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the joy of self-exultation. This was The herbs' sweet influences, and the balm the balo that shone from heaven, and That wak'd the bloom upon the faded cheek. shed over the tragedy a lustre by And strung the perveless arm with strength which it was sanctified in the eye of
I was man's saviour, but have now no power
From these degrading bonds myself to save." I have brought heavy charges against this performance as a drama, and it is
The most sublime passage in this only justice that I should bring for sublime poem is that in which Proward some of its beauties in detail: metheus replies to Mercury, when, in and here enough of matter will be the name of Jupiter, he denounces found to soften the rigour of criticism.
a terrible vengeance if he refuse to However wide the tragedies of Æschy- reveal the secrets of fate touching the
dethronement of the thunderer. lus may be of the standard of excellence established in the land that gave
P. To be a slave, thy words sound
wondrous well, Shakspeare birth, yet in all ages and the words of wisdom and authority, in all countries he must be considered The tyrant is but young
in power, and deems an eminent poet. In the eye that kin- His place inaccessible to sorrow, dles as it rolls over the beauties of na- But bear him this defiance: I have seen ture, and in the imagination that teems Two hated despots hurl'd from the same with great conceptions, he is inferior throne, to few poets. There is a grandeur and And in him I shall soon behold a third, loftiness of soul about hiin, generated Plung thence in an irreparable ruin. by the elevation of freedom, that is Think not that I do fear thy upstart gods, blazing forth on every fit occasion, Go tell him that his thunders have no power
Beings of yesterday; but hie thee hence, mysterious sublimity that cannot be To humble me, or wrest my secret from me. understood, much less felt, by the
M. It was thy proud rebellion brought slaves of a despot.
thee here, The following is a feeble attempt to Else hadst thou from calamity been free. render the meaning of the beautiful P. Thinkst thou that I would change passage in which Prometheus describes these galling bonds the degraded state in which he found for slavery, and be the thing that thou art ? man, and by what means he had raised No! I would rather hang upon this rock him from it; and it will be well if the Thus I return his insults,--thus defy him.
For aye, than be the slave of Jupiter. meaning is given-the inspiration of Yet must he fall; but he shall never leam poetry evaporates at the touch of trans. From me whose hand shall strike the whelmlation.
ing blow : “ Eyes had they, but they saw not; they There is no pang by which he may prevail.
No! let him launch at me the flaming bolt,
There is so striking a resemblance
book of Paradise Lost, that there is Should shed its roses, or the Summer pour reason to believe that Milton's farIts golden fruits, or icy Winter breathe
famed line, In barrenness and bleakness on the year. “Betterto reign in hell than servein heaven." To heaven I rais'd their eyes, and bade them might have been suggested by this:
mark The time the constellations rose and set,
“ No! I would rather bang upon this rock By which their labours they might regulate. For aye, than be the slave of Jupiter.” I taught them numbers: letters were my gift,
It would be easy, were not this are
length, to draw such a parallel betwixt
reason to suspect that Milton took his
theus. Yet this is to detract little from I to the tail mast hung the flaxen pinions,
the glory of one of the greatest of our To bear the vessel bounding o'er the billows, poets. An accidental spark is suffiIn sickness, man, without a remedy, cient to kindle the fires of a volcano. Was left to perish, till my pity taught
NOTICES CONCERNING TIE SCOTTISH GYPSIES.
« Hast thou not noted on the bye-way side,
-The wrinkled beldame there you may espy,
That an Asiatic people should have have furnished. In presenting to the resided four hundred years in the public the following desultory notices, heart of Europe, subject to its civilized we are very far from any thoughts of polity and commingled with its varied aspiring to this grave office-nor inpopulation, and yet have retained ale deed is it our province. Our duty is most unaltered their distinct oriental rather to collect and store up (if we character, customs, and language,mis may so express it,) the raw materials a phenomenon so singular as only to be of literature to gather into our repoequalled, perhaps, by the unaccount- sitory scattered facts, hints, and obserable indifference with which, till very vations,—which more elaborate and lately, this remarkable fact appears to learned authors may afterwards work have been regarded. Men of letters, up into the dignified tissue of history while eagerly investigating the customs or science. With this idea, and with of Otaheite or Kamschatka, and losing the hope of affording to general readers their tempers in endless disputes about something both of information and Gothic and Celtic antiquities, have wit- amusement on a subject so curious and nessed with apathy and contempt the so indistinctly known, we have collectstriking spectacle of a Gypsey camp, ed some particulars respecting the Gyppitched, perhaps, amidst the moulder- sies in Scotland, both from public reing entrenchments of their favourite cords and popular tradition; and, in Picts and Romans. The rest of the order to render the picture more comcommunity, familiar from infancy with plete, we shall introduce these by a the general character and appearance rapid view of their earlier history-reof these vagrant hordes, have probably serving to a future occasion our obsernever regarded them with any deeper vations on their present state, and on interest than what springs from the the mysterious subject of their natione recollected terrors of a nursery tale, al language and origin. or the finer associations of poetical and That this wandering people attracted picturesque description. It may, in- considerable attention on their first ardeed, be reckoned as one of the many rival in Christendom in the beginning remarkable circumstances in the hise of the fifteenth century, is sufficiently tory of this singular race, that the best evident, both from the notices of conand almost the only accounts of them temporary authors, and from the varithat have hitherto appeared in this ous edicts respecting them still existing country, are to be found in works of in the archives of every state in Europe. fiction. Disregarded by philosophers Their first appearance and pretensions and literati,—the strange, picturesque, were indeed somewhat imposing. They and sometimes terrific features of the entered Hungary and Bohemia from gypsey character, have afforded to our the east, travelling in numerous hordes, poets and novelists a favourite subject under leaders who assumed the titles for delineation; and they have exe- of Kings, Dukes, Counts, or Lords cuted the task so well, that we have of Lesser Egypt, and they gave themlittle more to ask of the historian, selves out for Christian Pilgrims, who than merely to extend the canvass, and had been expelled from that country to affix the stamp of authenticity to by the Saracens for their adherence the striking representations which they to the true religion. However doubt
ful may now appear their claims to been somewhat diminished in particuthis sacred character, they had the ad- lar states by the progress of civilizadress to pass themselves on some of tion, it seems to be generally allowed the principal sovereigns of Europe, that their distinctive character and and, as German historians relate, even modes of life have nowhere undergone on the Pope himself, for real pilgrims; any material alteration. In Germany, and obtained, under the seals of these Hungary, Poland, -in Italy, Spain, potentates, various privileges and pass. France, and England, this singular ports, empowering them to travel people, by whatever appellation they through all christian countries under may be distinguished, -Cingari, Zitheir patronage, for the space of seven geuners, Tziganys, Bohemiens, Gitanos, years.--Having once gained this foot- or Gypsies,--still remain uncombined ing, however, the Egyptian pilgrims with the various nations among whom were at no great loss in finding pre- they are dispersed, --and still continue tences for prolonging their stay; and the same dark, deceitful, and disorderly though it was soon discovered that race as when their wandering hordes their manners and conduct corres- first emigrated from Egypt or from ponded but little to the sanctity of India. They are still every where their first pretensions, yet so strong characterized by the same strolling was the delusion respecting them, and and pilfering propensities,—the same so dexterous were they in the arts of peculiarity of aspect,—and the same imposition, that they seem to have pretensions to fortune-telling and warbeen either legally protected or silently lockry.'* endured by most of the European go- The estimate of their present numvernments for the greater part of a bers, by the best informed continentcentury.*
al writers on the subject, is almost When their true character became incredible.—“ Independently,” says at length fully understood, and they Grellmann, “ of the multitudes of were found to be in reality a race of gypsies in Egypt and some parts of profligate and thievish impostors,- Asia, could we obtain an exact estimate who from their numbers and audacity of them in the countries of Europe, had now become a grievous and intol- the immense number would probably erable nuisance to the various coun- greatly exceed what we have any
idea tries that they had inundated,
of. At a moderate calculation, and measures were adopted by different without being extravagant, they might states to expel them from their terri- be reckoned at between seven and eight tories. Decrees of expulsion were is- hundred thousand.” sued against them by Spain in 1492, The gypsies do not appear to have by the German empire in 1500, and by found their way to this Island till France in 1561 and 1612. Whether about 100 years after they were first it was owing, however, to the ineffi- known in Europe. Henry VIII. and cient systems of police at that time his immediate successors, by several in use, or, that the common people severe enactments, and by re-exportamong whom they were mingled fa- ing numbers of them at the public voured their evasion of the public expense, endeavoured to expel from edicts, it is certain, that notwithstand- their dominions “ this outlandish peoing many long and bloody persecu- ple calling themselves Egupeians, tions, no country that had once ad- but apparently with little better sucmitted “ these unknown and uninvite cess than their brother sovereigns in ed guests," has ever again been able other countries; for in the reign of to get rid of them.
When rigorously Elizabeth the number of them in Engprosecuted by any government on ac- land is stated to have exceeded 10,000, count of their crimes and depreda- and they afterwards became still tions, they generally withdrew for a more numerous. If they made any time to the remote parts of the coun- pretension to the character of piltry, or crossed the frontiers to a neigh- grims, on their arrival among our bouring jurisdiction-only to return to southern neighbours, it is eviden their accustomed haunts and habits as at least that neither Henry nor soon as the storm passed over. Though their numbers may perhaps have since • Grellmann.-See also Hume on Crim.
Law of Scotland, vol. ä. p. 344.Macken* Grellmann.
zie's Obs. on Stat. p, 333.
Elizabeth were deceived by their im- mistry, and telling of fortunes ; inpostures. Both these monarchs, in- somuch, they pitifully cozened poor deed, (particularly the former), were country girls both of money, silver, too much accustomed to use religion, as spoons, and the best of their apparele, well as law, for a cloak to cover their or any goods they could make.” own violent and criminal conduct, to “ They had a leader of the name of be easily imposed upon by the like Giles Hather, who was termed their artifices in others. We find them ac- king; and a woman of the name of cordingly using very little ceremony Calot was called
riding with the Egyptian pilgrims, who, through the country on horseback, and in several of their statutes, are describ- in strange attire, had a prettie traine ed by such designations as the follow- after them.” After mentioning some ing :
-Sturdy roags,'.' rascalls, vaca- of the laws passed against them, this bonds, masterless men, ydle, va- writer adds :-“ But what numbers graunte, loyteringe, lewde, and ylle were executed on these statutes you disposed persons, going aboute usingę would wonder ; yet, notwithstanding, subtiltie and unlawful games or plaie,' all would not prevail, but they wan
- such as faynt themselves to have dered as before uppe and downe, and knowledge in physiognomye, palmes- meeting once in a yeare at a place aptrie, or other abused sciences'tellers pointed; sometimes at the Peake's of destinies, deaths, or fortunes, and Hole in Derbyshire, and other whiles such lyke fantasticall imaginatiouns.'- by Retbroak at Blackheath."*
In king Edward's journal we find It is probable that the gypsies enthem mentioned along with other tered Scotland about the same period
masterless men.' . The following as- in which they are stated by these acsociation of persons seems curious :- counts to have first pitched their tents • June 22, 1749. There was a privy in the sister kingdom. The earliest search made through Suffolk for all notice of them, however, that we have vagabonds, gipsies, conspirators, pro- been able to discover in our national phesiers, all players, and such like. * records, is contained in the celebrated
A more distinct account of the Eng- writ of Privy Seal, passed in the 28th lish gypsies, on their first arrival, is to year of James V. (1540), in favour of be found in a work quoted by Mr " Johnne Faw, Lord and Erle of Litill Hoyland, which was published in the Egipt.” A complete copy of this doyear 1612, to detect and expose the cument, which has been carefully colart of juggling and legerdemain. “This lated with the original record in the kind of people," says the author, Register House, will be found in ano“ about a hundred years ago, beganne ther department of our Magazine. to gather on head, at the first heere, This writ was renewed by the Earl of about the southerne parts. And this, Arran as Regent of Scotland in 1553, as I am informed, and can gather, was nearly in the same words. † It appears their beginning : Certain Egyptians from these very curious edicts, that banished their country, (belike not for John Faw, under the character of their good conditions,) arrived heere in Lord and Erle of Litill Egipt,' had England, who for quaint tricks and formerly obtained letters under the devices not known heere at that time Great Seal, enjoining all magistrates, among us, were esteemed and had in &c. to support his authority ** in exegreat admiration;, insomuch, that cutioun of justice vpon his cumpany many of our English loyterers joined and folkis, conforme to the laws of with them, and in time learned their Egipt, and in punissing of all thaim crafty cozening." “ The speach which that rebellis aganis him.” He comthey used was the right Egyptian plains that certain of his followers had, speach, with whom our Englishmen nevertheless, revolted from his jurisconversing, at last learned their lan- diction, robbed and left him, and guage. These people, continuing were supported in their contumacious about the country, and practising rebellion by some of the king's lieges; their cozening art, purchased them- “Sua that he (the said Johnne, thair selves great credit among the coun- lord and maister) on na wyse can aptry people, and got much by pale prehend nor get thame, to have thame
Appendix to Burnet's Hist. of Reforma.
tion, vol. ii.
* Hoyland's Historical Survey. + Registrum Secreti Sigilli, vol. xxv. fol. 62.
hame agane within thair awin cuntre,” jugglers. The following passages, pre66 howbeit he has biddin and remanit scribing the mode of punishment, and of lang tyme vpon thame, and is specifying some of the various sorts of bundin and oblist to bring hame with vagrants against whom it is denounced, him all thame of his company that ar are particularly curious :-" That sic on live, and ane testimoniale of thame as makis thame selffis fuilis, and ar that ar deid ;"—the non-fulfilment of bairdts, or vtheris siclike rynarris awhich obligation, he pretends, will bout, being apprehendit, salbe put in subject him to nevy dampnage and the kingis waird and yrnis, sa lang as skaith, and go perell of tynsell they haue ony guidis of thair awin to (loss) of his heretage."--The names leif on; and fra they haue not quhairof these rebellious Egyptians are exact- upoun to leif of their awin, that thair ly the same in both edicts, and having earis be nailit to the trone, or to ane been given in to the Scottish govern- vther trie, and thair earis cuttit of, and ment by the chieftain himself, may be banist the cuntrie; and gif thairefter supposed to be correctly reported. We that they be found agane that they be shall be glad if any of our learned hangit.' -“ And that it may be knawin readers can help us to trace their ety- quhat maner of personis ar meanit to mology.
be strang and idle beggaris, and vagaIt affords a striking evidence of the boundis, and worthie of the pwnishaddress of these audacious vagrants, ment before specifiit, it is declairit, and of the ignorance of the times, to that all ydle personis ganging about in find two of our sovereigns imposed ony cuntrie of this realme, vsing subupon by this gypsey chieftain's story, till, crafty, and vnlauchfull playis, as about his band' and heretage.' juglarie, fast and lowis, and sic vthers; This was at least 120 years after the the idle people calling thame selffis Efirst arrival of these hordes in Europe. gyptianis, or ony viheris that fenzies
We hear no more of the return of thame selffis to have knawledge of proEarl John and his company to 'thair phecie, charmeing, or vtheris abusit awin cuntre.'
sciences, quhairby they persuaid the In the following year (1554), “ An- people that they can tell their weardis dro Faw, capitane of the Egiptianis," deathis, and fortunes, and sic vther and twelve of his gang, specified by fantasticall imaginationes ;"_" and name, obtained a remission for “ the all menstrallis, sangstaris, and tailtellslauchter of Niniane Smaill, comittit aris, not avouit in speciall service be within the toune of Lyntoune, in-the sum of the lordis of parliament, or moneth of March last bypast, vpoun greit barronis, or be the heid burrowis suddantie.'
and cities, for thair commoun mensThe gypsies appear to have kept trallis;"_" all vagabund scholaris of their quarters in the country without the vniuersities of Sanctandrois, Glasfurther molestation for the next twen- gw, and Abirdene, not licencit be the ty-five years; and their enormities, as rector and deane of facultie. to ask well as their numbers, it would seem, almous,” &c. &c. * had greatly increased during the long This statute was repeatedly renewed, political and religious struggles that and strengthened with additional occupied the greater part of Mary's clauses, during the twenty-five years disastrous reign. At length, in 1579, ensuing, “anent the counterfaict Egypthe government found it necessary to tianis ;" +-all which, however, proved adopt the most rigorous methods to so utterly ineffectual in restraining the repress the innumerableswarm of strol- crimes and depredations of these banling vagabonds of every description, ditti, that in 1603, the Lords of Privy who had overspread the kingdom. A Council judged it expedient to issue a new statute was enacted by parliament, decree and proclamation, banishing “ For pwnishment of the strang and the whole race out of Scotland for ever, ydle beggaris, and relief of the puir under the severest penalties. This and impotent.” In the comprehen- edict is not extant, (that part of the sive provisions of this act, we find record which contained it being lost), bards, minstrels, and vagabond scholars, but it was ratified and enforced in 1609, (lachrymabile dictu !) conjoined in ignominious fellowship with the Egyptian
Acta Parl. vol. iii. p. 139.
t. Acta Parl, vol. iii. p. 576. vol. iv. pr. Regist. Secreti Sigilli, vol. xxvii. fol. 3 36.