Manner of carrying Bread through the Street

My task was a different one—operating individually. I took my own time and way—as woman is wont to do when at her own option; and before the supplies, which afterward came through the letters mentioned, I marked out a path which was pursued during that winter, until July, when I left for the North. A basket of good dimensions was provided, sufficient to contain three loaves of the largest made bread; this was cut in slices, and at eight o'clock I set off. The poor had watched the "American lady," and were always on the spot, ready for an attack, when I went out; and the most efficient method of stopping their importunities was bread. No sooner well upon the street, than the army commenced rallying; and no one, perhaps, that winter, was so regularly guarded as was this basket and its owner. A slice was given to each, till it was all exhausted; while in desperation, at times, lest I might be overpowered—not by violence, but by number—I hurried on, sometimes actually running to my place of destination, the hungry ones, men, women, and children, who had not received the slice, in pursuit—till I rushed into some shop-door or house, for protection, till the troop should retire; sometimes the stay would be long and tedious, and ofttimes they must be driven back by force.

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

Annals of the Famine in Ireland

Read Annals of the Famine in Ireland at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

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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