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coalescence with our favourite authors, and depending on so many tutelary the solemn announcement,
sources, as the Bible or Missionary shalt thou come, but no farther,” must Society, can remain stationary. It be distinctly recognised and attended must either take a progressive or a reto. Now these are precisely what we trograde movement ; and the impulse conceive to be Mr Foster's sentiments communicated will be analogous to with regard to the majority of our that which is observable in all moving elegant writers. So far from thinking, bodies,--either a gradual exhaustion, with Euthus, that his essays cannot or an increased velocity. If the sobear comparison with the “ Evidences cieties that exist throughout a great of Addison,” (which is a good enough part of the civilized world were the book of its kind, though never to be effect of any capricious or indefinable brought in competition with such excitement of the passions, communitreatises as those of Clarke and Butler, cated by a kind of instantaneous imof Paley or Chalmers,) there are many pulse, they might assume, to a dis(and probably just as good judges of passionate observer, a very questionthese matters as Euthus) who consider able aspect. He might, in vindication them vastly superior, in originality of his peculiar sentiments, refer to the and grandeur of conception, to any history of mankind, and clearly estabthing ever Mr Addison produced. lish the rationality of his doubts up
After his now-refuted attack on on the subject. He might remind his Wilberforce and Foster, Euthus con- antagonist of the crusades to the Holy cludes his letter with some vague and Land, which the nobles and princes of ill-digested objections to all those as- Europe considered it not merely their sociations of Christians, whose pro- duty to patronise, but their privilege fessed object is to spread, by all the to accompany; and to shew the futimeans in their power, the light of re- lity of invariably reasoning from exvelation over the world. To vindicate perience, he might ask, if ever a coma existing societies for the diffusion of bination of concurrent circumstances, revealed religion, is become less neces- more apparently adapted to secure the sary than it was a few years ago. The object, could be presented to the mind? most successful mode of philosophis- The religious feelings, he might contiing is, doubtless, the induction of nue, were at that time not only wrought general principles from ascertained up to the highest pitch of intensity, facts; and the more numerous and but were so intimately connected with accessible these are, the more confi- the exercise of political authority, and dence we repose in the inferences that so congenial with a religion, the fulare deduced from them. The Christian minations of which could awe the world has of late been engaged in a hardiest into silence, that the very succession of experiments; and though idea of failure was little short of imoccasional failures have occurred, as piety. It is not, therefore, upon the will always happen when the applica- principle of the general support which tion of any principle requires a degree has been afforded to Bible and Misof skill superior to what is demanded sionary Societies, that we would found by objects where its efficiency is no any argument for their necessary conlonger uncertain, yet there must be tinuance. The expediency of intersome unaccountable prejudice lurking esting the community in objects of about that mind, which, so far from general benevolence; the subserviency congratulating the world upon the of such feelings to the firmer ascendtrophies which have been reared to the ancy of a particular system of politics; efficacy of the Christian religion in with many other considerations undistant lands, can apparently feel an necessary to specify, might be adduced emotion of joy at the prospect of the in support of such schemes, without most dismal calamity that can befall any explicit reference to the sanctions any age or people. Every one who of Heaven. It is but a very partial has been the least attentive to the view of the subject, in all its bearings, constitutional elements of the societies that can induce the friends of religion we allude to, cannot have failed to to rest their claims upon public supremark, that they involve whatever port, on arguments which at best are will tend ultimately either to accele- addressed to the feelings more than rate or to overthrow their object. No to the understanding:
Much good, plan so complicated in its operations, doubtless, may result from eloquent
and impassioned appeals to the bene- easy to prove what has been just advolent; and when the variety of ar- vanced. We might even argue, from guments, which the diversity of minds universally acknowledged principles, renders it expedient to employ, is con- that the more productive and permasidered, there is surely no improprietynent the benefit we confer, the subin advocating what is known to be a limer is our charity; and it would not good cause, in a manner which a phi- be difficult to show, that an object is losophic mind would intuitively de- always best attained, in proportion as clare to be inconclusive, provided truth it is removed from the operation of be not sacrificed. Comparatively few the selfish passions. Euthus has forare capable of such a concentration of gotten that we can produce the auintellect, as to distinguish what is in- thority of a writer in opposition to his herent from what is merely adventi- views of things, for whom he professtious; and, therefore, until a race of es the most cordial veneration, whose men shall arise, better fitted to under- remarks on the subject are distinguishstand and appreciate demonstrative ed by all that acuteness and depth of reasoning, there is little hope of gain- reflection which characterise his writing much ground in this way. In- ings in general. deed, it is perhaps just as well that “ I did not expect (says Dr Johnson) things continue as they are. They that it could be a question, whether any nawho knew the “reason of the hope tion, uninstructed in religion, should receive that is in them," have an evidence for instruction ; or whether that instruction the propriety of their conduct, which should be imputed to them by a translation the cold and speculative moralist may If obedience to the will of God be necessary
of the holy books into their own language. despise as the visionary impulse of a
to happiness, and knowledge of his will be feeble mind; but it is not necessary necessary to obedience, I know not how he that all men should be mere reasoners; that withholds this knowledge, or delays it, nor would we hail with much sympa- can be said to love his neighbour as himself. thy the prospect of every amiable, af- He that voluntarily continues ignorant, is fectionate, and pious daughter of sen
guilty of all the crimes which ignorance sibility, resigning her “ works of faith produces ; as to him that should extinguish and labours of love," until she had the tapers of a lighthouse, might justly be (to use the established phraseology) tianity is the highest perfection of humani
imputed the calamities of shipwrecks. Chris. made out the reasonableness of the
ty; and as no man is good but as he wishes thing. With these abatements, how the good of others, no man can be good, ever, which it is at present unneces- in the highest degree, who wishes not to sary to amplify, and which necessarily others the largest measures of the greatest result from the very condition of hu- good. To omit, for a year or for a day, the man nature, it may be remarked, that
most efficacious method of advancing Chrisall our hopes of the ultimate success
tianity, in compliance with any purposes
that terminate on this side of the grave, is of these and similar institutions, must
a crime of which I know not that the world rest upon their accordance with the
has yet had an example, except in the prac. intentions of Heaven.
“ If this coun- tice of the planters of America, a race of sel or this work be of men, it will mortals whom I suppose no other
man wishcome to nought; but if it be of God, es to resemble." -Letter to Mr Drummond. ye cannot overthrow it.” This is the
J. S. ground every ingenuous mind must occupy; for it is here the materials exist, which will render either prosperous or abortive every scheme which proposes the renovation and felicity of a human being in his connexion with
No IV. immortality. If revelation discloses the prescribed and “ exclusive mode” MR EDITOR, of restoration to purity and happiness, In my last communication on this sub—and if the same revelation has not ject, to which you forgot to affix the left the extension of its principles to date, I gave you some idea of the manarbitrary arrangements of men, but ner in which the gypsies were, from has defined and enforced the duty of their very infancy, painfully trained to imparting to others the benefits it an- theft and robbery, the leading features nounces, and the hopes it inspires, in the general character of that race; then the question is at rest. It were
and which traits will have their own
ANECDOTES OF THE FIFE GYPSIES.
weight, however light they may be, last answered him in the affirmative, when I come to speak of the origin of adding, that “ he would not deny these curious people. The following himself, his name was really Brown. particulars are descriptive of the man- He had, in all likelihood, been travelner and style in which single gypsies ling under a borrowed name. When of rank, at one period, traversed this he found himself thus discovered, and country ;-they assumed characters of detected in his impositions, and seeing no small importance, very opposite to no danger to be apprehended from this the mean and sorry appearance which accidental meeting, he very shrewdly they exhibited while they travelled in shewed great marks of kindness and hordes.
attention to his acquaintance. Being Within these forty-five years, an quite free from embarrassment, he in acquaintance of mine, yet living in a little time began to display, as was Fife, happened to be at a smithy in the gypsey custom, extraordinary feats the neighbourhood of Carlisle, getting of his bodily strength, by twisting the shoes of his riding-horse roughed asunder with his hands strong pieces on a frosty day in winter, to enable of iron in the smithy, taking bets rehim to proceed on his journey, when garding his power and abilities in these a gentleman on horseback called at the athletic practices with those who would same smithy for the like purpose. venture to wager against him. Before He was mounted on a handsome and parting with my acquaintance, he very beautiful English blood horse, which kindly insisted upon treating him with was saddled and bridled in a superior a share of a bottle of any kind of li
The equestrian was himself quor he would choose to drink. dressed in superfine clothes, having a At some wild sequestered station of riding-whip in his hand.
his own tribe, on his road home to booted and spurred, with saddle-bags Scotland, the equestrian tinkler would on his croupe behind him, and had unmask himself, pack up his fine altogether, man and horse, the equipe clothes, dispose of his riding horse, ment and appearance of a smart Eng- and assume his leathern apron, ragged lish traveller, riding on a mercantile coat, and budget, before he would ven
ture to make his appearance among the There being several horses in the people of the country who were acshop, he, in a haughty and consequen- quainted with his real character. Here tial manner, inquired at the smith at once an haughty overbearing highvery particularly about whose turn it way robber, sheathed in the scabbard of was to get his horse shod first, indi- excellent apparel, mounted on a good cating, at the same time, a strong de- steed, metamorphoses himself in an sire to be first served, although he was instant into a poor pitiful wandering the last who had arrived at the smithy. beggarly gypsey, This bold assurance made my acquaint- This ambassador or spy was at last ance take a steady look of the intru- hanged in Edinburgh, to expiate the sive stranger, surveying him with his many crimes which he had from time eye from head to foot. But what was to time committed on the public. His his astonishment, after having closely brother-in-law, of the name of Wilson, examined him, when he found this was hanged along with him on the mighty fictitious gentleman to be no same day, being also guilty of a numother than “ Sandie Brown the tinkler's ber of crimes. These two men, conson, in the neighbourhood of Crief,” junctly, carried on a considerable trade whom he had often seen strolling over in horse-stealing between Scotland and the country in a troop of gypsies, and England. The horses which were who had frequently been in his father's stolen in the south were brought to house. He could scarcely believe his Scotland and sold there ; and the own eyes, and, to prevent any dis- Scotch horses were, on the other hand, agreeable mistake from taking place, disposed of in the south, by English he politely asked him if his name was gypsies. The crime of horse-stealing, not Brown, observing, at the same I believe, has brought a great number time, that he thought he had seen him of these vagrants to an untimely end somewhere before. The surprised on the gallows. tinkler hesitated considerably at this While these unhappy men were unexpected question, but, after having shivering in the winds of Heaven in put some queries on his part, he at the convulsive throes of death, Mare
tha, the mother of the former, and his way north, a servant, who had been who was also mother-in-law to the despatched in quest of the depredator, latter, was apprehended on the spot, overtook him as he was stepping into in the act of stealing a pair of double the boat. An altercation immediately sheets. They were in all probability commenced the servant said he could intended for the winding-sheets of her swear to the ox in his possession, were unfortunate sons who were just suffer- it not for its long tail ; and was acing in her presence. This woman's cordingly proceeding to examine it looks and visage were horrible in the narrowly, to satisfy himself in this parextreme. One of her daughters, the ticular, when the ready-witted gypsey, wife of Jamie Robison, who once lived ever fertile in expedients to extricate at Menstry, was sentenced to be trans- himself from difficulty, took his knife ported to Botany Bay; but she was so out of his pocket, and, in view of all far advanced in years, that it was not present, cut the false tail from the anithought worth while to be at the ex- mal, taking in part of the real tail pence and trouble of carrying her over along with it, which drew blood inseas, and she was accordingly set at stantly. He threw this false tail into liberty. Her grandson, Joyce Ro- the sea, and, with some warmth, callbison, another thorough bred thief, ed out to his pursuer, “ Swear to the would also have been hanged or ban- ox now, and be damn'd t ye." The ished, but by the assistance of some of servant, quite confounded, said not his clan he was rescued from Stirling another word on the subject; and, jail, where he was confined. He was being thus imposed upon by this bold so cool and deliberate in his operations stroke of Brown, he returned home to in breaking the prison, that he took his master, and the unconscionable time to carry along with him a fa- tinkler prosecuted his journey with vourite bird in a cage, with which he his prize. He was, however, not alhad amused himself during his solitary ways so fortunate. Being once appreconfinement in jail. He happened, hended near Dumblane, it was the inhowever, to scatter the contents of his tention of the messengers to carry their oatmeal bag in the streets, as he pro- prisoner direct to Perth, but they were ceeded through the town, being anxi- under the necessity of lodging him ous to take his victuals also along with in the nearest prison for the night. him. Brown's widow, another daugh- Brown was no sooner in custody than ter of Martha's, was married to a na- he began to meditate his escape. He retive of this country, of the name of quested it as a favour, that they would Fisher. The gypsies having com- sit up all night with him in a public mitted some depredations in which he house instead of a prison, promising was implicated, and being a mere no- them as much meat and drink for their vice in the trade carried on by the sa- indulgence and trouble as they should yage society in which he was initiated, desire. His request was granted, and he was with ease apprehended, and four or five officers were accordingly was tried, condemned, and executed placed in and about the room in which at Perth, while all the other members he was confined, as a guard upon his of the band at that time escaped from person, being aware of the desperate justice, owing to their superior dexte- character they had to deal with. He rity in their dreadful calling.
took care to ply them well with the Sandie Brown, before mentioned, on bottle; and, early next morning beone occasion happened to be in need fore setting out, he desired one of the of butcher meat for his tribe. He had officers to put up the window a little observed, grazing in a field in the to cool their apartment, as it was then county of Linlithgow, a bullock which very warm weather, being in the had at one period, by some accident, middle of summer. After having lost about three-fourths of its tail. He walked several times across the room, purchased from a tanner the tail of a the gypsey, all at once, threw himself skin of the same colour of this bullock, out at the open window, which was a and, in an ingenious manner, made it considerable height from the ground. fast to the remaining part of the tail The hue and cry was at his heels in of the living animal, by sewing them no time, and as some of the officers together. Disguised in this way he were gaining
ground upon him in his drove off his booty; and as he was flight, he boldly faced about upon shipping the beast at Queensferry, in them, drew forth from below his cout
a dagger which he brandished in the similar garb, and both rode the best air, and threatened instant death to horses in the country. Having the the first who should approach him. appearance of gentlemen in their haHe was at this time suffered to make bit, and assuming the manners of such, his escape, as none had the courage to which they imitated to a wonderful advance upon him. He was, however, degree, few persons took these men for at a subsequent period, taken in a gypsies. wood in Rannoch, being surprised and Several individuals represent Brown overpowered by a party of Highland- and Wilson to me as very handsome ers, raised for the purpose of appre- men, tall and stout made, with agreehending himself and dispersing his able and manly countenances ; and band, who lay in the wood in which he among the numberless thefts and robwas taken. He thought to evade their beries which they had committed in vigilance and pursuit by clapping close their day, they were never known to to the ground like a wild beast. Upon have taken a sixpence from persons of his being seized, a furious scuffle en- an inferior class, but, on the contrary, sued ; and, during the violent tossing rather assisted the poorer classes in and struggling which took place while their pecuniary matters, with a genthey were securing this sturdy wan- erous liberality not at all to be looked derer, he, with his teeth, took hold for from men of their habits and manof the bare thigh of one of the High- ner of life. landers, beneath his kilt, and bit it Charlie, by some called William, most cruelly:
another brother of Sandie Brown's, Your readers may take the follow- was run down by a party of military ing as a specimen of the favourite and and messengers near Dundee. He complete costume worn by young chiefs was carried to Perth, where he was or captains of the tribe, about half a tried, condemned, and hanged, to at one century ago, in Scotland. When I for the numerous crimes of which he speak of gypsey captains, I do not gen- was guilty. He was a man of great erally mean those old patriarchal chiefs personal strength, and, after he was of large hordes. These old sagacious hand-cuffed, regretting having allowed persons kept themselves clear of all himself to be so easily taken, he in dangerous scrapes, professing to the wrath drove the messengers before him public great innocence, honesty, and with his feet as if they had been mere justice, while their sons, or other prin- children. He was conveyed to Perth cipal members of their families, were by water, in consequence of it being employed in active service at the head reported, that the gypsies of Fife, with of gangs, plundering for the subsist- the Grahams and Ogilvies at their ence of their aged parents.
head, were in motion to rescue him Brown, before mentioned, when in from the clutches of the officers of the full dress, wore a hat richly ornament- law. ed and trimmed with beautiful gold While he was in that apartment in lace, which, I believe, was then fa- the prison called the Cage, or rather shionable among the first ranks in the condemned cell, he, by a strataScotland, particularly among the offi- gem, freed himself from his heavy cers of the army; and now, perhaps, irons, and broke his manacles to pieces. with some variation, worn by valets By some unknown means, he set fire and other menial servants. His coat to the damp straw on which he lay, was made of superfine cloth, of a light within his cell, with a design, as it green colour, long in the tails, and was supposed, to make his escape in having one row of buttons at the the confusion which might take place breast. His shirt, of the finest qua- in consequence of the prison being on lity, was ruffled at the breast and fire. Surprised at the house being in hands, with a stock and buckle round flames, and suspecting that Brown had his neck. He also wore a pair of been the cause of it, and that he was handsome boots, with silver plated free from his chains, ramping like a spurs, all in the fashion of the day. lion within his den, no person in the Below his garments he carried a large hurry could be found who had resoluknife, and in the shaft or butt-end of tion enough to venture into him, till his huge whip a small spear or dagger a brawney broad-shouldered serjeant was concealed. His brother-in-law, of the 42d regiment courageously voWilson, was frequently dressed in a lunteered his services. However, be