Arrival at Kilkenny

We reached Kilkenny, and the young lady left the car without bidding me a cold good-bye. In a moment she returned with the lady of the house, who in a most pleasant manner said, "Come in, you are an American stranger; come in, and take tea with us, and I will send a servant with you to your lodgings." Joyfully I accepted the offer, and found within a well-ordered tastefully-arranged house, and the mistress a highly accomplished widow, who had beeen reared in affluence, educated in the best manner, and was then engaged in teaching. The piano and the harp, the ancient boast of Ireland's better days, were there, and the lady, who had been educated in a convent, knew well how to touch the heart by her melody. Her two little daughters, who were but children, did honor to her who had trained them with a skilful hand. Never had I seen high birth, beauty, and noble intellectual attainments more happily blended with a meek and quiet spirit than in this accomplished woman. Though she was a Roman Catholic, yet the higher class of Protestants were anxious to place their daughters under her care; with this proviso, that a Protestant clergyman should visit there weekly, and give religious instruction; and that each day, when prayers were read in the schoolroom, the Protestant children should retire.

The next day, as I entered the parlor, the young Protestants were passing in, while the Catholics were praying above—a very accommodating arrangement to keep both religions from contamination.

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.