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THE ROMANY RYE***


Transcribed from the 1907 John Murray edition by David Price, email
[email protected]

[Picture: Book cover]

[Picture: East Dereham]





THE ROMANY RYE
A SEQUEL TO “LAVENGRO”


* * * * *

BY GEORGE BORROW

* * * * *

A NEW EDITION CONTAINING THE UNALTERED
TEXT OF THE ORIGINAL ISSUE, WITH
NOTES. ETC., BY THE AUTHOR OF
“THE LIFE OF GEORGE BORROW”

* * * * *

LONDON
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET
1907

FIRST EDITION 1857
SECOND EDITION 1858
THIRD EDITION 1872
FOURTH EDITION 1888
FIFTH EDITION 1896
SIXTH (DEFINITIVE) EDITION 6/- _March_, 1900
_Reprinted_ _June_, 1903
_Reprinted_ Thin Paper _Aug._, 1905
_Reprinted_ 6/- _Oct._, 1906
_Reprinted_ _Sept._, 1907
_Reprinted_ 2/6 net _Sept._, 1907

[Picture: The original title page of the first volume of the first
edition of Romany Rye, published by John Murray in 1857]




ADVERTISEMENT.
(1857.)


IT having been frequently stated in print that the book called _Lavengro_
was got up expressly against the popish agitation in the years 1850–51,
the author takes this opportunity of saying that the principal part of
that book was written in the year ’43, that the whole of it was completed
before the termination of the year ’46, and that it was in the hands of
the publisher in the year ’48. {0a} And here he cannot forbear
observing, that it was the duty of that publisher to have rebutted a
statement which he knew to be a calumny; and also to have set the public
right on another point dealt with in the Appendix to the present work,
more especially as he was the proprietor of a Review enjoying, however
undeservedly, a certain sale and reputation.

But take your own part, boy!
For if you don’t, no one will take it for you.

With respect to _Lavengro_, the author feels that he has no reason to be
ashamed of it. In writing that book he did his duty, by pointing out to
his country-people the nonsense which, to the greater part of them, is as
the breath of their nostrils, and which, if indulged in, as it probably
will be, to the same extent as hitherto, will, within a very few years,
bring the land which he most loves beneath a foreign yoke—he does not
here allude to the yoke of Rome.

Instead of being ashamed, has he not rather cause to be proud of a book
which has had the honour of being rancorously abused and execrated by the
very people of whom the country has least reason to be proud? {0b}

* * * * *

“One day Cogia Efendy went to a bridal festival. The masters of the
feast, observing his old and coarse apparel, paid him no
consideration whatever. The Cogia saw that he had no chance of
notice; so going out, he hurried to his house, and, putting on a
splendid pelisse, returned to the place of festival. No sooner did
he enter the door than the masters advanced to meet him, and saying,
‘Welcome, Cogia Efendy,’ with all imaginable honour and reverence,
placed him at the head of the table, and said, ‘Please to eat, Lord
Cogia’. Forthwith the Cogia, taking hold of one of the furs of his
pelisse, said, ‘Welcome my pelisse; please to eat, my lord’. The
masters looking at the Cogia with great surprise, said, ‘What are you
about?’ Whereupon the Cogia replied, ‘As it is quite evident that
all the honour paid, is paid to my pelisse, I think it ought to have
some food too’.”—PLEASANTRIES OF THE COGIA NASR EDDIN EFENDI.




CONTENTS.

PAGE
CHAPTER I.
The Making of the Linch-pin—The Sound Sleeper—Breakfast—The 1
Postillion’s Departure
CHAPTER II.
The Man in Black—The Emperor of Germany—Nepotism—Donna 5
Olympia—Omnipotence—Camillo Astalli—The Five Propositions
CHAPTER III.
Necessity of Religion—The Great Indian 9
One—Image-worship—Shakespeare—The Pat Answer—Krishna—Amen
CHAPTER IV.
The Proposal—The Scotch Novel—Latitude—Miracles—Pestilent 16
Heretics—Old Fraser—Wonderful Texts—No Armenian
CHAPTER V.
Fresh Arrivals—Pitching the Tent—Certificated 28
Wife—High-flying Notions
CHAPTER VI.
The Promised Visit—Roman Fashion—Wizard and Witch—Catching 32
at Words—The Two Females—Dressing of Hair—The New
Roads—Belle’s Altered Appearance—Herself Again
CHAPTER VII.
The Festival—The Gypsy Song—Piramus of Rome—The 40
Scotchman—Gypsy Names
CHAPTER VIII.
The Church—The Aristocratical Pew—Days of Yore—The 48
Clergyman—“In what would a Man be Profited?”
CHAPTER IX.
Return from Church—The Cuckoo and Gypsy—Spiritual Discourse 53
CHAPTER X.
Sunday Evening—Ursula—Action at Law—Meridiana—Married 60
Already
CHAPTER XI.
Ursula’s Tale—The Patteran—The Deep Water—Second Husband 72
CHAPTER XII.
The Dingle at Night—The Two Sides of the Question—Roman 78
Females—Filling the Kettle—The Dream—The Tall Figure
CHAPTER XIII.
Visit to the Landlord—His Mortifications—Hunter and his 86
Clan—Resolution
CHAPTER XIV.
Preparations for the Fair—The Last Lesson—The Verb _Siriel_ 89
CHAPTER XV.
The Dawn of Day—The Last Farewell—Departure for the 95
Fair—The Fine Horse—Return to the Dingle—No Isopel
CHAPTER XVI.
Gloomy Forebodings—The Postman’s Mother—The Letter—Bears 99
and Barons—The Best of Advice
CHAPTER XVII.
The Public-house—Landlord on His Legs Again—A Blow in 106
Season—The Way of the World—The Grateful Mind—The Horse’s
Neigh
CHAPTER XVIII.
Mr. Petulengro’s Device—The Leathern Purse—Consent to 113
Purchase a Horse
CHAPTER XIX.
Trying the Horse—The Feats of Tawno—Man with the Red 117
Waistcoat—Disposal of Property
CHAPTER XX.
Farewell to the Romans—The Landlord and his Niece—Set out 122
as a Traveller
CHAPTER XXI.
An Adventure on the Roads—The Six Flint Stones—A Rural 124
Scene—Mead—The Old Man and his Bees
CHAPTER XXII.
The Singular Noise—Sleeping in a Meadow—The Book—Cure for 131
Wakefulness—Literary Tea Party—Poor Byron
CHAPTER XXIII.
Drivers and Front Outside Passengers—Fatigue of Body and 136
Mind—Unexpected Greeting—My Inn—The Governor—Engagement
CHAPTER XXIV.
An Inn of Times gone by—A First-rate Publican—Hay and 140
Corn—Old-fashioned Ostler—Highwaymen—Mounted
Police—Grooming
CHAPTER XXV.
Stable Hartshorn—How to Manage a Horse on a Journey—Your 145
Best Friend
CHAPTER XXVI.
The Stage-coachmen of England—A Bully Served 150
Out—Broughton’s Guard—The Brasen Head
CHAPTER XXVII.
Francis Ardry—His Misfortunes—Dog and Lion Fight—Great Men 158
of the World
CHAPTER XXVIII.
Mr. Platitude and the Man in Black—The Postillion’s 163
Adventures—The Lone House—A Goodly Assemblage
CHAPTER XXIX.
Deliberations with Self—Resolution—Invitation to Dinner—The 170
Commercial Traveller—The Landlord’s Offer—The Comet Wine
CHAPTER XXX.
Triumphal Departure—No Season like Youth—Extreme Old 175
Age—Beautiful England—The Ratcatcher—A Misadventure
CHAPTER XXXI.
Novel Situation—The Elderly Individual—The Surgeon—A Kind 179
Offer—Chimerical Ideas—Strange Dream
CHAPTER XXXII.
The Morning after a Fall—The Teapot—Unpretending 185
Hospitality—The Chinese Student
CHAPTER XXXIII.
Convalescence—The Surgeon’s Bill—Letter of 191
Recommendation—Commencement of the Old Man’s History
CHAPTER XXXIV.
The Old Man’s Story continued—Misery in the Head—The 201
Strange Marks—Tea-dealer from London—Difficulties of the
Chinese Language
CHAPTER XXXV.
The Leave-taking—Spirit of the Hearth—What’s o’Clock 209
CHAPTER XXXVI.
Arrival at Horncastle—The Inn and Ostlers—The Garret—The 211
Figure of a Man with a Candle
CHAPTER XXXVII.
Horncastle Fair 214
CHAPTER XXXVIII.
High Dutch 221
CHAPTER XXXIX.
The Hungarian 223
CHAPTER XL.
The Horncastle Welcome—Tzernebock and Bielebock 238
CHAPTER XLI.
The Jockey’s Tale—Thieves’ Latin—Liberties with Coin—The 244
Smasher in Prison—Old Fulcher—Every one has his
Gift—Fashion of the English
CHAPTER XLII.
A Short-tempered Person—Gravitation—The Best Endowment—Mary 258
Fulcher—Fair Dealing—Horse-witchery—Darius and his
Groom—The Jockey’s Tricks—The Two Characters—The Jockey’s
Song
CHAPTER XLIII.
The Church 273
CHAPTER XLIV.
An Old Acquaintance 276
CHAPTER XLV.
Murtagh’s Tale 283
CHAPTER XLVI.
Murtagh’s Story continued—The Priest, Exorcist, and 290
Thimble-engro—How to Check a Rebellion
CHAPTER XLVII.
Departure from Horncastle—Recruiting Sergeant—Kauloes and 300
Lolloes
* * * * *
APPENDIX.
CHAPTER I.
A Word for _Lavengro_ 302
CHAPTER II.
On Priestcraft 310
CHAPTER III.
On Foreign Nonsense 317
CHAPTER IV.
On Gentility Nonsense—Illustrations of Gentility 320
CHAPTER V.
Subject of Gentility continued 323
CHAPTER VI.
On Scotch Gentility Nonsense—Charlie o’er the Waterism 334
CHAPTER VII.
Same subject continued 341
CHAPTER VIII.
On Canting Nonsense 346
CHAPTER IX.
Pseudo-Critics 354
CHAPTER X.
Pseudo-Radicals 362
CHAPTER XI.
The Old Radical 368
* * * * *
Editor’s Notes 379
Gypsy List 389
Bibliography 393




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

East Dereham, Norfolk (referred to as “Pretty _Frontispiece_
D—,” George Borrow’s Birthplace)
(_photogravure_)
The Old Church, St. Giles, at Willenhall, _To face page_ 48
Staffordshire (rebuilt 1867)
Porch of St. Nicholas Church, East Dereham 50
The Old “Bull’s Head,” Wolverhampton Street, 106
Willenhall
The “Swan” Inn, Stafford (“My Inn—a very large 136
Building with an Archway”)
High Street, Horncastle 215
The Horse Fair, Horncastle 220
Horncastle Church in 1820 (since restored) 273




CHAPTER I.


I AWOKE at the first break of day, and, leaving the postillion fast
asleep, stepped out of the tent. The dingle was dank and dripping. I
lighted a fire of coals, and got my forge in readiness. I then ascended
to the field, where the chaise was standing as we had left it on the
previous evening. After looking at the cloud-stone near it, now cold,
and split into three pieces, I set about prying narrowly into the
condition of the wheel and axle-tree. The latter had sustained no damage
of any consequence, and the wheel, as far as I was able to judge, was
sound, being only slightly injured in the box. The only thing requisite
to set the chaise in a travelling condition appeared to be a linch-pin,
which I determined to make. Going to the companion wheel, I took out the
linch-pin, which I carried down with me to the dingle, to serve me as a
model.

I found Belle by this time dressed, and seated near the forge. With a
slight nod to her like that which a person gives who happens to see an
acquaintance when his mind is occupied with important business, I
forthwith set about my work. Selecting a piece of iron which I thought
would serve my purpose, I placed it in the fire, and plying the bellows
in a furious manner, soon made it hot; then seizing it with the tongs, I
laid it on the anvil, and began to beat it with my hammer, according to
the rules of my art. The dingle resounded with my strokes. Belle sat
still, and occasionally smiled, but suddenly started up, and retreated
towards her encampment, on a spark which I purposely sent in her
direction alighting on her knee. I found the making of a linch-pin no
easy matter; it was, however, less difficult than the fabrication of a
pony-shoe; my work, indeed, was much facilitated by my having another pin
to look at. In about three-quarters of an hour I had succeeded tolerably
well, and had produced a linch-pin which I thought would serve. During
all this time, notwithstanding the noise which I was making, the
postillion never showed his face. His non-appearance at first alarmed
me: I was afraid he might be dead, but, on looking into the tent, I found
him still buried in the soundest sleep. “He must surely be descended
from one of the seven sleepers,” said I, as I turned away, and resumed my
work. My work finished, I took a little oil, leather and sand, and
polished the pin as well as I could; then, summoning Belle, we both went
to the chaise, where, with her assistance, I put on the wheel. The
linch-pin which I had made fitted its place very well, and having
replaced the other, I gazed at the chaise for some time with my heart
full of that satisfaction which results from the consciousness of having
achieved a great action; then, after looking at Belle in the hope of
obtaining a compliment from her lips, which did not come, I returned to
the dingle, without saying a word, followed by her. Belle set about
making preparations for breakfast; and I taking the kettle went and
filled it at the spring. Having hung it over the fire, I went to the
tent in which the postillion was still sleeping, and called upon him to
arise. He awoke with a start, and stared around him at first with the
utmost surprise, not unmixed, I could observe, with a certain degree of
fear. At last, looking in my face, he appeared to recollect himself. “I
had quite forgot,” said he, as he got up, “where I was, and all that
happened yesterday. However, I remember now the whole affair,
thunder-storm, thunder-bolt, frightened horses, and all your kindness.
Come, I must see after my coach and horses; I hope we shall be able to
repair the damage.” “The damage is already quite repaired,” said I, “as
you will see, if you come to the field above.” “You don’t say so,” said
the postillion, coming out of the tent; “well, I am mightily beholden to
you. Good-morning, young gentlewoman,” said he, addressing Belle, who,
having finished her preparations was seated near the fire. “Good
morning, young man,” said Belle, “I suppose you would be glad of some
breakfast; however, you must wait a little, the kettle does not boil.”
“Come and look at your chaise,” said I; “but tell me how it happened that
the noise which I have been making did not awake you; for three-quarters
of an hour at least I was hammering close at your ear.” “I heard you all
the time,” said the postillion, “but your hammering made me sleep all the
sounder; I am used to hear hammering in my morning sleep. There’s a
forge close by the room where I sleep when I’m at home, at my inn; for we
have all kinds of conveniences at my inn—forge, carpenter’s shop, and
wheelwright’s—so that when I heard you hammering I thought, no doubt,
that it was the old noise, and that I was comfortable in my bed at my own
inn.” We now ascended to the field, where I showed the postillion his
chaise. He looked at the pin attentively, rubbed his hands, and gave a
loud laugh. “Is it not well done?” said I. “It will do till I get
home,” he replied. “And that is all you have to say?” I demanded. “And
that’s a good deal,” said he, “considering who made it. But don’t be
offended,” he added, “I shall prize it all the more for its being made by
a gentleman, and no blacksmith; and so will my governor, when I show it
to him. I shan’t let it remain where it is, but will keep it, as a
remembrance of you, as long as I live.” He then again rubbed his hands
with great glee, and said: “I will now go and see after my horses, and
then to breakfast, partner, if you please”. Suddenly, however, looking
at his hands, he said, “Before sitting down to breakfast I am in the
habit of washing my hands and face; I suppose you could not furnish me
with a little soap and water”. “As much water as you please,” said I,
“but if you want soap, I must go and trouble the young gentlewoman for
some.” “By no means,” said the postillion, “water will do at a pinch.”
“Follow me,” said I, and leading him to the pond of the frogs and newts,
I said, “this is my ewer; you are welcome to part of it—the water is so
soft that it is scarcely necessary to add soap to it;” then lying down on
the bank, I plunged my head into the water, then scrubbed my hands and
face, and afterwards wiped them with some long grass which grew on the
margin of the pond. “Bravo,” said the postillion, “I see you know how to
make a shift”: he then followed my example, declared he never felt more
refreshed in his life, and, giving a bound, said, “he would go and look
after his horses”.

We then went to look after the horses, which we found not much the worse
for having spent the night in the open air. My companion again inserted
their heads in the corn-bags, and, leaving the animals to discuss their
corn, returned with me to the dingle, where we found the kettle boiling.
We sat down, and Belle made tea, and did the honours of the meal. The
postillion was in high spirits, ate heartily, and, to Belle’s evident
satisfaction, declared that he had never drank better tea in his life, or
indeed any half so good. Breakfast over, he said that he must now go and
harness his horses, as it was high time for him to return to his inn.
Belle gave him her hand and wished him farewell. The postillion shook
her hand warmly, and was advancing close up to her—for what purpose I
cannot say—whereupon Belle, withdrawing her hand, drew herself up with an
air which caused the postillion to retreat a step or two with an
exceedingly sheepish look. Recovering himself, however, he made a low
bow, and proceeded up the path. I attended him, and helped to harness
his horses and put them to the vehicle; he then shook me by the hand, and
taking the reins and whip mounted to his seat; ere he drove away he thus
addressed me: “If ever I forget your kindness and that of the young woman
below, dash my buttons. If ever either of you should enter my inn you
may depend upon a warm welcome, the best that can be set before you, and
no expense to either, for I will give both of you the best of characters
to the governor, who is the very best fellow upon all the road. As for
your linch-pin, I trust it will serve till I get home, when I will take
it out and keep it in remembrance of you all the days of my life”: then
giving the horses a jerk with his reins, he cracked his whip and drove
off.

I returned to the dingle, Belle had removed the breakfast things, and was
busy in her own encampment. Nothing occurred, worthy of being related,
for two hours, at the end of which time Belle departed on a short
expedition, and I again found myself alone in the dingle.




CHAPTER II.


IN the evening I received another visit from the man in black. I had
been taking a stroll in the neighbourhood, and was sitting in the dingle
in rather a listless manner, scarcely knowing how to employ myself; his
coming, therefore, was by no means disagreeable to me. I produced the
Hollands and glass from my tent, where Isopel Berners had requested me to
deposit them, and also some lump sugar, then taking the gotch I fetched
water from the spring, and, sitting down, begged the man in black to help
himself; he was not slow in complying with my desire, and prepared for
himself a glass of Hollands and water with a lump of sugar in it. After
he had taken two or three sips with evident satisfaction, I, remembering
his chuckling exclamation of “Go to Rome for money,” when he last left
the dingle, took the liberty, after a little conversation, of reminding
him of it, whereupon, with a he! he! he! he replied: “Your idea was not
quite so original as I supposed. After leaving you the other night, I
remembered having read of an Emperor of Germany who conceived the idea of
applying to Rome for money, and actually put it into practice.

“Urban the Eighth then occupied the papal chair, of the family of the
Barbarini, nicknamed the _Mosche_, or Flies, from the circumstance of
bees being their armorial bearing. The Emperor having exhausted all his
money in endeavouring to defend the Church against Gustavus Adolphus, the
great King of Sweden, who was bent on its destruction, applied in his
necessity to the Pope for a loan of money. The Pope, however, and his
relations, whose cellars were at that time full of the money of the
Church, which they had been plundering for years, refused to lend him a
scudo; whereupon a pasquinade picture was stuck up at Rome, representing
the Church lying on a bed, gashed with dreadful wounds, and beset all
over with flies, which were sucking her, whilst the Emperor of Germany



Online LibraryGeorge BorrowThe Romany Rye → online text (page 1 of 41)