MIRI KOMLI ROMNI,—Ertiewium Francfurtter wium te gajum apro Newoforo. Apro drum ne his mange mishdo. Mare manush tschingerwenes ketteni. Tschiel his te midschach wettra. Tschawe wele naswele. Dowa ker, kai me gaijam medre gazdias tele; mare ziga t’o terno kalbo nahsle penge. O flachso te hanfa te wulla te schwigarizakri te stifftshakri ho spinderde gotshias nina. Lopennawa, wium ke tshorero te wiam hallauter nange Denkerdum tschingerwam mangi kasht te mre wastiengri butin, oder hunte di kaw te kinnaw tschommoni pre te bikkewaw pale, te de denkerwaw te ehrnahrwaw man kiacke. Me bium kiacke kuremangrender pene aper mande, buten tschingerde buten trinen marde te man, tshimaster apri butin tshidde. O bolloben te rackel tutt andre sawe kolester, kai me wium adre te me tshawa tiro rum shin andro meraben.
MY DEAR WIFE,—Before I came to Frankfort I went to Neustadt. On the way it did not go well with me. Our men quarrelled together. It was cold and wet weather. The children were ill. That house into which we had gone burnt down; our kid and the young calf run away. The flax and hemp and wool [which] the sister-in-law and step-daughter spun are also burned. In short, I say I became so poor that we all went naked. I thought of cutting wood and working by hand, or I should go into business and sell something. I think I will make my living so. I was so treated by the soldiers. They fell on us, wounded many, three they killed, and I was taken to prison to work for life. Heaven preserve you in all things from that into which I have fallen, and I remain thy husband unto death.
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It is the same sad story in all, wretchedness, poverty, losses, and hunger. In the English letter there was a chingari—a shindy; in the German they have a tshinger, which is nearly the same word, and means the same. It may be remarked as curious that the word meraben at the end of the letter, meaning death, is used by English Gipsies to signify life as well.
“Dick at the gorgios,
The gorgios round mandy;
Trying to take my meripon,
My meripon away.”
The third letter is also in the German-Gipsy dialect, and requires a little explanation. Once a man named Charles Augustus was arrested as a beggar and suspected Gipsy, and brought before Mr Richard Liebich, who appears to have been nothing less in the total than the Furstlich Reuss-Plauenschem Criminalrathe und Vorstande des Furstlichen Criminalgerichts zu Lobenstein—in fact, a rather lofty local magistrate. Before this terrible title Charles appeared, and swore stoutly that he was no more a Rommany chal than he was one of the Apostles—for be it remembered, reader, that in Germany at the present day, the mere fact of being a Gipsy is still treated