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Gypsy Folk Tales, by Francis Hindes Groome, [1899], at

Gypsy story-tellers.

Campbell of Islay has shown us a Gypsy professional story-teller in London, and Paspati has shown us a Gypsy professional story-teller, the grandson of one at Constantinople. That is not much, perhaps; but there are several more indications of the transmission of folk-tales by Gypsies. Bakht, the Rómani word for 'luck' or 'fortune,' has passed, not merely into Albanian folk-tales, but into the Greek and Turkish languages, as I show in a footnote on p. 53; and a good many of the following seventy-six stories seem to show unmistakable tokens of the practised raconteur's art. 'Let us leave the dogs, and return to the girl,' in No. 47; 'Now we'll leave the master to stand a bit, and go back to the mother,' in No. 68; 'And I came away, told the story,' in Nos. 6, 7, 8, and 15; 'And I left them there, and came and told my story to your lordships,' in No. 10; 'I was there, and heard everything that happened,' in No. 12; 'Away I came, the tale have told,' in No. 18; 'Now you've got it,' in No. 28; 'If they are not dead, they are still alive,' in Nos. 41 and 42, and also in Hungarian-Gypsy stories; 'The floor there was made of paper, and I came away here,' in No. 43; 'So if they are not dead, they are living together,' in No. 44; 'Excuse me for saying it,' in No. 55; 'She was delivered (pray, excuse me) of a boy,' in No. 46; 'And the last time I was there I played my harp for them, and got to go again,' in No. 54--these all sound like tags or formulas of the professional story-teller. Léon Zafiri's usual wind-up, says Paspati (p. 421), ran: 'And I too, I was there, and I ate, and I drank, and I have come to tell you the story.'

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