Recess to Galway

NOW back to Recess, which we left so abruptly. In the evening we went for a circular drive to Ballynahinch, with its river, lakes, and islands—up the river on one side, crossing it on a bridge, and down again by the base of the Twelve Pins, which you can't get away from in this country. We saw Ballynahinch Castle, close to the road on the edge of the lake. It belongs to the celebrated Martins, whose fortunes have been graphically described by Charles Lever in his popular novel, The Martins of Cro Martin. They owned two hundred thousand acres of land, and Colonel Martin is said to have endeavored to put the Prince Regent of that day out of conceit with the famous Long Walk at Windsor by saying that the avenue which led to his hall door was thirty miles long. The pleasantry was true, for he owned the forty miles of road from Galway to his own door.

Boys Fishing at Recess, County Galway

Boys Fishing at Recess, County Galway

Thackeray was a great admirer of Irish scenery and wrote profusely about it. These "Pins" were his particular hobby, and he never tired of them. In one book he writes: "I won't attempt to pile up big words in place of those wild mountains over which the clouds as they passed, or the sunshine as it went and came, cast every variety of tint, light, and shadow. All one can do is to lay down the pen and ruminate, and cry 'Beautiful!' once more."

Bravo, William! but you ought to have peered over Achill, or have gone in a boat to see the birds at Horn Head; then we should have heard from you on a really great theme.

As we were returning to the hotel, a white automobile approached us at high speed, and we could not but admire the dexterous way in which our driver got out of difficulty; for the horse had become panic-stricken and was about to plunge down the embankment along which we were driving. He jumped from his seat, whipped off his coat, and wrapped it round the horse's head. The animal was so much surprised at the novelty of the proceeding and the sudden loss of his sight that he forgot all about the "white ghost" till it had safely passed us. The chauffeur shouted back, "Great work; that's a new patent!"

Read "On an Irish Jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara" at your leisure

On an Irish jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara

Read On an Irish jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

Samuel Gamble Bayne was born in Ramelton, County Donegal, and educated at Queen's University in Belfast. At the age of twenty-five he left for America with a view to making his fortune. He invested in an oil well in Pennsylvania and later founded a bank which subsequently came to be the JP Morgan Chase bank in New York. By the time this book was written he was wealthy enough to be referred to as a billionaire. His account of the tour through the north, west and south of Ireland is a pleasant snapshot of how that part of the country was in the early part of the 20th century. He describes what is to be seen, gives some background history and, through the illustrations especially, provides wonderful glimpses of the area's social history.

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