Connemara Hospitality

The storm was increasing, and I could not stop, for the mud cabin was nearly as wet as the road; the poor woman said, "If ye could stay, ye should not go out." After walking a few yards, the wind was more violent and the rain heavier. I turned my back, and strove to ascend a hill in that way. In despair I stood; when looking to my left I saw at a distance a cabin, and a little girl standing at the door. She was gazing at me, as I supposed, from idle curiosity, and, as the last alternative, I hesitatingly turned towards the dreary abode. "Welcome, welcome, stranger, from the stawrm; ye're destroyed. I told the little gal to open the door and stand in it, that ye mightn't think we was shuttin' ye out in the stawrm; we've got a good fire and plenty of turf; and though the cabin is small, and not fittin' for sich a lady as ye, I'll make it better than the mad stawrm without; and I'll soon heave over a pot of potatoes, and get ye a sup of milk, and I wish my wife was here. I'm but a stranger; but here sence Monday." All this passed before I had time to tell my country, pedigree, or business to Ireland. But when he heard all that, he was more anxious still to heap me with kindness. A huge pile of blazing turf soon dried my clothes, and I was sitting "high and dry" by the side of the heels of a stage horse, who was taking his lunch from a pile of straw at the foot of a bed. In an hour the potatoes were ready, and the kind little girl brought me a broken soup-plate with two eggs on it, and a "sup of milk." The eggs I gave to a coachman who had dropped in to exchange horses, and took some salt and my tea-spoon, which I carried in my pocket; and upon a stool by the side of a pot, on which a basket was placed containing the lumpers, I ate my supper with the family and coachman, not only with a cheerful, but a grateful heart.

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.