Breakfast completed, we returned to the tcdiga, and resumed our journey by reasonably higher roads over the nice plains. Our customized was to sit down on the cart and drive, generally furiously, if the highway ran degree or downhill. Once we went uphill, Turi, his spouse, and I used to stroll ; and infrequently, in the direction of night, the previous couple would take a protracted stroll by themselves. As we have been driving steadily throughout one of many large tablelands, a yellow wagtail ran for a long way in entrance of the waggon. Petrika touched me together with his whip, pointed to the fowl, and mentioned it might deliver nice good luck. I used to be a lot , as a result of between wagtails and vagabonds there was, within the minds of the ancients, an affiliation which was transferred by mediaeval students to Gypsies, when the Gypsies grew to become acquainted objects of scholarly hypothesis in Europe.
Three centuries earlier than Christ, Greek poets quoted the /ayK^0S as an emblem of poverty ; and, three centuries after Christ, Italian peasants used the identical phrase as a nickname for tramps. Later, a mediaeval poet utilized the metaphor to himself, lamenting that, weary of the lifetime of a cinclus, he longed to be a snail, with a home of his personal. Fashionable naturalists have allotted the title cinclus to the water-ouzel, however the older writers appear all the time to have taken it to imply the wagtail, typically the water-wagtail ; and in these completely happy occasions of irresponsible etymology, when the research of language was much less a scientific self-discipline than an imaginative romance, they sought to derive the race-name Cingarus, “ Gypsy,” from the fowl. If this derivation needed fact, it possessed at the very least a sure appropriateness, for its supporters gave credit score to an unfounded legend which makes the wagtail a homeless wanderer, too feeble to construct a nest for itself. A few of them identified, in triumphant corroboration, that it’s also, just like the Gypsies, stressed and poor of plumage : they could have clinched their argument by including, what Shakespeare knew, that it’s pert.
LIFE ON THE ROADS.
The vagaries of the realized could be of little curiosity, have been it not that in western Europe the Gypsies themselves declare the water- wagtail as their very own. Each in Germany and Nice Britain it’s referred to as the Gypsy fowl (Romano tshiriklo), and honoured above all different feathered fowl. In an unpublished essay, Mr. Engelbert Wittich, a German Gypsy, who has, by his writings, carried out greater than some other Gypsy creator to elucidate the customs and superstitions of his tribe, depicts the enjoyment with which his brethren hail the looks of a water-wagtail, positive precursor of a fortunate day, throughout which success will attend them in all their undertakings. To scare such a customer, or try and do it the slightest damage, is counted a critical crime, and punished severely. By wagging its tail with energv, a single fowl warns the Gypsies that different travellers, not of Gypsy blood, are close to at hand ; but when a number of run hither and thither within the camp, or on the highway, it’s a signal that Gypsies might be met, most likely pals or relations.