Arrival at Cork

Cork was reached in the evening, with the loss of a trunk by the inattention of the coachman, but in a few days it was restored by the honesty of a passenger. As the comfort of the traveling public depends so much on coachmen, and as passengers beside have a heavy fare to pay, it would be unjust to the public, as an individual, not to give a second testimony to the celebrated Bianconi's cars and carmen. I should have been happy to have found that my complaints in the first volume respecting this establishment were not realized as habits, but merely accidental, and that further acquaintance might insure greater esteem; but a second trial told me that thus far severity had not exaggerated. I paid my passage at Limerick for Cork, went to Fermoy without any serious difficulty; here vehicles and horses were changed, my trunk placed beyond my care, new passengers seated till the car was quite overcharged, when the carman said with insolence, as he saw me waiting for a seat, "Get on and stand up, or else stop till to-morrow, I'll not wait for ye." "My passage is paid to Cork, my trunk is beyond my reach, or I would wait," was the answer. "Get on quick and stand there, or you're left." I ascended the seat, and holding by the luggage, rode ten miles standing in much peril, while the carman occasionally looked around, and made some waggish joke, much to the amusement of decently-clad gentlemen, not one of whom offered me a seat. The reader may justly inquire—Is this the Irish politeness, of which so much has been said in these pages? It is not instinctive Irish politeness—this is always pure and always abundant; but it is the habit put on and cultivated, by such as having no claim to family or rank, have, mushroom-like, started suddenly from a manure-heap into a little higher business, and having no education that has in the least disciplined the mind, they at once assume the airs of imperious landlords, and keepers of "whisky-shops," as the best means of establishing their advanced standing.

Read "Annals of the Famine in Ireland" at your leisure

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

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This book still has the power to shock and sadden even though the events described are ever-receding further into the past. When you read, for example, of the poor widowed mother who was caught trying to salvage a few potatoes from her landlord's field, and what the magistrate discovered in the pot in her cabin, you cannot help but be apalled and distressed.

The text of this new edition has professionally been reset and an index added to the paperback.


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