American Courtesy to Females not universal in Ireland

The time of departure arrived, and a second subject was discussed. The rector had said an hour or two before, "You will find that the habits of our country differ widely from yours, in regard to the attention paid to females by the gentlemen. While the gentlemen there are sometimes over attentive, they are here often neglectful, if not uncivil." I regretted to hear this, for though I had come determined to meet all and everything as unfeelingly as possible, yet my education had taught me to believe that the attentions paid to females should spring from their dependence; and this dependence is generally greater in age than in youth. It is much to be lamented if Irish mothers have not instructed their young sons, that to suffer a female, especially an aged one, to go out at night alone, to climb into a carriage without assistance, or to stand up in church while men are sitting, is unkind, uncourteous, and highly reprehensible.

Pardon this digression. We had on our bonnets and shawls to go out, and the kind rector had his staff and hat in hand to accompany us. "We cannot allow you," said a young lady, "to take all this trouble; we can very well go alone." "No female whom I have invited to my parlor or table shall go out of my house unprotected on a dark evening." "Amen!" responded my heart, for I could not see how any man could do less, and be a man still; but the uneasiness that the ladies manifested, plainly told that they had not been accustomed to such attentions.

Read "Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger" at your leisure

Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger

Read Ireland's Welcome to the Stranger at your leisure and help support this free Irish library.

This book cannot be recommended highly enough to those interested in Irish social history. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, travelled from her native America to assess the condition of the poor in Ireland during the mid 1840s. Her journey took her through the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Tipperary, Cork, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Cork, Kerry, as well as parts of King's County (now Offaly) and Queen's County (now Laois).

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