Leaving Cork

The time was drawing nigh when effects must be gathered, and Cork must be left. The season had been spent most pleasantly and profitably, for cultivated minds were ever at hand, and hospitable boards were always made welcome. To designate who was the kindest, would be a difficulty wholly uncalled for, as all and every one were more than courteous. Justice compels an acknowledgment of one distinguished favor, which was and is more prized for the manner in which it was done. The Irish, I have before remarked, are in their habit of giving, most nobly removed from an ostentatious display, or from a manner which makes the recipient feel that he is so deeply indebted that he can never be discharged.

In the year 1845, I stopped in the house of Mrs. Fisher, who generously refused any compensation; when the second visit was made to that city, I again took lodgings with her, determining to pay; but as she was generous in the first instance, I did not inquire terms, lest she might suppose it an indirect suggestion for a second gift. On my departure the bill was called for, fifteen weeks' uncontrolled access to drawing-room or parlor, and good lodging. Not a shilling was demanded and not a shilling would she accept. This was hospitality, apparently "without grudging," and certainly without display.

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.