CHAPTER I.  INTRODUCTORY. The Rommany of the Roads.—The Secret of Vagabond Life in England.—Its peculiar and thoroughly hidden Nature.—Gipsy Character and the Causes which formed it.—Moral Results of hungry Marauding.—Gipsy ideas of Religion.  The Scripture story of the Seven Whistlers.—The Baker’s Daughter.—Difficulties of acquiring Rommany.—The Fable of the Cat.—The Chinese,... more...

    "Unto many Fortune comes while sleeping."—Latin Proverb.     "Few know what is really going on in the world."—American Proverb. It is but a few years since it suddenly struck the gay world of comic dramatists and other literary wits, that the Nineteenth Century was drawing to an end, and regarding it as an event they began to make merry over it, at first in Paris, and then in London and New York, as... more...

PREFACE. The reader will find in this book sketches of experiences among gypsies of different nations by one who speaks their language and is conversant with their ways.  These embrace descriptions of the justly famed musical gypsies of St. Petersburg and Moscow, by whom the writer was received literally as a brother; of the Austrian gypsies, especially those composing the first Romany orchestra of that country, selected by Liszt, and who... more...

It happened once in Boston, in the year 1861 or 1862, that I was at a dinner of the Atlantic Club, such as was held every Saturday, when the question was raised as to whether any man had ever written a complete and candid autobiography.  Emerson, who was seated by me at the right, suggested the “Confessions” of Rousseau.  I objected that it was full of untruths, and that for plain candour it was surpassed by the “Life... more...

PREFACE This book consists almost entirely of legends or traditions of a varied character, referring to places and buildings in Florence, such as the Cathedral and Campanile, the Signoria, the Bargello, the different city gates, ancient towers and bridges, palaces, crosses, and fountains, noted corners, odd by-ways, and many churches.  To all of these there are tales, or at least anecdotes attached, which will be found as entertaining to... more...

When I began, in the summer of 1882, to collect among the Passamaquoddy Indians at Campobello, New Brunswick, their traditions and folk-lore, I expected to find very little indeed. These Indians, few in number, surrounded by white people, and thoroughly converted to Roman Catholicism, promised but scanty remains of heathenism. What was my amazement, however, at discovering, day by day, that there existed among them, entirely by oral tradition, a... more...