the seph Banks, Bart., P.R.S. manner of Life, Economy, Customs, and It seems to be well proved in this learned Conditions of these People in Europe, and work that these Gipsies came originally from their Origin, written in German by Heinrich Hindostan. A very copious catalogue is given Moritz Gottlieb Grellman, translated into of Gipsy and Hindostan words collated, by English by Matthew Raper, Esq., F.R.S. and which it appears that every third Gipsy word
is likewise an Hindostan one, or still more, | ing. Both differed essentially from the sixtythat out of every thirty Gipsy words eleven four crania of other persons belonging to foreign or twelve are constantly of Hindostan. This nations, in the possession of the author : a ciragreement will appear uncommonly great, if cumstance which, among others, tends to conwe recollect that the above words have only firm the opinion of Professor Meiners, that been learned from the Gipsies within these very the Hindoos, from whom Grellman derives few years, consequently after a separation of the Gipsies, came themselves originally from near four complete centuries from Hindostan, Egypt.” “ British Critic.” Foreign Catatheir supposed native country, among people logue, vol. ii. p. 226. who talked languages totally different, and in See upon the subject of Gipsies the following which the Gipsies themselves conversed; for books: Pasquier,“ Řecherches de la France," p. under the constant and so long continued in 392; “ Dictionnaire des Origines," v. Bohemiflux of these languages, their own must neces ens ; De Pauw,“Recherches sur les Egyptiens," sarily have suffered great alteration.
tom. i.p. 169, “ Camerarii Horæ Subsecivæ;) In this learned work there is also a compa “Gent. Mag.” 1783, vol. liii, p. 1009; Ibid. rison of the Gipsies with the above caste of Su. 1787, vol. lvii. p. 897. Anecdotes of the ders : but I lay the greatest stress upon those Fife Gipsies will be found in “Blackwood's proofs which are deduced from the similarity Edinburgh Magazine,” vol. ii. pp. 282, 523. of the languages. In the supplement it is On the Gipsies of Hesse Darmstadt, ibid. vol. added that Mr. Marsden, whose judgment ii. p. 409. Other notices concerning the and knowledge in such matters are much to be Scottish Gipsies in the same work, vol. i. pp. relied upon, has collected, from the Gipsies 43, 65, 66, 154, 167. here, as many words as he could get, and that () Harrison, in his Description of Engby correspondence from Constantinople he has land prefixed to “ Holinshed's Chronicle," procured a collection of words used by the Cin 1587, p. 183, describing the various sorts of garis thereabouts; and these, together with the cheats practised by the voluntary poor, after words given by Ludolph in his “ Historia enumerating those who maim or disfigure their Æthiopica," compared with the Hindostan bodies by sores, or counterfeit the guise of vulgar language, show it to be the same that labourers or serving-men, or mariners seeking is spoken by the Gipsies and in Hindostan. for ships which they have not lost, to extort See in the seventh volume of the “ Archæolo charity, adds: “It is not yet full three score gia," p. 388, Observations on the Language years since this trade began; but how it hath of the Gipsies, by Mr. Marsden; and ibid. prospered since that time it is easie to judge, p. 387, Collections on the Gipsy Language, for they are now supposed of one sex and anoby Jacob Bryant, Esq.
ther to amount unto above ten thousand per. In the above work we read that, in 1418, sons, as I have heard reported. Moreover, the Gipsies first arrived in Switzerland near in counterfeiting the Egyptian Roges, they have Zurich and other places, to the number, men, devised a language among themselves which women, and children, of fourteen thousand. they name Canting, but others pedlers French,
The subsequent passage exhibits a proof of a speach compact thirty years since of English a different tendency. “In a late meeting of and a great number of odd words of their own the Royal Society of Gottingen, Professor Blu devising, without all order or reason : and yet menbach laid before the members a second such is it as none but themselves are able to decad of the crania of persons of different understand. The first deviser thereof was nations contrasted with each other, in the same hanged by the neck, a just reward no doubt manner as in the first, and ranged according to for his deceits, and a common end to all of the order observed by him in his other works. In that profession.” the first variety was the cranium of a real Gipsy, The beggars, it is observable, two or three who died in prison at Clausenburg, commu centuries ago, used to proclaim their want by nicated by Dr. Patacki of that place. The a wooden dish with a moveable cover, which resemblance between this and that of the Egyp they clacked, to show that their vessel was tian mummy in the first decad was very strik empty. This appears from a passage quoted