Zincali - An Account of the Gypsies in Spain
by George Borrow
The English writer and traveler led a nomadic life in England and on the Continent, where he was a translator and agent for the British and Foreign Bible Society. His friendship with the Gypsies, whose language he learned, resulted in "The Zincali, the Gypsies of Spain" (1841).
"One fact has always struck us with particular force in the history of these people, namely, that Gitanismo—which means Gypsy villainy of every description—flourished and knew nothing of decay so long as the laws recommended and enjoined measures the most harsh and severe for the suppression of the Gypsy sect; the palmy days of Gitanismo were those in which the caste was proscribed, and its members, in the event of renouncing their Gypsy habits, had nothing farther to expect than the occupation of tilling the earth, a dull hopeless toil; then it was that the Gitános paid tribute to the inferior ministers of justice, and were engaged in illicit connection with those of higher station and by such means baffled the law, whose vengeance rarely fell upon their heads; and then it was that they bid it open defiance, retiring to the deserts and mountains, and living in wild independence by rapine and shedding of blood; for as the law then stood they would lose all by resigning their Gitanismo, whereas by clinging to it they lived either in the independence so dear to them, or beneath the protection of their confederates. It would appear that in proportion as the law was harsh and severe, so was the Gitáno bold and secure."
Zincali, G. Borrow
15 x 21 cm, 370 pgs
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