STANLEY.--This is the name or title of an ancient English family celebrated in history. It is probably descriptive of their original place of residence, for it signifies the stony lea, which is also the meaning of the Gaelic Auchinlech, the place of abode of the Scottish Boswells. It was adopted by an English Gypsy tribe, at one time very numerous, but at present much diminished. Of this name there are two renderings into Romany; one is Baryor or Baremescre, stone-folks or stonemasons, the other is Beshaley. The first requires no comment, but the second is well worthy of analysis, as it is an example of the strange blunders which the Gypsies sometimes make in their attempts at translation. When they rendered Stanley by Beshaley or Beshley, they mistook the first syllable stan for 'stand,' but for a very good reason rendered it by besh, which signifies 'to sit, and the second for a word in their own language, for ley or aley in Gypsy signifies 'down,' so they rendered Stanley by Beshley or Beshaley, which signifies 'sit down.' Here, of course, it will be asked what reason could have induced them, if they mistook stan for 'stand,' not to have rendered it by the Gypsy word for 'stand'? The reason was a very cogent one, the want of a word in the Gypsy language to express 'stand'; but they had heard in courts of justice witnesses told to stand down, so they supposed that to stand down was much the same as to sit down, whence their odd rendering of Stanley. In no dialect of the Gypsy, from the Indus to the Severn, is there any word for 'stand,' though in every one there is a word for 'sit,' and that is besh, and in every Gypsy encampment all along the vast distance, Beshley or Beshaley would be considered an invitation to sit down.
So much for the double-name system in use among the Gypsies of England. There is something in connection with the Gypsies of Spain which strangely coincides with one part of it--the translation of names. Among the relics of the language of the Gitanos or Spanish Gypsies are words, some simple and some compound, which are evidently attempts to translate names in a manner corresponding to the plan employed by the English Romany. In illustration of the matter, the writer will give an analysis of Brono Aljenicato, the rendering into Gitano of the name of one frequently mentioned in the New Testament, and once in the Apostles' Creed, the highly respectable, but much traduced individual known to the English public as Pontius Pilate, to the Spanish as Poncio Pilato. The manner in which the rendering has been accomplished is as follows: Poncio bears some resemblance to the Spanish puente, which signifies a bridge, and is a modification of the Latin pons, and Pilato to the Spanish pila, a fountain, or rather a stone pillar, from the top of which the waters of a fountain springing eventually fall into a stone basin below, the two words-- the Brono Aljenicato--signifying bridge-fountain, or that which is connected with such a thing. Now this is the identical, or all but the identical, way in which the names Lee, Lovel, and Stanley have been done into English Romany. A remarkable instance is afforded in this Gitano Scripture name, this Brono Aljenicato, of the heterogeneous materials of which Gypsy dialects are composed: Brono is a modification of a Hindoo or Sanscrit, Aljenicato of an Arabic root. Brono is connected with the Sanscrit pindala, which signifies a bridge, and Aljenicato is a modification of the Gypsy aljenique, derived from the Arabic alain, which signifies the fountain. But of whatever materials composed, a fine-sounding name is this same Brono Aljenicato, perhaps the finest sounding specimen of Spanish Gypsy extant, much finer than a translation of Pontius Pilate would be, provided the name served to express the same things, in English, which Poncio Pilato serves to express in Spanish, for then it would be Pudjico Pani or Bridgewater; for though in English Gypsy there is the word for a bridge, namely pudge, a modification of the Persian pul, or the Wallachian podul, there is none for a fountain, which can be only vaguely paraphrased by pani, water.
Gypsy women, as long as we have known anything of Gypsy history, have been arrant fortune-tellers. They plied fortune-telling about France and Germany as early as 1414, the year when the dusky bands were first observed in Europe, and they have never relinquished the practice. There are two words for fortune-telling in Gypsy, bocht and dukkering. Bocht is a Persian word, a modification of, or connected with, the Sanscrit bagya, which signifies 'fate.' Dukkering is the modification of a Wallaco-Sclavonian word signifying something spiritual or ghostly. In Eastern European Gypsy, the Holy Ghost is called Swentuno Ducos.
Gypsy fortune-telling is much the same everywhere, much the same in Russia as it is in Spain and in England. Everywhere there are three styles--the lofty, the familiar, and the homely; and every Gypsy woman is mistress of all three and uses each according to the rank of the person whose vast she dukkers, whose hand she reads, and adapts the luck she promises. There is a ballad of some antiquity in the Spanish language about the Buena Ventura, a few stanzas of which translated will convey a tolerable idea of the first of these styles to the reader, who will probably with no great reluctance dispense with any illustrations of the other two:-
Late rather one morning In summer's sweet tide, Goes forth to the Prado Jacinta the bride:
There meets her a Gypsy So fluent of talk, And jauntily dressed, On the principal walk.
"O welcome, thrice welcome, Of beauty thou flower! Believe me, believe me, Thou com'st in good hour."
Surprised was Jacinta; She fain would have fled; But the Gypsy to cheer her Such honeyed words said:
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