« ПредишнаНапред »
to his more prosperous relative when he | unravel it to the satisfaction of them. fell into trouble? [!] Quite recently selves and others. Such people I also it has been discovered that between would refer to Simson's History of October, 1581, and January, 1645, the the Gipsies, edited by myself, and name of Bunnion or Bunion occurs no less than sixteen times in the register published by Sampson Low & Co., of the parish church at Wootton, a vil- in 1865; a work of 575 pp., conlage three or four miles from Elstow. taining a minute index of all the There can be little doubt that these dif- information to be found in it. In ferent modes of spelling are simply vari- the ordinary course of things, what ations of the same name, and their long is contained in this work would be existence in the county effectually dis commented on, admitted or rejectposes of the supposition that the Bun
ed, so far as current ideas are conyans were Gipsies.”
cerned, and taken as the basis of From the above-mentioned no- future investigations. But the writices of the Gipsies, as well as others ters alluded to have apparently scattered of late through Notes and either never seen or heard of the Queries, it does not appear that the book; and are therefore not read writers have made any real inqui- up” on the subject they discuss; or ries in regard to the subject, but they purposely ignore it, and so merely to have set out with precon- raise the question whether they are ceived ideas, popular impressions, merely treating the subject to make or suppositions and theories, and a paragraph or maintain a theory. made their remarks dovetail into And that applies more particularly them. Now, what is wanted is a to the fact of Bynnion, Bunnyon, carefully considered investigation, Bonyon, Bunnion or Bunion being starting from certain facts connected a name not uncommon, in the sevenwith the Gipsies, as they exist, such teenth century, in Bedfordshire.
Hence the two writers specially al“ ist. What constitutes a Gipsy in a
luded to conclude in triumph, and settled or unsettled state? 2d. What perhaps with a flourish of trumpets, should we ask a Gipsy to do to cease that John Bunyan could not possito be a Gipsy,' and become more bly have been a Gipsy, for the reaa native of the country of his birth son that others of the British race than he is already? 3d. In what rela
were of the same name! and, as a tion does the race stand to others around
corollary, that no one bearing a it, with reference to intermarriage and
British name can,
under the destiny of the mixed progeny, and
any circumthat of the tribe generally?-An inves- stances, be a Gipsy! The two gentigation of this kind would involve a
tlemen mentioned seem to know search for so many facts, however diffi- very little, if anything, of the subcult of being found; and should be con-ject, and should have exhausted ducted as.... a fact is proved in a court every source of information, and of justice ; difficulties, suppositions or looked at every side of the question, theories, [or analogies) not being allowed before so dogmatically asserting that to form part of the testimony.”—Con- they“ do away with the supposition tributions, p. 134.
of those who think that John Bunyan Many who take an interest in this may have had Gipsy blood in his subject, and are doubtless desirous veins;" that “the idea of Bunyan of getting to the bottom of it, and being of Gipsy race, is totally dislearning most of the facts of it, may countenanced,” and that the long not have the time or opportunities existence of the name in the county, to investigate it; or they may not "effectually disposes of the suppohave the talents suitable for the busi- sition that the Bunyans were Gipness, or may find it difficult to get sies." hold of the thread of it, so as to The question is, When, and for
what purpose, and under what cir- | very fully reviewed-all parties incumstances, did the Gipsies assume quiring about the Gipsies and John the Christian and surnames of Great Bunyan are referred. Britain and Europe generally? The The discovery of Bunyan (with a natural answer is that it was to pro- variety in the spelling), having been tect themselves against the severity the name of native families, is inof the laws passed against them. A teresting, and shows how superficial tribal tradition (as distinguished previous inquiries must have been. from a private family one) on a sub- I was under the impression that the ject of that kind would be easily Bunyan family had brought it into and accurately handed down from England with them; but admitting so recent a time as Henry VIII. that it was assumed by them, it still and Elizabeth. Now, the tradition holds good that among all the British Gipsies is that their British names were origi- of common English blood in Bunyan's
Very likely there was not a drop nally assumed from those of people veins. John Bunyan belongs to the of influence, among whom the tribe world at large, and England is only settled, as they scattered over the entitled to the credit of the formation country, and had districts assigned of his character."— Contributions, p. to them, under chieftains, with a
159. king over all, and tokens or passes The name of Bunyan having been to keep each in his district, or from borne by native families would not, infringing on the rights of other under any circumstances, even families. All that is fully explained make it probable that John Bunyan in Simson's History of the Gipsies was not a Gipsy, for there is a great (pp. 116, 117, 205, and 218), where variety of native names among the will also be found (p. 206) the fancy race. Had he belonged to the the tribe have always had for term- native race, he could have said that ing themselves “braziers,” and hav- he was, in all probability, of a “fine ing the word put on their tomb- old Saxon family in reduced circumstones. And how a person can, in stances, related to a baronet and the most important sense of the many respectable families.” In word, be a Gipsy, with blue eyes place of that he said :and fair hair, as well as black, no matter what his character or habits, known to many, of a low and incon
" For my descent, it was, as is well calling or creed may be, is also siderable generation, my father's house very elaborately explained in the being of that rank that is meanest and same work. And that anticipated most despised of all the families of the Mr. James Wyatt, who said, in land.' Notes and Queries, on the 2d Janu At this time it was death by law ary last, that John Bunyan could for being a Gipsy, and “felony not have been a Gipsy, owing to without benefit of clergy” for ashis personal appearance, as he was sociating with them, and odious to
“Tall of stature, strong-boned, with the rest of the population. Besides sparkling eyes, wearing his hair on the telling us that his descent was upper lip after the old British fashion, his hair reddish, but in his latter days ed :
well known to many,” he addsprinkled with grey; his nose well cut, his mouth not too large, his forehead “Another thought came into my something high, and his habit always mind, and that was, whether we [his plain and modest."
family and relations] were of the Israel
ites or no; for finding in the Scriptures To the History of the Gipsies, and that they were once the peculiar people to the forthcoming Contributions of God, thought I, if I were one of this in both of which Mr. Borrow is ! race [how significant is the expression !!
my soul must needs be happy. Now, | in answer to his inquiry, copies of again, I found within me a great long- inscriptions on two Gipsy tombing to be resolved about this question; stones, in the cemetery of Grove last I asked my father of it, who told Church, in North Bergen township, me, No, we [his father included] were on the edge of Union Hill, in New not."
Jersey, opposite to New York :Language like this is pregnant a weeping willow, partly covering a
Neat upright marble tablet, with with meaning when used by a man who
monument, carved on the surface : “Was simply a Gipsy of mixed
IN blood, who must have spoken the Gipsy
MEMORY OF language in great purity; for consider
NAOMI DAVIS, ing the extent to which it is spoken in WHO DIED MARCH 4, 1855, England to-day, we can well believe
AGED 22 YEARS. that it was very pure two centuries ago, and that Bunyan might have written Farewell father, mother, husband and works even in that language.”—Contributions, p. 159.—" It would be interest- Don't weep for me although I am gone; ing to have an argument in favour of Don't weep for me, nor neither cry, the common native hypothesis.
I trust to meet my God on high. In the face of what Bunyan said of him
“The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh self, it is very unreasonable to hold that Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
away, he was not a Gipsy, but a common native, when the assumption is all the
On a smaller upright marble monLet neither, however, be assumed, but let an argument in favour
ument, within the enclosure, formed of both be placed alongside of the other by a chain and marble supports, a to see how the case would look."- 1b., little out of order, there is the follow
ing, to the memory of her sister :: In the forthcoming Contributions VASHTI, WIFE OF T. WORTON, DIED an effort is made to have the sub
Nov. 26, 1851, Æ. 26 YR. ject of the Gipsies placed on a right foundation, and the race, in
This family and some of their its various mixtures of blood and connections I was well acquainted positions in life, openly acknowl- with. I found them of various edged by the world; John Bunyan mixtures of blood; some with the taking his place “as the first (that Gipsy features and colour strongly is known to the world) of eminent marked, and others bearing no reGipsies, the prince of allegorists, semblance to the tribe. They all and one of the most remarkable spoke the language. One of the of men and Christians.
sons-in-law was a half-caste Scotch The remarks I have made about
Hindoo from Bombay.
They did two writers in particular are not not have much education, but were altogether inapplicable to Mr. A. naturally intelligent, and smart and Fergusson, United Service Club, 'cute.* Edinburgh, who wrote thus, in
In addition to the investigations Notes and Queries, on 19th Decem- made in church registers, I would ber, 1874, on “Gipsy Christian suggest that the records of the differnames and tombs":
ent criminal courts in Bedfordshire, “The ideas of most people, however, ined, to find if people of the name
(if they still exist) should be examon the subject, derived chiefly from sensational novels and the mystified tales of Bunyan (and how designated of George Borrow, are, I imagine, still are found to have been on trial, and rather hazy."
for what offences. However, I give him, as follows, * This was an English Gipsy family.
II.--MR. FRANK BUCKLAND AND WHITE OF SEL
N looking over Mr. Buckland's so many intelligent people maintain
edition of White's Natural it as a fact personally known to History of Selborne, I find some themselves. The course adopted strange remarks made by him on by him was not for want of informathe question alluded to by White, tion, for (not to speak of many whether vipers, on the approach of others) he had a number of articles danger, swallow their young. White from myself in Land and Water, himself was the very embodiment and others, in his possession for of dignity and simplicity, candour several months, which did not apand courtesy, and was open to con- pear in that journal, but which were viction on every question relating again laid before him in a work to natural history, let the informa- published last year under the title tion come from whatever direction of Contributions to Natural History, it might. Thus he said: and Papers on other Subjects. In
that work I said, in regard to snakes "Monographers, come from whence swallowing their young, that they may, have, I think, fair pretence to challenge some regard and approbation
“I consider the testimony so comfrom the lovers of natural history.” | plete that nothing could be added to it, “Men that undertake only one district although it would be very interesting to are much more likely to advance natural have a careful examination of the anaknowledge than those that grasp at tomy of the snake to ascertain the phymore than they can possibly be ac- sical peculiarities connected with the quainted with.' “Candour forbids me phenomenon described” (p. 3). to say absolutely that any fact is false “As in mathematics we require to because I have never been witness to know some things to demonstrate such a fact."
others; so in snakes swallowing their
young it is not necessary for a man of Mr. Buckland, when discussing science or common sense, if he will but the question, should have presented exercise it, to see it done in order to in a condensed form the proand con believe it; but when ocular testimony is of it , and given his own conclusion, yond all doubt. The next thing to be
added, it sets the question at rest beso that the reader could have considered is the anatomy of the snake formed an estimate of his judgment immediately after the birth of her and of the subject generally. In progeny; but that could not be so easily place of that, he has not, even in ascertained as that she swallows them the most distant manner, alluded to (p. 38). the affirmative side of the question,
"I am not aware of the throat of a nor suggested how the idea could snake having been examined to see
whether it could allow an instant pashave arisen, or how it happens that
sage for her young: . . If a throat
were examined, it should be that of a * This and the following article were of. have swallowed her progeny” (p. 26).
snake that was alleged or supposed to fered, pasuccessfully, to some English " It will be difficult to find this passage publications. I give them in the original unless when it is in use, for it will beform, that they may carry more weight, or be more interesting, than if they had been
come so contracted at other times as to specially got up for the use they are now escape any observation that is not very put to, although they will present the ap- minutely made” (p. 36). pearance of a repetition of some of the ideas and facts given.
That evidence I have not seen
impeached by any one. Part of it from the covering after it has consisted of a paper read by Pro- touched the ground, how can he fessor G. Brown Goode, of the Uni- find a viper full of young, upwards versity of Middletown, Connecticut, of seven inches long, and so active before the Science Convention at as to instantly fight or run, unless Portland, in the State of Maine, in they afterwards entered her by the 1873, which furnished evidence from mouth ? Like Mr. Davy, the birdnearly a hundred people from many man, he will doubtless scratch his parts of the United States; several head and cry, “ Old Mother Hubgentlemen present testifying of their bard!” Most likely both gentleown knowledge to the fact of snakes men's knowledge is limited to their swallowing their young, particularly own observations, and, like such Professor Sydney J. Smith, of the people generally, they are poor Sheffield Scientific School, Yale judges of what has been observed College, who “added to the testi- by others under different circummony of the paper his personal evi- stances. Thus Mr. Holland condence, that he had seen with his cludes that vipers do not, and thereown eyes' young snakes entering fore cannot, swallow their young and issuing from the mouth of an while in a state of nature, because older one.
they do not do it while in captivity Mr. Buckland brings forward no -a most illogical conclusion. His evidence whatever in support of vipers have either been born in himself and his friends as “anti- captivity, or become reconciled to swallowers.” What he says amounts it through time, so that their house, virtually to this, that what he and cage, or den is the only place of they do not know, or do not under- safety they know of. And for what stand, has no existence in fact! purpose would a viper swallow her The twelve verses of the song, to young under these circumstances ? the tune of Lord Lovel, composed It could not be to carry them anyby Mr. Henry Lee, in connection where, or shield them from the with himself and Mr. Higford Burr, weather, or protect them against in attempted derision of “swallow- danger that was avoidable; the last ers," has no bearing on the ques- being the reason always given by tion at issue. He, indeed, advances people who have seen the phenomeMr. Davy, the bird-catcher and non. This I explained in Land dealer, who and whose employès and Water, when I also met the never saw a viper swallow her objection of the viper-catchers. young, and therefore pronounce the It would be interesting to be told idea a
story of Old Mother Hub- by Mr. Buckland how viviparous bard!" He also quotes Mr. Hol- snakes are actually born. He cuts land, the keeper of the snakes at open a viper, and finds inside a the Zoological Gardens, who never string or necklace of eggs about an saw it done in his collection of inch in length. Further on in the snakes; from which Mr. Buckland season he cuts open another viper, infers that the idea is a romance. I and finds the same number (as it attach no weight to what Mr. Davy may be) of young, upwards of seven says; but Mr. Holland is entitled inches long, complete and active to a particular notice. I would ask snakes, lying all sorts of ways, with him if he knows for certainty how no remains of the eggs. vipers are born. If he finds that that these have not yet been born; the mother passes the young in the whereas, in fact, they had previously shape of an egg or ball, about the been born in the way described, size of a blackbird's egg, when they and had returned to the same chamimmediately disengage themselves ber by the mouth. An assumption