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peculiar fashion, and a long staff near- this manner-and whether it was an ly as tall as herself. I remember her imaginary resemblance I know notwell ;-- every week she paid my father but the first time I listened to Hina visit for her almous, when I was a dhustanee spoken fluently, it reminded little boy, and I looked upon Madge me of the colloquies of the Yetholm with no cominon degree of awe and gypsies.” terror. When she spoke vehemently On the subject of the gypsey lan(for she had many complaints) she used guage, our readers will remark á curito strike her staff upon the floor, and ous coincidence between the observathrow herself into an attitude which tion just quoted, and the first of the it was impossible to regard with indif- following anecdotes, which we are en ference. She used to say that she abled to state upon the authority and could bring from the remotest parts of in the words of Mr Walter Scott the island,
friends to revenge her quar- gentleman to whose distinguished asrel, while she sat motionless in her sistance and advice we have been on cottage ; and she frequently boasted the present occasion very peculiarly that there was a time when she was indebted, and who has not only furof considerable importance, for there nished us with many interesting parwere at her wedding fifty saddled ticulars himself, but has also obligasses, and unsaddled asses without ingly directed us to other sources of number. If Jean Gordon was the curious information :prototype of the character of Meg " Whether the Yetholm gypsies Merrilies, I imagine Madge must have have a separate language or not, I imsat to the unknown author as the re- agine might be ascertained, though presentative of her person.
those vagrants always reckon this ao “ I have ever understood,” says the mong their arcana majora. A lady same correspondent, speaking of the who had been in India addressed some Yetholm gypsies, “ that they are ex- gypsies in the Hindhustanee language, tremely superstitious-carefully notic- from the received opinion that it is siing the formation of the clouds, the milar to their own. They did not apflight of particular birds, and the parently understand her, but were exsoughing of the winds, before attempt- tremely incensed at what they coning any enterprise. They have been ceived a mockery; so it is probable the known for several successive days to sound of the language had an affinity turn back with their loaded carts, to that of their own. asses, and children, upon meeting with “Of the Highland gypsies I had the persons whom they considered of un- following account from a person of oblucky aspect; nor do they ever pro- servation, and highly worthy of credit. ceed upon their summer peregrinations There are many settled in Kintyre, who without some propitious omen of their travel through the highlands and lowfortunate return. They also burn the lands annually. They frequently take clothes of their dead, not so much their route through the passes of Loch from any apprehension of infection Katrine, where they are often to be met being communicated by them, as the with. They certainly speak among conviction that the very circumstance themselves a language totally distinct of wearing them would shorten the from either Gaelic or Lowland Scotch. days of the living. They likewise A family having settled near my incarefully watch the corpse by night former for a few days, he wormed some and day till the time of interment, of the words out of a boy of about and conceive that the deil tinkles twelve years old, who communicate: at the lykewake' of those who felt in them with the utmost reluctance, say, their dead thraw the agonies and ter- ing, his grandfather would kill him if rors of reinorse. I am rather uncer he knew of his teaching any one their tain about the nature of their separate speech. One of the sentences my inlanguage. They certainly do frequente former remembered it sounded like ly converse in such a way as complete- no language I ever heard, and I am ly to conceal their meaning from other certain it has no affinity with any people; but it seems doubtful whe branch of the Gothic or Celtic dialects. ther the jargon they use, on such oc I omitted to write the words down, casions, be not a mere slang invented but they signified, 'I will stick my for very obvious purposes. I recollect knife into you, you black son of a of having heard them conversing in devil-a gypsey-like exclamation. My VOL. I.
informer believed that many crimes travellers have related of them, from and even murders were committed a their first appearance in Europe down mong them, which escaped the cogni to our own times. He has also taken zance of the ordinary police ; the se- great pains to procure information reclusion of their habits, and the solitary specting their present state in Britain paths which they chose, as well as the by sending circular queries to the insignificance of their persons, with- chief provincial magistrates, and by drawing them from the ordinary in- personally visiting several of their enspection and attention of the magis , campments—for the purpose of setting trate.
on foot some plan for their improve“ The Scottish lowland gypsies have ment and civilization. Mr Hoyland, not in general so atrocious a character, we understand, is a member of the rebut are always poachers, robbers of spectable society of Friends or Quakers hen-roosts, black-fishers, stealers of — whose disinterested and unwearied wood, &c. and in that respect incon- exertions in the cause of injured huvenient neighbours. A gang of them, manity are above all praise. It is Faas and Baillies, lately fought á enough to say of the present object, skirmish with the Duke of Buc- that it is not unworthy of that Chriscleuch’s people and some officers of tian philanthropy which accomplished mine, in which a fish-spear was driven the abolition of the slave trade. We into the thigh of one of the game- shall account ourselves peculiarly hapkeepers.
py, should our humble endeavours in " A lady of rank, who has resided any degree tend to promote Mr H.'s some time in India, lately informed me, benevolent purpose, by attracting pubthat the gypsies are to be found there lic attention to this degraded race of in the same way as in England, and outcasts—the Parias of Europe practise the same arts of posture-mak- thousands of whom still exist in Briing and tumbling, fortune-telling, tain, in a state of barbarism and stealing, and so forth. The Indian wretchedness scarcely equalled by that gypsies are called Nuts, or Bazeegurs, of their brethren in India.-From and are believed by many to be the re- such of our readers as may have had mains of an original race, prior even opportunities of observing the manto the Hindhus, and who have never ners, or investigating the origin and adopted the worship of Bramah. They peculiar dialect of this singular peoare entirely different from the Parias, ple, we respectfully invite communiwho are Hindhus that have lost caste's cations. Even solitary or seemingly and so become degraded.
trivial notices on such a subject ought There is a very curious essay con- not to be neglected : though singly cerning the Nuts in the seventh unimportant, they may lead collecvolume of the Asiatic Researches, tively to valuable results. But we need which contains some interesting ob- not multiply observations on this point servations on the origin and lan- -since our idea is already so well exguage of the European gypsies. But pressed in the following extract from we have been tempted to extend this the same valuable communication which article already far beyond the li- we last quoted.—“ I have always conmits we propose usually to allot to any sidered,” says Mr Scott, “ as a very subject in the course of a single curious phenomenon in Society, the Nuinber; and though we have still existence of those wandering tribes, many curious particulars to detail, we having nearly the same manners and find these must necessarily be de- habits in all the nations of Europe, layed till our next appearance. We and mingling everywhere with civil cannot, however, quit this subject society without ever becoming amalfor the present without noticing with gamated with it. It has been hitherto particular approbation a little work found difficult to trace their origin, lately published by Mr Hoyland of perhaps because there is not a suffiSheffield, entitled, A Historical Sur- cient number of facts to go upon. I vey of the Customs, Habits, and pre- have not spared you such as I have sent State of the Gypsies; designed to heard or observed, though many are develope the origin of this singular trivial: if others who have better oppeople, and to promote the ameliora- portunities would do the same, some tion of their condition.”—The author general conclusions might result from has industriously collected the sub- the whole.” stance of what previous historians or
(To be continued.)
JOURNEY TO THE
COLONEL BEAUFOY's mouni, accompanied by a guide who
was skilled in the passes, and availing himself of the knowledge of the route
which had been acquired by the atCOLONEL BEAUFOY, a philosopher tempts of former travellers, succeeded, of considerable eminence, has lately after many discouraging accidents, in published, in the Annals of Philosophy actually gaining the summit of the (No 50, Feb. 1817,) an interesting mountain.--The travellers remained account of a journey which he made about half an hour on a spot which to the summit of Mount Blanc in the had never probably been trod by any month of August of the year 1787. human foot, and where the cold was From about the year 1776, various so intense as not only to freeze the unsuccessful attempts had been made, provisions and ink which they carried by different adventurers, to reach the along with them, but also to affect summit of this stupendous mountain. their own bodies with several very
- The first of these attempts was made unpleasant and dangerous symptoms. in that year by M. Couteran, accom The success of this expedition of Dr panied by three guides from the neigh- Paccard appears to have encouraged bouring valley. After travelling four Saussure to a second attempt; and, teen hours, during which they had accordingly, on the 14th of August made their way over many of the most 1787, he succeeded in conveying to, hazardous and fatiguing parts of the the top of the mountain a pretty large ascent, they arrived at the eminence assortment of philosophical instrunext to mount Blanc, at about 13,000 ments, and of other conveniencies for feet above the Mediterranean ; but the success of the expedition. He reperceiving that four hours would still mained on the summit of the mountain be necessary to accomplish their enter- four hours, enjoying the satisfaction prise, that the day was far advanced, of a most extensive prospect, and and that clouds were beginning to en- diligently employing this favourable velope the summit, they were obliged, opportunity in the performance of sevwith much regret, to give up the pro- eral interesting and instructive experiject they had so nearly accomplished. ments. At this vast elevation, of some
- The next attempt was made in Sep thing more than 15,000 feet above the tember of the year 1784, by M. Bour- level of the sea, respiration was very rit, accompanied by six guides ; but sensibly affectedma burning thirst he was so affected by the intensity of seemed almost to parch the skin, and the cold, when he had very nearly ac a particular aversion was at the same complished the object of his journey, time felt for every kind of spirituous that he found it to be a matter of ab- liquors—the only alleviation which solute necessity to relinquish any hope the sensations of the travellers admitof making farther progress.- In the ted, being that derived from copious following year, 1785, Marie Coutet and repeated draughts of fresh water. and James Balma reached a sheltered It will be seen in the sequel, that preplace at a very considerable elevation, cisely the same effects were experienwhere they passed the night, and were ced in the subsequent ascent which we afterwards proceeding towards the are about to consider. summit of the mountain, when a vio The expedition of Col. Beaufoy was lent storm of hail obliged them to de- the third successful attempt to gain sist. On the 13th of the same month, the summit of the mountain. It was Saussure and Bourrit, with twelve undertaken only five days after that of guides, after having advanced about M. Saussure, which we have now re7808 feet above the level of the sea, lated ; and to a few extracts from the were also prevented by a fall of snow Colonel's paper, comprehending what from accomplishing their design.-At seems most remarkable in the journey, last, on the 8th of August of the year we shall now direct the attention of 1786, Dr Paccard, a physician of Cha
After detailing the preparations he the clearness of the air was such, as had made for the successful prosecu led me to think that Jupiter's satellites tion of his journey, and giving an ac- might be distinguished by the naked count of his progress during the first eye; and had he not been in the five hours after his departure, by neighbourhood of the moon, I might which time he had arrived at the se- possibly have succeeded. He continucond glaciere, called the Glaciere de ed distinctly visible for several hours la Cote, the Colonel thus continues his after the sun was risen, and did not narrative : “Our dinner being finish- wholly disappear till almost eight.” ed, we fixed our cramp irons to our With the morning dawn the comshoes, and began to cross the glaciere; pany proceeded on their expedition; but we had not proceeded far, when and the following passage will convey we discovered that the frozen snow a very distinct idea of the dangers and which lay in the ridges between the horrors to which this journey is exwaves of ice, often concealed, with a posed." Our route was across the covering of uncertain strength, the snow; but the chasms which the ice fathomless chasms which traverse this beneath had formed, though less nusolid sea; yet the danger was soon in merous than those that we had passed a great degree removed, by the expe on the preceding day, embarrassed our dient of tying ourselves together with ascent. One in particular had opened our long rope, which, being fastened so much in the few days that interat proper distances to our waists, se vened between M. De Saussure's excured from the principal hazard such pedition and our own, as for the time as might fall within the opening of to bar the hope of any further prothe gulf. Trusting to the same pre- gress; but at length, after having caution, we also crossed upon our lad- wandered with much anxiety along its der, without apprehension, such of the bank, I found a place which I hoped chasms as were exposed to view ; and the ladder was sufficiently long to cross. sometimes stopping in the middle of The ladder was accordingly laid down, the ladder, looked down in safety up- and was seen to rest upon the opposite on an abyss which baffled the reach of edge, but its bearing did not exceed vision, and from which the sound of an inch on either side. We now conthe masses of ice, that we repeatedly sidered, that should we pass the chasm, let fall, in no instance ascended to the and should its opening, which had en
In some places we were obliged larged so much in the course of a few to cut footsteps with our hatchet; yet preceding days, increase in the least on the whole the difficulties were far degree before the time of our descent, from great, for in two hours and a half no chance of return remained. We alwe had passed the glaciere. We now, so considered, that if the clouds, which with more ease and much more expe so often envelope the hill, should rise, dition, pursued our way, having only the hope of finding, amidst the thick snow to cross; and in two hours ar fog, our way back to this only place rived at a hut, which had been erected in which the gulf, even in its present in the year 1756 by the order and at state, was passable, was little less than the expense of M. de Saussure.” desperate. Yet after a monient's pajise
At this hut the travellers slept; and the guides consented to go with me, the following is a very striking account and we crossed the chasm. We had of the night scene which was observed not proceeded far, when the thirst, at this elevated station : " At two which, since our arrival in the upper o'clock I threw aside my blankets, and regions of the air, had been always went out of the hut to observe the ap troublesome, became almost intolerapearance of the heavens. The stars ble. No sooner had I drank than the shone with a lustre that far exceeded thirst returned, and in a few minutes the brightness which they exhibit my throat became perfectly dry. As when seen from the usual level; and gain I had recourse to the water, and had so little tremor in their light, as again my throat was parcherl. The air to leave no doubt on my mind, that itself was thirsty : its extreme of if viewed from the summit of the dryness had robbed my body of its mountain, they would have appeared moisture." as fixed points. How improved in After surmounting a succession of those altitudes would be the aids which similar dangers, and continuing to exthe telescope gives to vision !-indeed perience the same disheartening sensa
ACCOUNT OF THE REMARKABLE CASE
tions, the company at length arrived so remarkably fine, that I could not at about 150 fathoms below the level
discover in any part of the heavens the of the summit. Their feelings at this appearance of a single cloud.” moment are well depicted in the fol In this expedition the latitude of lowing passage. “ The pernicious ef Mount Blanc was very accurately defects of the thinness of the air were termined, and some experiments were now evident on us all : a desire, almost also made respecting the power of a irresistible, of sleep came on. My burning-glass at the summit of the spirits had left me : sometimes, indif
mountain, compared with its effect in ferent as to the event, I wished to lie the vale of Chamouni. The chief indown; at others I blamed myself for terest of the narrative, however, is dethe expedition; and, though just at the rived from the information which it summit, had thoughts of turning back communicates respecting the dangers without accomplishing my purpose. of the journey itself, and from the Of my guides many were in a worse corroboration it has given to the testisituation ; for, exhausted by excessive mony of other travellers respecting the vomiting, they seemed to have lost all effect produced upon the human body strength, both of mind and body. But in such elevated situations. We do shame at length came to our relief. I not know that any account has yet drank the last pint of water that was been published of the attempts which left, and found myself amazingly re- have been made, subsequent to that freshed — My lungs with difficulty of Colonel Beaufoy, to accomplish the performed their office, and my heart same journey, - but we have reason to was affected with violent palpitation. believe, that of late years the summit At last, however, but with a sort of of the mountain has been frequently apathy which scarcely admitted the gained. sense of joy, we reached the summit of the mountain ; when six of my guides, and with them my servant, threw themselves on their faces, and
OF MARGARET LYALL, were immediately asleep.”
Who continued in a State of Sleep We have only room for one other
nearly Six Weeks. extract, in which an account is given of the effect produced upon the mind By the Rev. JAMES BREWSTER, Miof the spectator by the view from the
nister of Craig vast height to which the travellers had
(From the Transactions of the Royal Society attained. " When the spectator he of Edinburgh. Read Feb. 19, 1816.) gins to look round him from this elevated height, a confused impression of
Manse of Craig, Feb. 19, 1816. immensity is the first effect produced MY DEAR BROTHER, upon his mind; but the blue colour, The enclosed account was drawn deep almost to blackness, of the canopy up at the request of Robert Græme, above him, soon arrests his attention. Esq. when all the circumstances were He next surveys the mountains, many fresh in my own recollection, and that of which, from the clearness of the air, of all with whom I had occasion to are to his eye within a stone's throw confer on the subject. Since you refrom him; and even those of Lombardy quested me to send you a correct copy seem to approach his neighbourhood : of the whole case, I have renewed my while, on the other side, the vale of inquiries among the friends of the Chamouni, glittering with the sun young woman, and submitted my acbeams, is to the view directly below count to several persons, who were his feet, and affects his head with gid- most capable of supplying any omisdiness. On the other hand, all objects, sions, or correcting any mistakes. I of which the distance is great and the can confidently vouch for the general level low, are hid from his eye by the accuracy of the statement, but would blue vapour which intervenes, and not wish its credibility to rest entirely through which I could not discern the on my single testimony. I have thereLake of Geneva, though, at the height fore procured the signature of the of 15,700 English feet, which, accord- young woman's father, and of several ing to Saussure, was the level on which gentlemen, with whom you are more I stood ; even the Mediterranean sea or less acquainted, and who frequently must have been within the line of saw her during her illness. The acyision. The air was still, and the day count of her recovery, on the 8th of