**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


No. 130 [Gypsies — from The Spectator]
by [?]

As we were riding away, Sir ROGER told me, that he knew several sensible People who believed these Gypsies now and then foretold very strange things; and for half an Hour together appeared more jocund than ordinary. In the Height of his good-Humour, meeting a common Beggar upon the Road who was no Conjurer, as he went to relieve him he found his Pocket was picked: That being a Kind of Palmistry at which this Race of Vermin are very dextrous.

I might here entertain my Reader with Historical Remarks on this idle profligate People, [who [3]] infest all the Countries of Europe, and live in the midst of Governments in a kind of Commonwealth by themselves. But instead of entering into Observations of this Nature, I shall fill the remaining Part of my Paper with a Story [which [4]] is still fresh in Holland, and was printed in one of our Monthly Accounts about twenty Years ago.

‘As the Trekschuyt, or Hackney-boat, which carries Passengers from Leyden to Amsterdam, was putting off, a Boy running along the [Side [5]] of the Canal desired to be taken in; which the Master of the Boat refused, because the Lad had not quite Money enough to pay the usual Fare. An eminent Merchant being pleased with the Looks of the Boy, and secretly touched with Compassion towards him, paid the Money for him, [6] and ordered him to be taken on board. Upon talking with him afterwards, he found that he could speak readily in three or four Languages, and learned upon farther Examination that he had been stoln away when he was a Child by a Gypsie, and had rambled ever since with a Gang of those Strollers up and down several Parts of Europe. It happened that the Merchant, whose Heart seems to have inclined towards the Boy by a secret kind of Instinct, had himself lost a Child some Years before. The Parents, after a long Search for him, gave him for drowned in one of the Canals with which that Country abounds; and the Mother was so afflicted at the Loss of a fine Boy, who was her only Son, that she died for Grief of it. Upon laying together all Particulars, and examining the several Moles and Marks [by] which the Mother used to describe the Child [when [7]] he was first missing, the Boy proved to be the Son of the Merchant whose Heart had so unaccountably melted at the Sight of him. The Lad was very well pleased to find a Father [who [8]] was so rich, and likely to leave him a good Estate; the Father on the other hand was not a little delighted to see a Son return to him, whom he had given for lost, with such a Strength of Constitution, Sharpness of Understanding, and Skill in Languages.’

Here the printed Story leaves off; but if I may give credit to Reports, our Linguist having received such extraordinary Rudiments towards a good Education, was afterwards trained up in every thing that becomes a Gentleman; wearing off by little and little all the vicious Habits and Practises that he had been used to in the Course of his Peregrinations: Nay, it is said, that he has since been employed in foreign Courts upon National Business, with great Reputation to himself and Honour to [those who sent him, [9]] and that he has visited several Countries as a publick Minister, in which he formerly wander’d as a Gypsie.


[Footnote 1: that]

[Footnote 2: that]

[Footnote 3: that]

[Footnote 4: that]

[Footnote 5: Sides]

[Footnote 6: About three pence.]

[Footnote 7: by when]

[Footnote 8: that]

[Footnote 9: his Country]