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“These Szgany are gipsies…”

What kind of people are these Transylvanian gipsies that associate with the Count?

Jonathan tells us what he was able to learn about them before he arrived at the castle:
“There are thousands of them in Hungary and Transylvania, who are almost outside all law. They attach themselves as a rule to some great noble or boyar, and call themselves by his name. They are fearless and without religion, save superstition, and they talk only their own varieties of the Romany tongue.”

The Count’s gipsy employees seem to live up to this billing. Surprisingly, given the anti-Rom prejudice that continues until today, Jonathan and the others seem to give the Szgany a fair shake, seeing them more as loyal servants of the Count rather than actively malignant themselves. By comparison, the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica article on Gipsies describes them as sexually immoral, thieves, and scammers: https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica/Gipsies

Evem giving Jonathan’s letter to the Count can be seen as loyalty to the Count rather than a betrayal of Jonathan. Jonathan wrote Mina’s letter in shorthand precisely because he thought something like this might happen. The gipsy’s surrender of the letter had no serious consequences for Jonathan, beyond dashing his hopes: he remained unhurt, and imprisoned.

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